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6 June 2014

Earth’s most abundant mineral finally gets a name

The mineral said to be the most abundant of our planet, but found so deep within Earth’s interior that scientists usually cannot observe it directly, now has a name.


10 September 2013

Interlude in Pittsburgh

I grew up just outside of Washington, DC, within an easy metro ride of the Smithsonian museums, so I consider myself a bit spoiled. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate other museums when I see them, and this weekend when I was down in Pittsburgh, I got to see the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. In terms of collections and curation, it’s pretty darn impressive. It must be nice to have a rich patron!


16 July 2012

Hooper Garnet Mine

Recently, I finally trekked across NY state to the Adirondacks and visited the Gore Mountain area, home of several garnet mines. Now, these aren’t like the garnets I was showing in my Bancroft photos. These are HUGE. Garnets as big as your fist. The two best places to find them are at the Gore Mountain Garnet Mine (which charges an entrance fee and by the pound for what you take out), and the Hooper Mine, which is no longer in operation BUT is also free. Being grad students, my friends and I went for the free option. (The garnets at Gore mountain are, admittedly, bigger, but there is a limit to how much rock even I am willing to drive back across the state.)


26 June 2012

Blown away by Bancroft: Part IV

On the last morning of our Bancroft field trip this past April, we continued our journey through the metamorphic faces diagram with a stop at an outcrop north of Bancroft on ON-28, in the amphibolite facies.


18 June 2012

Blown away by Bancroft: Part III

On the second afternoon of our trip, we finally began moving out of the greenschist facies into the amphibolite facies – higher pressures, higher temperatures and a different set of minerals.


12 June 2012

Blown away by Bancroft: Part II

On the second day of our Bancroft trip, we started out in the greenschist facies and moved on into the amphibolite facies of the metamorphic pressure-temperature diagram. And, of course, took lots of photos!


6 June 2012

Blown away by Bancroft: Part I

Back in April, I finally had a chance to accompany the petrology classes from UB and SUNY Fredonia on UB’s annual trip to Bancroft, Ontario. I’ve been trying to go on this trip for years, and I’m glad I got to before I graduated, because, WOW. Bancroft is chock full of some pretty amazing things (especially if you’re into petrology, mineralogy, structure, glaciology, and pretty much everything else – it’s known as the ‘Mineral Capital of Canada’, for one!)


18 April 2012

Mineralogy Etymology

It seems like everyone enjoyed the post on the etymology of volcanology vocab, and I did mention something about mineralogy, so…here it is! I’ve mostly pulled up minerals that I deal with in volcanology. (This is just a quick collection – hopefully I’ll get around to posting more once I’m done with my latest round of grad school craziness. Oh, committee meetings…)


25 January 2012

Rocks in the kitchen (Accretionary Wedge #42 Entry)

Ian Saginor of Volcanoclast is hosting the next Accretionary Wedge, and it should be a neat one: we’re supposed to explore the geology of the indoors – specifically, countertops. Here’s the challenge:

Have you seen a great countertop out there? Sure, everyone says it’s “granite”, but you know better. Take a picture, post it on your own blog or send it to me and I’ll post it for you. Do you think you know what it is or how it was formed? Feel free to include your own interpretation and I’m sure others will enjoy joining in the discussion. Ron Schott suggested that we expand the entries by including any decorative stone material that has been separated by humans from it’s source. This includes buildings, statues, etc. There’s a lot of really unusual stuff out there, so make sure to find a good one.


5 August 2011

Purple everywhere! Samples from the Harding Pegmatite

All right, I’m finally getting to this post (cross-country driving trips aren’t good for keeping up with posting, apparently). My last post about the Harding Pegmatite Mine near Dixon, New Mexico had some lovely photos of the mine, but not so many of the rocks and minerals close-up. The samples I have are a little far from home (seeing as I’ve dragged them to the East coast from New Mexico), but they’re still as impressive as they were at the mine!


27 July 2011

Harding Pegmatite Mine, New Mexico

Last weekend I went on a rock-hunting trip with a group of engineers who live in my apartment complex, and on the advice of a local rafting guide (from another trip) we visited the Harding Pegmatite Mine near Dixon. The mine is no longer active (except for visits), and was donated to the University of New Mexico for educational and collecting use – and it’s pretty famous for the variety of minerals that can be found there.


1 April 2010

Amazing natural resources in south-central Utah

Some neat news has come out of the Marysvale Volcanic Field in southwestern Utah (one of my stomping grounds!) about a very recently reactivated hydrothermal system in the Marysvale Canyon. According to an interview with specialist H. McClintock, prospecting in the vicinity of Belknap (five miles north of Marysvale, Utah) has revealed some pretty interesting features that certainly weren’t there when I visited last summer. “We’ve come across some darn …


11 November 2008

Geology reference alert!

House is on, and our favorite misanthropic doctor just made a comment about mineralogy. And what’s even better? One of the other doctors understood it. [Yak yak yak how do we find this tumor if we can’t bring the guy to the hospital and have only limited equipment…]House: “What part of olivine, pyroxene and amphibole don’t you understand?”[Blank stares]Cameron: “They’re indicator minerals. You can’t see diamonds so you look for …


29 October 2008

More evidence for water on Mars

And guess how they know? Opal! (Here’s another article, and here is a link to a PDF of the original article in Geology.) Score for mineralogy! This interests me at the moment for a number of reasons, besides the fact that finding out anything new about Mars is just cool. First reason: I’m taking a remote sensing class right now, and we’re getting ready to do projects that involve tasks …


23 October 2008

Miracle Mud

On Thursday, our department lecture series brought Dr. Lynda Williams of Arizona State University to talk about antibacterial clays. Now, mineralogy was never my strong point, but this talk brought a whole new perspective to it – that mineralogy can contribute to medical research! For a little background: There’s a kind of mycobacteria (yep, that’s spelled right) that exists in African swamps that gets onto the pincers of a biting …