Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ah, Spring Break is over... sigh!

So, Spring Break 2011 has come to an end! It's back to school for me... although, my original plan ( hatched the week before Break started) was to stick around close to campus and enjoy uninterrupted use of the geology lab, and maybe even prepare a thin slice of my 200+million year old rock I collected on a recent field trip. Alas, the lure of family comraderie, my nephew's Eagle Scout ceremony, etc, etc... led me on a different plan. On the plus side, I nearly finished a knitting project I am working for my sister's birthday (it won't make it in time, but I did get a lot done on it!) :)

Yes, my nephew earned his Eagle Scout badge back in November, and he is officially an Eagle Scout now! We are all very proud of him. He worked hard to earn it!

Do I really have a rock over 200-million-years old? Yes, I do! I collected it from a Triassic-period alluvial fan deposit in central North Carolina that has been exposed through local faulting and the help of railroad construction. My sedimentology class was visiting the structure recently, and I inquired about the rocks within this ancient rubble. The rockpile was created during the Triassic period (200-250mya), and any rocks therein are much older than that!

You see, a rock needs to have a "coolness factor" to stay in my collection, or it may get tossed out with "I have no idea why I'm keeping this!" So, if it isn't interesting to look at but I can say, "Oh! That's over 200 million years old!", then it's cool. I tried to find one that is interesting as well, and I found a green rock. Green could be anything, really... not likely to be peridotite, although that would be most cool! I am placing my bets on epidote maybe with some chloritization of olivine/pyroxenes, although my mineralogy professor is doubtful due to the muted color. Epidote (proper) is a bright pistachio green. My rock is not as bright as the lab sample. So, I hope to make a thin section... a thinner than paper slice of the rock that can be viewed under a microscope to identify the individual mineral grains of the rock.

<<note to self: upload microscope image of rock>>

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