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October 28, 2012

Geology Word of the Week: Z is for Zeolite

def. zeolite: The name of a large group of porous, framework, aluminosilicate (their basic structure is interlocking tetrahedra of SiO4 and AlO4) minerals that contain significant water and also significant exchangeable cations, which makes them absorbent materials. The name zeolite originates from the Greek words “zeo”, which means “to boil”, and “lithos”, which means “stone”. Zeolites were given their name because when you heat them, they generally release water in …


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October 19, 2012

Geology Word of the Week: Y is for Yellowstone National Park

def. Yellowstone National Park: A United States national park that is located in the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Established in 1872, Yellowstone was the first national park to be founded and set an example for other national parks which were subsequently established all over the world. The park is the current location of the Yellowstone hotspot, which is responsible for large-scale volcanism in Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and Wyoming. …


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October 13, 2012

Geology Word of the Week: X is for Xiphactinus

def. Xiphactinus: 1. A large (15-20 ft long), predatory fish that lived during the Late Cretaceous. 2. A prehistoric sea monster. Seriously. What an enormous and scary looking fish. 3. A really, really cool fossil. Maybe one day I can display one in the library of my evil geologist lair. One of the most famous fossils of Xiphactinus is the “fish within a fish” fossil located at the Sternberg Museum of Natural …


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October 7, 2012

Geology Word of the Week: W is for Widmanstätten Pattern

def. Widmanstätten Pattern: An interweaving pattern of the extraterrestrial minerals kamacite (a low nickel content iron-nickel alloy, similar to the terrestrial mineral ferrite) and taenite (a high nickel content iron-nickel alloy, similar to the terrestrial mineral austenite) that appears in some iron-nickel meteorites when a cut section of the meteorite is etched with weak acid. Widmanstätten patterns appear during acid etching because kamacite is more easily dissolved by weak acid than taenite. Widmanstätten patterns are believed to …


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September 26, 2012

Geology Word of the Week: V is for Vitreous

Introductory Note: At long last, the Geology Word of the Week has returned! For almost a year, the Geology Word of the Week post has been on hold. I briefly resurrected the weekly word back in April with the posts T is for Time and U is for Ulexite, but the revival was short-lived. I neglected the weekly word because this past year has been busy and full of important life events and …


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May 1, 2012

Monday Geology Picture: Chesterfield Gorge, New Hampshire

This week’s geology picture was taken in the Chesterfield Gorge, which is located just a few minutes from my parents’ house in southern New Hampshire. I would often explore and play at the gorge as a child. I used to like to throw things into the gorge and watch them go over the waterfalls. I once duct-taped a Princess Leia figurine into a plastic toy kayak and watched her go …


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April 28, 2012

Geology Word of the Week: U is for Ulexite

def. Ulexite: 1. Hydrated sodium calcium borate hydroxide (formula: NaCaB5O6(OH)6•5(H2O) ), a silky, brittle, generally white evaporate mineral  which often crystallizes in the form of densely-packed fibers that transmit light along the long axis of the mineral. 2. A party trick rock. Have any party guests who think that geology isn’t awesome? Just pull out your fibrous ulexite sample and say, “Hey look, I have a fiber optic rock.” Then …


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April 19, 2012

Geology Word of the Week: T is for Time

def. Time: 1. What the clock (or the cesium atom) measures. 2. “The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.” (From Google Dictionary). 3. “A finite extent or stretch of continued existence, as the interval separating two successive events or actions, or the period during which an action, condition, or state continues; a finite portion of time; a period.” (From …


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April 16, 2012

Monday Geology Picture: PhD Defense

On Friday the 13th I successfully defended my PhD in Marine Geology in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. For this week’s geology picture, here I am on Friday with my co-advisors Susan Humphris and Ken Sims at my post-defense party. Everyone has to call me Dr. Evelyn now… at least for a few days. Then everyone can call me just plain old Evelyn again. Once I recover from post-thesis exhaustion and …


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November 20, 2011

Geology Word of the Week: S is for Syncline

Finally, the Geology Word of the Week has returned! I took about six weeks off because I was very busy with my wedding and thesis. Six weeks ago, I had announced that the next Geology Word of the Week would be S is for Schist. However, I kept trying (and failing) to write the schist post. Schist is such an important and fun geology word, and I want to take …


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