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November 20, 2012

What to Buy a Geologist for Christmas: 2012 Edition

Do you have a geologist (or several) in your family, and you’re not sure what to buy them for Christmas? Good news! The Georneys “What to Buy a Geologist for Christmas” (or Chanukah, Newtonmas, etc.) 2012 holiday gift guide is here. I also recommend looking through the previous Georneys “What to Buy a Geologist for Christmas” lists: 2011 Edition 2010 Edition- Part I 2010 Edition- Part II You may also …

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February 14, 2012

A Heart of Stone

A heart of stone. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! For those of you who are grumpy on Valentine’s Day, here’s a heart of stone. For the geologists, this heart of stone that should make you slightly less grumpy. There are some good stones in there, including gabbros, purple calcite, nummulite-bearing rock, and some excellent shell fossils. I’ve had a busy Valentine’s Day. I’m tired from spending 12 hours working on my …

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December 25, 2011

A Christmas Rock: Island Time!

Happy Newtonmas / Christmas to everyone! To celebrate, here’s a very big Christmas rock– Christmas Island, which is located in the Indian Ocean south of Indonesia. The island was dubbed “Christmas Island” by Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company, who arrived at the island on Christmas Day, 25th December, 1643. Geologically, the island consists of basalt (originating from a submarine volcano) on which limestone (made primarily from …

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December 3, 2011

What to Buy a Geologist for Christmas: 2011 Edition

Do you have a geologist (or several) in your family, and you’re not sure what to buy them for Christmas? Good news! The Georneys “What to Buy a Geologist for Christmas” (or Chanukah, Newtonmas, etc.) 2011 gift guide is here. Last year, I wrote two popular posts titled What to Buy a Geologist for Christmas and What to Buy a Geologist for Christmas- Part II. There are many good gift …

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July 4, 2011

4th of July Rocks: Red, White, and Blue

Happy 4th of July, everyone! In honor of the 4th, here are some red, white, and blue rocks.Red sandstone: Red Standstone. Arches National Park, Utah, Fall 2005. Newly-deposited white travertine: Travertine forming in an alkaline pool. Oman, January 2009. And, last but not least, brilliant bright blue kyanite crystals: Blue kyanite. Image courtesy of Ian Stimpson’s Flickr stream.

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May 30, 2011

A Memorial Day Rock: Marble

Marble headstones at Arlington National Cemetery.Photo taken from Wikipedia here. On Memorial Day I always remember the trips I’ve taken to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. I still remember my first visit to the cemetery. I was seventeen and applying to the United States Naval Academy. I was down in Washington, DC for the Naval Academy’s Summer Seminar, an intense week that gives Naval Academy applicants a taste of …

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February 21, 2011

A Presidents’ Day Rock: Granite (& Mica Schist)

Presidents carved in granite. Image taken from wikipedia here. Happy Presidents’ Day, everyone! Lab is nice and quiet today, in honor of our nation’s presidents. Excellent. I always accomplish more on holidays! Fewer people around to distract me. In honor of Presidents’ Day, here is a document published by the U.S. National Park Service about the geology of Mt. Rushmore: Mount Rushmore National Memorial Geologic Resource Evaluation Report And here …

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February 14, 2011

A Valentine’s Day Rock: Heartstones

A heartstone is a heart-shaped rock. Many different types of rocks can be heartstones; all that matters is the shape. Many heartstones form naturally through tricks of weathering; others are artificially chiseled and polished into a heart shape. I  often look for heartstones when walking– along a beach, a woodland path, or even a driveway. Whenever I find a heartstone, I think fondly of a bookstore called “Heartstone Books” that …

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January 12, 2011

A Birthday Rock: Peridotite

Today is my birthday, so I am going to post some pictures of my favorite rock, which is peridotite. One of my committee members often refers to peridotite as “prettytite.” I agree that peridotite– which is comprised primarily of the minerals pyroxene and olivine– is very, very pretty. Image taken from here. Image taken from here. Image taken from here. Image taken from here. Image taken from here. Peridotite sometimes …

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January 1, 2011

A New Year’s Day Rock: Travertine Icings and Scums

Happy New Year! To celebrate the new year, here are some photos of some very new rocks. These travertines in Oman are some of the youngest rocks I’ve encountered in my geological wanderings. These “icings” and “scums”  are travertines (mostly the mineral calcite) that are precipitating from highly alkaline (pH ~11-12) springs that form when rainwater circulates through mantle peridotite. Thin layers of newly-formed travertine (icings) often float on the …

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