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  #1  
November 2nd, 2009, 01:58 PM
geogeek's Avatar Marsi's Mommy
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This month I have been asked to do a geology themed class. With starting this, I would like to know what you ladies find the most interesting so that I can theme it around what you would like to learn about. The weekly themes that I had planned on doing were, The Rock Cycle, Fossils, Plate Tectonics/Earthquakes, and volcanoes. If you want to talk about something else that is fine. If not, I will start on igneous rocks tomorrow.
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  #2  
November 2nd, 2009, 02:24 PM
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I'm excited! I used to have a rock collection...but it's was pretty lame...STILL..I can't wait for tomorrow!
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  #3  
November 2nd, 2009, 02:33 PM
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I actually kept my rock collection for quite a few years, it got lost in a move though.

I can't wait until tomorrow though!
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"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude..... These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are percisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character and increase our compassion for others."
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  #4  
November 2nd, 2009, 04:35 PM
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We have boxes and boxes of rocks. =


You picked the most interesting ones, I think!
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  #5  
November 2nd, 2009, 09:31 PM
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Is it tomorrow yet? Hahaha, I'm excited...
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  #6  
November 3rd, 2009, 07:58 AM
geogeek's Avatar Marsi's Mommy
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I wanted to keep this within one thread so that it was easy. At heart, I love igneous rocks. While going through my petrology class, I was in absolute awe and amazement as to what makes rocks look the way that they do.

For starters, there are 2 main types of igneous rocks. Intrusive (cooled under the crust of the Earth) and Extrusive (cooled on top of the crust of the Earth).

Basalt, or lava rock, is the most well known and abundant extrusive igneous rock.


Granite is the most well known intrusive igneous rock.

here is also a LINK to a close up picture of another type of granite.

The main difference between Intrusive and Extrusive rock are the sizes of the crystals that make up the rock; for all rock is made of crystals in some shape or size even if it is microscopic crystals. The size of the crystals come about because of how fast the magma or lava cooled. The slower the cooling, the larger the crystals will be in the resulting rock. The faster the cooling, the smaller the crystals are within the rock.

The one thing that most people don't know about the different types of igneous rocks is that no matter the look of the rocks, the source of these rocks are so similar that the chemical make up of both types of rocks are the same. With the smaller crystals, the minerals that are black overshadow the lighter minerals making the whole rock appear black. When it has longer to cool, the light minerals are able to become visible to the naked eye and become more distinct creating a different look within the rock.

Any questions?
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  #7  
November 3rd, 2009, 10:20 AM
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No questions yet, but I learned some new things!
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  #8  
November 3rd, 2009, 10:35 AM
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Same here, I learned some new things as well!
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Thank you to the wonderful ladies who mad the blinkies!

"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude..... These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are percisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character and increase our compassion for others."
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  #9  
November 4th, 2009, 02:49 PM
geogeek's Avatar Marsi's Mommy
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My power went out mid writing this so after school now, I will try again...

When most people think of sedimentary rocks, this picture comes to mind.


Nice, horizontal layered sandstone. It dominates southern Utah in all of its red/orange beauty. It is made mostly of Quartz or SiO2.

What most people don't think of when I say sedimentary rocks is something like this breccia.


or this conglomerate.


Sedimentary rocks are just pieces of other rocks that have weathered and formed another rock. They can me of uniform crystal size like the sandstone made of only sand sized particles or mudstone made of even smaller particles. Most sedimentary rocks are classified by the size and shape of the weathered rocks that make them up. While looking at a sedimentary rock, one can understand how far away from the source the sediments traveled. The smaller, rounder, and more uniform the sediments, the further away they are from the source. The larger, more angular, and poorly sorted, the closer the rock was made from the source.

So, from the pictures, the sandstone would most likely be the furthest away from the source. They are small particles, most likely rounded, and very uniform in size. The next closest to the source would be the conglomerate. It is poorly sorted, but the sediments inside the rock are rounded. The closest to the source would be the breccia. It is angular sediments within the rock as well as poorly sorted.

There are exceptions to this rule. There are many ways that you can make sedimentary rocks and analyze those rocks to understand what the environment was like when that was formed and the geological histories within them. Sedimentary rocks are very important to the study of geology. Fossils are found abundantly within sedimentary rocks as well. There are several classes at university that center around sedimentation and sedimentary rocks in general.
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  #10  
November 4th, 2009, 05:33 PM
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Why do I get so giddy when you have a new post? I love reading these lessons!
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  #11  
November 4th, 2009, 09:41 PM
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Matt and I found a really cool breccia on the shore of Jenny Lake once. I was surprised but I guess it makes sense to find one there since it's a glacier-carved lake. I think we still have it. I'd have to unpack the rock boxes to find it though.
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  #12  
November 4th, 2009, 09:55 PM
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this is great! Thanks for teaching us Rachel, you're a really good teacher.
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Thank you to the wonderful ladies who mad the blinkies!

"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude..... These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are percisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character and increase our compassion for others."
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  #13  
November 5th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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Okay, I totally missed the igneous post! I love igneous rocks too. I have an egg-shaped basalt rock in my aquarium as a decoration. I picked it up out of a river near Rexburg.



Random fact: Rexburg is built on a basalt plain. When they broke ground for the temple, they hit a 50 ft layer of basalt. Since it's full of holes, it's obviously too unstable to build a building on. So they had to blast through it and dig it all out, and then fill the hole back in with hard packed dirt and stuff up to the level they wanted it.
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  #14  
November 5th, 2009, 02:49 PM
geogeek's Avatar Marsi's Mommy
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Thanks for that random fact, Brittanie. It is cool to hear stories like that.

Well, today is about metamorphic rocks. The oldest rocks found on the Earth right now are metamorphic rocks found in Canada. Even though they are the oldest rocks, we cannot know when they were formed. With radioactive decay dating, when metamorphosis happens, everything is recrystallized. When it is recrystallized, the radioactive "clock" is reset. So, even the oldest rocks could have been formed millions of years before that "clock" was reset.

Some of the basic indicators of metamorphosis are stretching of silicon based crystals especially within a large crystalline granite. The silicon portions recrystallize at higher temperatures making them look more like Saturn; as shown in this picture.


Another tell tell sign of metamorphosis is kinks. this is when there is heat and pressure that folds the rock; like in this picture.
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  #15  
November 5th, 2009, 07:03 PM
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Those rocks look really cool!

Where in Canada are they usually found?
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  #16  
November 6th, 2009, 06:31 AM
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  #17  
November 6th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Thank you!
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  #18  
November 6th, 2009, 02:53 PM
geogeek's Avatar Marsi's Mommy
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Today is the last day of class for this week. I will be taking the weekend off of teaching for this week at least because I have testing (well that means next week too...) I thought that I would sum up everything with a review of the rock cycle. It took me a while to find a good graphic of the rock cycle. There were some that I said "NO NO NO!!" when I saw them. I was thinking and I decided that I would show you the absolutely un-true simplified rock cycle graphic first.


Cycles are seen as unidirectional circular patterns like this. There are many things wrong with this cycle. Where is the igneous rock? Where is all of the metamorphosed granite like I showed in the last lesson? There are MANY arrows that are missing within this graphic of the rock cycle. Sedimentary rocks weather to form other sedimentary rocks! It is just SO false. But, this is the rock cycle that many students know when they come into middle school because it is the cycle that kids learn in elementary school. It makes me kind of sad.

Now on to what the rock cycle actually looks like.


There are just a couple more arrows here Any rock can be metamorphosed. Metamorphic rock can be remetamorphosed. Any rock can be turned into sediments and lithified into sedimentary rock. It shows both the intrusive and extrusive rock. It shows the weathering, transportation, and deposition of sediments. It is almost all inclusive on what any rock could be doing at any place on the Earth.

So, please don't be fooled by the simplified rock cycle. It just isn't the correct way to think about the formation of the Earth as we now know it and see it in changing.

On Monday, I will start on fossils. I hope that you liked the lessons about rocks.
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  #19  
November 6th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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It's sad how many of the Geo 101 students also thought of that first cycle as what it is really supposed to be. Matt TA'd a lot of classes and I helped correct tests, and it was sad how many had been taught completely false information.

I really like that second chart. I wish I had seen it before because Matt probably could have used it his last semester when he was actually teaching intro classes. I saw a diagram similar drawn on the boards several times. lol Would have been good to have them to pass out.
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  #20  
November 6th, 2009, 10:12 PM
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Major difference! I really like the second chart and distinctively remember the first one from elementary school.

I had a good time following the arrows on the accurate chart. hehe.

And I can't wait for fossils!
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