January 16, 2012

Monday Geology Picture: A Gneiss Staircase in Abu Dhabi

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

A gneiss staircase outside the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, January 2012.

I am currently spending the long weekend in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  I’m visiting some good friends after spending about ten days in Oman to attend the International Conference on the Geology of the Arabian Plate and the Oman Mountains.

Yesterday my friend Karima and I visited the luxurious Emirates Palace Hotel here in Abu Dhabi. We paid far too much money for a deliciously gaudy lunch, which included a chocolate dessert with genuine 24-carat gold flakes on top!

After lunch we wandered around the hotel a little bit, and I spent most of my time admiring the various ornamental stones which were used in the construction of the hotel. For example, the stairs in front of the hotel are made from a combination of gneiss and K-feldspar granite. I thought it was neat to see the gneiss and the K-feldspar granite (a possible protolith rock for the gneiss) in juxtaposition.

Here’s another view of the staircase:

A closer view of the staircase-- gneiss and granite!

And here’s a picture of our gold-coated dessert. Yes, we ate gold!

Gold and chocolate. Yum.