Štrba, Slovakia — Today our field party drove from Budapest through northern Hungary into Slovakia. The day was brilliantly sunny. Our first stop was at a holy well near Szentkút, Hungary, to examine Miocene fossils (mostly bryozoans). High up in the surrounding hills is a shelf where the mrl is best exposed. Long ago a community of monks established living quarters and a chapel by carving the soft stone. Our outcrop was well exposed because of their work.
There is some sedimentology and structural geology going on here as well as paleontology. Inside one of the rooms the walls cut through soft-sediment deformation and a normal fault oblique to the corner.
Szentkút was especially religious on the day we visited. It was Pentecost for the Greek Catholic faith, so there were large crowds and colorful clerics around the shrines. I hope we were not noticed walking through.
We next stopped in Fiľakovo, a Slovakian town with a magnificent castle. We will see a lot of castles on this trip, and as Kamil told us, most were built in the 13th century and destroyed in the 16th. This castle was most impressive to me because of the bedrock it is built on: a Miocene ignimbrite, which is a rock resulting from volcanic eruptions. Most geologists would call it a welded tuff. he Miocene volcanoes still ring the town as wooded hills.
There are numerous volcanic bombs and other volcaniclastic bits in the welded tuff.
Our last stop of the day was near Štrba, Slovakia, for this small outcrop of Miocene bryozoan marl. ots of high grass.
The High Tatra Mountains of northern Slovakia and southern Poland are now in view! We’ll look at these in more detail tomorrow.