Friday Headlines, October 4, 2019
THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES
Topics from this week in EES 101 – Earth Systems Science
- Bubblegum rock
- The 2011 Japan Earthquake
This week was the annual week of the Mount Hope Cemetery field trip for my Introduction to the Geological Sciences course. It’s a short walk from the classroom, so it’s ever a great opportunity to see “rocks in the wild.” In this case, I consider them ‘feral’ rocks, because they’ve escaped containment and have been living in the elements for many, many years.
One favorite stop is “Bubblegum Rock,” a large chunk of pink quartz.
Students checking out “Bubblegum Rock”
Students are challenged to figure out the origin of the rock. Some do. Some don’t. But all are fascinated by it.
This piece of quartz is an example of a pegmatite. Pegmatites are huge minerals that grow under very specific circumstances. In the case of these giant quartz grains, they were the result of extremely slow cooling of magma well below the Earth’s surface.
Here’s another blog post about Bubblegum Rock on Paleopix
This is one of my favorite videos. Both audio and video illustrate the magnitude of the 2011 earthquake off the coast of Japan that resulted in a massive tsunami that killed thousands of people and destroyed a nuclear power plant.
Turn up the volume and enjoy!