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Friday Field Foto #81: Permian turbidites in the Karoo Basin

April 17, 2009

This week’s Friday Field Foto is from a trip to South Africa I went on about a year ago. We went to look at the relatively famous Permian turbidite outcrops in the Karoo basin.


The area pictured here is called the Tanqua Karoo, and is a spectacular place to examine a preserved submarine fan (note the small group of light-colored vehicles down in the valley). The cliff-forming rocks that form the mesas and buttes in the distance (and what I’m standing on taking this photo) are sandstone bodies that can be correlated across many 10s of km.

Check out photos from a wildlife reserve not too far from this area on this post.

Happy Friday!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2009 11:21 am

    Quite a few years ago, I went on a fieldtrip to the Karoo turbidites and I still think it was the best field trip ever (I’ve been on a few). Great landscapes and great geology. I was working for an oil company and we took geophysicists and reservoir engineers – to put them on 3D outcrops of what they are trying to resolve and model in the digital realm was wonderfully sobering (for them).

  2. April 17, 2009 11:28 am

    The structural simplicity of the Tanqua area outcrops are a perfect place to visualize depositional bodies in three dimensions and to get a sense of scale. It’s one of the best outcrops to teach with.

  3. April 17, 2009 1:46 pm

    absolutely – and a sense of discontinuities and inhomogeneity in three dimensions!

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