Sunday, February 7, 2010


You may have heard that D.C. got some snow this weekend. (It's true.) We went for a walk this morning to check out what the snowed-in city looked like. Here are a few photos...



This is fun:

K Street, home of the lobbyists:

Group of robins hanging out at National Geographic HQ:

The White House gets whiter:

A magnolia tree in Jackson Square, not doing so well:
(Magnolias seem particularly susceptible to losing limbs via heavy snow...)

Photogenic trees:


Washington Monument:

Up-side-down Diplocraterion? Or just where someone sat in the snow?

This trace fossil is more obvious; Bicyclus, clearly:

The National Mall (Smithsonian's Natural History Museum at left, Capitol Building at right):

Doppelganger week for the Capitol:

Cold Triceratops:

Snow decorates the trees in front of the FBI building:

Pennsylvania Avenue:

Callan checks on the snow depth:

Guess this roof isn't very well insulated...

Some structures... Here's a set of two normal faults in a snow stratum atop a hedge:

(Glove for scale, of course.) Here's a different angle on these extensional structures:

(Because GMU classes were canceled on Friday, I assigned my structural geology students to make some structures in the snow -- like Kim's example, perhaps, or perhaps like this hedge, but really limited only by their own imaginations...)

Here's a different one:
That's a sheet of snow being driven downward by gravity, sliding over a roof (fault-like) but then arching up at the tip (this would look 'antiform' if it were rotated 90 degrees...). Kind of like a compressional antiform transitioning into a thrust fault, a common 'structural ingredient' in fold and thrust belts the world over.

Some more normal faults, including en echelon arrays like we saw last September in the volcanic tableland north of Bishop, California... These are viewed from the bottom -- they are forming in snow atop the glass roof of the pagoda-thingy that covers the Columbia Heights metro escalators. Notice too the color difference (due to more or less snow) from the peak of the pagoda (where the faults are -- an area of "crustal" thinning) to the bottom (where the snow is thickest).

Finally, if you haven't already seen it, check out this time-lapse image of the snow accumulating! And here's one from Greg Willis, who has shared videos on this blog before... Enjoy!

Stay warm out there, everyone...

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Blogger Lockwood said...

These are all great, but I love the capitol juxtaposed with the capitol, and the hedge graben is wonderful!

February 7, 2010 8:04 PM  
Blogger Tuff Cookie said...

DC is getting pretty close to beating out Buffalo for snow this year...we'll have to see after the next storm blows through. (I think we're up to 60 inches, although we haven't had any big storms yet.)

February 8, 2010 9:24 AM  
Blogger Marciepooh said...

I haven't seen snow like that since I was in elementary school. (Although many photos from March '93, looked similar.) I think Vancouver would like it if you mailed them some of your snow.

Magnolias are not really meant to live where their lovely, broad, evergreen leaves can accumulate over 2.5 feet of snow. That photo reminds of when people talk about how pretty it is when ice coats branches - lovely to look at until limbs start landing on your roof.

February 8, 2010 10:05 AM  
Blogger Remy van Baal said...

Wow that's a lot of snow!

I thought we had a lot of snow in Northern part of the Netherlands with 20 centimeter..

There hasn't been that much snow here for the last couple of years though, so we had fun :)

Seems like you're having to!

February 8, 2010 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Pamela Gore said...

Thanks for the great snow pictures. I always appreciate your geologic perspective on these things. It looks like everyone will be on foot for a while. I see it is 29 degrees there today, so no melting going on yet. And snow is forcast for Tues and Wed!! We are far enough south in Atlanta that we just have rain (and lots of mud).

February 8, 2010 1:13 PM  
Blogger geobabe said...

Great shots of the mall. On behalf of all of us who live at the end of the currently-broken metro (read: above ground) and cannot get to the mall these days, thanks!

February 8, 2010 11:16 PM  
Blogger Silver Fox said...

Neat pics! The street lights, the bicycle imprint (is it a fossil?), the trees bending over the street, the Washington monument...

February 10, 2010 12:20 PM  

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