Richmond Astronomical Society

Geology at the RAS Observatory?

Oct 21st, 2016 | By | Category: Blog, Events

Geology is a little different for us, but we are an eclectic lot and have widely varying interests. Recently RAS member Randy Tatum hosted Michael Davias and friends from the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences to sample the sediments underlying the RAS Ragland Observatory.  As it turns out, our observatory sits in one of a number of a “Carolina Bays,” which are depressions along the Atlantic seaboard that are often not readily visible from the ground, but can be identified through aerial photography and LIDAR. Michael Davias is hoping to use data from the cores collected at our observatory to help understand more about the formation of these interesting features.  The core data will also enhance general understanding of the geology in the Bon Air area where our observatory is located.

Michael and company, with assistance from Randy, deployed a geoprobe coring machine and after a full day of hard work, extracted and preserved a core of earth beneath our observatory to a depth of 55 feet.  We are anxious to hear results of the analysis and will update members on the outcome.  As a side note, we understand that this is one of the few times a core has been drilled for the primary purpose of gathering evidence specific to the formation of Carolina Bays.  Michael has passed along his thanks to the RAS for allowing the coring to be done – our thanks to Randy for facilitating the work and expanding our horizons into local geology.



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