January 25, 2012

Accretionary Wedge #42: Countertop Geology

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

My friend's front entryway in Abu Dhabi. Can you spot the xenolith?

Ian Saginor of the blog Volcanoclast is hosting this month’s accretionary wedge, and this month’s theme is countertop geology!

Here’s the call for posts:

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 its source. This includes buildings, statues, etc. There’s a lot of really unusual stuff out there, so make sure to find a good one.

I think this is a great topic for an accretionary wedge! Anyone who has spent any amount of time with me knows that I am constantly looking at stone countertops, floors, walls, statues, and pretty much anything else made out of rock.  Actually, I just visited by good friend Karima in Abu Dhabi, and she and her husband laughed at how I inspected the walls of all of the buildings we visited. I couldn’t help myself– there is some spectacular building stone to be found in Abu Dhabi. I was particularly impressed with all of the amazing building stones used in the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Emirates Place Hotel. My friend Karima actually joked that when we visited the Emirates Palace hotel and ate our gold-flaked dessert, I kept looking at the floors and walls rather than enjoying the spectacular ocean and city views. However, I’m actually planning to share pictures of those two buildings in other posts. For this accretionary wedge post, I’m actually going to share some pictures of my friend Karima’s front entryway to her house in Abu Dhabi.

Karima and her family live in a lovely two-story house (with a rooftop balcony) in Abu Dhabi. In front of their house, they have lovely slabs of granite decorating their front steps and entryway. They also happen to have a dark-colored xenolith just in front of their front door! The xenolith caught my eye as soon as I arrived at their house, and it actually reminded me very much of the dark-colored xenoliths I often observe in the Cape Granite here in Cape Town.

Here are some pictures of my friend’s front entryway xenolith:

Dark-colored xenolith in granite.

And here's one with my hand for scale.

And here’s a picture of a similar looking dark-colored xenolith in the Cape Granite here in South Africa:

A similar looking dark-colored xenolith in the Cape Granite here in South Africa.

You may recognize the above picture as it was this week’s Monday Geology Picture.