The ND112 Complex


A recently developed field area, designated “ND112”, exhibits a fascinating assemblage of geologic environments reflected in a myriad of deskcrops. We have identified 14 unique geologic horizons occurring over an area of 4.5 by 6 meters. In this report we briefly describe, map, and give preliminary interpretations on the history of the ND112 region. Relative ages of deskcrops are based on historical records and oral histories of the indigenous peoples of the area.

ND112 is a geographically isolated region, only accessible via a single restricted access route. No other environments are visible from the confines of ND112, which has resulted in a significant loss of inhabitants (50%) in recent months.The population reduction has allowed the remaining locals, or Grads as they call themselves, to flourish and has the added bonus of making deskcrop access easier. However, we learned in the course of our investigation that mass wasting during the exodus caused the loss of several deskcrops in the SW, including coal, olivine sand, vesicular basalt, slag, and cobbles of quartz sandstone and agate. The loss of these invaluable deskcrops severely limits our investigation of ND112’s southwest.


No maps of the region have been published previously, and so we present here the first map of ND112 (Figure X). It is rectangular in aerial view, extending 6 meters N-S and 4.5 meters E-W, with the long axis striking 357 degrees.

Figure X: Combination geologic and topographic map of ND112. Lithology-rich orange horizon is present throughout the area. Purple is lowest, red is highest.

The lowermost units appear at approximately equal elevations at the Floor level (purple in map). Despite the large area of Floor exposed, only three lithologies are observed. We believe this is due to the local custom of walking exclusively on the Floor, which necessitates clear pathways to facilitate travel. The second elevation horizon of significance is lithology-rich, and conveniently at waist height. The near vertical sides of this horizon (jointing?) made approaching and examining specimens much easier. As these formations appear similar to tabletop mesas, we call them Tables here. The highest point in ND112 is a high Shelf in the central northwest (red in map), at an elevation ~.5 meters higher than the Tables. Multiple units and the sole observed contact of ND112 are found on the Shelf. The region of anthropogenic erosion described above is outlined with a black dashed line.


We have generated a photo catalog to facilitate descriptions of outcrops, presented in gallery form as Figure 2a-r. Scale bar when present is in centimeter increments.


Hell if I know.


The ND112 field site yields many unique lithologies, but correlation is in many cases impossible without additional research. Some units are broken (e.g., the plagioclase-porphyritic basalt) and others are rounded (ilmenite) or destroyed by humans (bagged carbonatite and missing deskcrops). We predict that many dissertations can be written at this site, although not necessarily on the rocks themselves. I will continue to work among the peoples of ND112 and stretch this into as many publications as possible or until funding runs out.


3 thoughts on “The ND112 Complex

  1. Wonderful!

    Being a non-english speaker, I think I have to finally look up the meaning(s) of the word “outcrop”.

    (BTW, Emily from the Planetary Society brought me here, as she explained “sand” in a bot posting. Someone should explain “soil” in the context of solar system exploration as well!)

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