January 1, 2015
I’ve decided to bring back the long-lost “Geology Word of the Week” posts in 2015. For those of you who don’t know, for a few years I regularly posted about a geological word every week. These posts included a brief definition (written by me) of the word and then some additional information and pictures. However, starting in 2012 I stopped posting these words regularly. I was quite busy in 2012 because I defended my Ph.D. and then started working as an industry geologist. Then, for the past two years, my industry work has kept me extremely busy, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the field, far from home.
However, now that I’ve settled into a new industry job and will be spending a little more time in the office, I’ve decided that it’s time to revive the “Geology Word of the Week”. I will endeavor to post about a geological word every week. However, I may sometimes (perhaps more often than not, depending on how much time I have) keep the posts very short. For some words, I may just provide the definition and a picture or two. Regardless, I think that such posts will be interesting and informative and will help both amateur and professional geologists (including myself!) improve their geological vocabulary. Also, depending on my work schedule, I may occasionally have to skip a week or two. I’ll try not to skip too many, though!
For the “Geology Word of the Week” posts I go through the alphabet from A to Z to select my words. I made my way through two alphabet cycles before I stalled at G is for Glacial Erratic. I’m picking up the alphabet where I left off, so this week’s word starts with H. By the way, you can browse all of the previous geological words here.
Without further ado, here is this week’s geology word:
def. Hand Lens:
A small magnifying glass used by geologists to take a closer look at rocks. Commonly, hand lenses have 10x magnification power and fold into protective metal cases. Geologists use hand lenses to help identify minerals and fossils in rocks and also to take a closer look at rock textures and structures. Hand lenses can also be used to take a closer look at soft rocks such as soils and sand grains. A hand lens is an essential part of a geologist’s field equipment, and many geologists wear a hand lens on a string around their neck when they venture out into the field. Hand lenses are also useful for looking at rocks, sediment cores, and other geological samples in a laboratory.
Here are a few pictures of geologists using hand lenses in the field:
That’s it for this week’s geology word… stay tuned for next week!