Whenever this happens, two sets of rocks slowly drift apart, never to see one another again. This makes me sad.
(At this point you may be asking the following question: "This guy is an idiot." You might be right, but not because of this. Or at the very least, I'm in the good company of other idiots equally obsessed with the relationship of the Appalachians to the mountains on the other side of the Atlantic, so much so they've made an International Appalachian Trail. Has anyone hiked the whole thing yet?)
In December I discovered that Berks County, Pennsylvania has volcanoes, which are part of the CAMP, the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, a large area of eruptions that occurred at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary just as the Atlantic was starting to open (coincidence? We don't know yet.) What we do know is that since the Atlantic was just starting to open, the CAMP is split on both sides of the Atlantic. Some in Pennsylvania, some in - Morocco, in the Atlas Mountains, which gave the Atlantic its name. Long lost cousins, long gone across the ocean.
Above: the CAMP as the volcanoes erupted just prior to the Atlantic opening; Palisades Sill, a northerly continuation of the igneous rock seen in the Jacksonwald/Wachtung Outliers; and the CAMP layer is visible in the Middle Atlas, Morocco. From Paul Olsen at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University; Wikipedia; and Eric Font at the University of Lisbon, respectively.
When I learned this I already had a vacation scheduled to Morocco, which you can read about here.
I knew there was only one thing to do: collect samples in the High Atlas and bring them back, to reunite them with their long-lost cousins.
And now: it is done!
I'm ashamed to admit that I was not high when I conceived of this, nor even when I carried it out.
You'll be pleased to know that they spend their days catching up on plate motions and weathering. And they have earned this much-awaited rest and snuggling.
I feel as though I've made a difference.