Wednesday, September 10, 2008

5 minerals

I saw the original meme about 50 minerals and thought, well that seemed like too much thinking for me right now. When I saw Callan's 5 mineral challenge, I figured I could put a few brain cells into action.

1. Quartz: When you spend as much time tromping through sand stones as I do then quartz should be high on your personal list. Not to mention that its pretty stable with our current environmental conditions so we find it in so many places.

2. Hematite: less as those great crystal specimens from that favorite 101 lab but more as one of the mineral cements holding my favorite sandstones together. I love finding concretions on field trips.

3. Pyrite: Living on the North side of the San Juan Mountains we are blessed with more than our fair share of water tainted with acid mine drainage. the pyrite to sulfuric acid reaction is always a favorite in my high school classes.

4. Calcite: Limestone is such a fun rock to find in the desert, not to mention the many calcite veins that my students are just positive are hydrothermal quartz veins.

5. Ice: I spent last Monday hiking up to and along a long ridge above treeline. The effects of alpine glaciation was just as dramatic as the more modern weathering taking place because of the many freeze thaw cycles we see at 12,000 feet.

Thanks for the idea of spending a comfortable 1/2 hour thinking deep geological thoughts. And, now back to work.

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