2007 Royal Westmoreland, Barbados
58th Highway Geology Symposium

I was privileged to be sent to a 9-day project in Barbados in June, 2007. The Royal Westmoreland Golf Resort was constructing three new buildings, and during the course of excavations for foundations, some voids were discovered. I led a geophysical investigation to characterize the site, but the most important information to be obtained from the site was by observation of the walls and floors of the excavated pits. The first photo shows a closeup of one of the walls of the three pits (notebook is about 19 cm long). It is Pleistocene coral rock of the Middle Reef Terraces, with a lot of Acropora palmata (rwb1 is a sample). The second shows one of the voids in the pits. It turned out that in one location the void cut through a paleosol ("ancient soil"), and the paleosol was offset by about a half meter on the sides of the void, indicating that the void was actually a fault. The site is located at GPS 13.214968,-59.631312.

The third image is a mosaic of four photos taken from the summit of the highest point in Barbados, Mount Hillaby, looking down to the east towards the Scotland District. About 80% of Barbados is underlain by coral rock like that shown in the first images. But the coral has eroded away in the Scotland District exposing marine sediments (Eocene to Middle Miocene age) that underlie the coral elsewhere on the island. It is hilly and apparently reminded the first settlers of Scotland, where they came from (the native residents of the island speak with a Scottish accent today).

The fieldtrip of the 58th Highway Geology Symposium (PDF of proceedings) was on October 17, 2007. The conference itself was at Pocono Manor Resort and Inn, Pocono Manor, and all the fieldtrip stops were in the surrounding area of Pennsylvania.

Stop 1 was at Hickory Run Boulder Field within Hickory Run State Park. The first photo shows a small part of the boulder field in the morning fog. The boulders are from the Duncannon Member of the Catskill Formation of Devonian age.

Stop 2 was the No. 9 Mine in Lansford, a closed anthracite mine (GPS 40.828894,-75.896798). The second photo shows some anthracite outside of the mine museum. The third shows a tunnel deep inside the mine, where mules used to carry coal out. Click here to see it in stereo.

Stop 4 was at the Penn Big Bed Slate Company Quarry near Slatedale (GPS 40.749061,-75.659818). The slate of the Pen Argyl member of the Ordovician Martinsburg Formation is being mined. Three photos show different views of the quarry: the first faces northwest, the second faces north, and the third northeast. Note the anticline visible in the east wall in the third photo.
(Note: I visited this mine again in

Stop 5 was at Lehigh Gap (GPS 40.786683,-75.607227) in Blue Mountain. It is a "highway geology" stop because there is a rockfall hazard, where boulders may roll down onto PA route 248 which goes north-south throug the gap, and fences and gabions have been installed above the road to mitigate the danger. The first photo shows a view of Blue Mountain east of the gap - note the lack of trees from the smog that used to emanate from the nearby town of Palmerton. The second one shows a bunch of geologists approaching the gap to look at the contact of the overlying Silurian Shawangunk Formation with the underlying Ordovician Martinsburg Formation. We passed by several boulders of the conglomeratic Shawangunk - the third photo shows one. We also passed outcrops of the Martinsburg, which displays prominent cleavage nearly perpendicular to bedding in the fourth photo. We came to the contact, which is an unconformity, shown in the fifth photo. The last photo shows an outcrop of the Shawangunk above the contact.