my apologies

Filed under: regular postings — Gary August 23, 2007 @ 9:02 am

My apologies for not posting as frequent as usual.  We have another baby on the way and things are veeery busy around here.

Thanks for your understanding, Gary.


Diamonds Nearly as Old as Earth- rockhound, geology article

Filed under: regular postings — Gary @ 9:00 am

Diamonds are indeed forever, or at least nearly as old as the Earth, a new
study shows.

Scientists have unearthed diamonds more than 4 billion years old and trapped
inside crystals of zircon in the Jack Hills region in Western Australia. Nearly
as old as Earth itself and considered the oldest terrestrial diamonds ever
discovered, the gems could give insights into the early evolution of our
planet’s crust.

“Jack Hills is the only place on Earth that can give us this kind of information
about the formation of the Earth,” said study team member Alexander Nemchin, a
geochemist at Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia. “We’re dealing
with the oldest material on the planet.”

Hot or not?

About 4.5 billion years ago, Earth developed from a cloud of dust around a
proto-Sun. During its youth, Earth smashed into a planet-size body and its
surface temperatures likely soared above 10,830 degrees Fahrenheit (6,000
degrees Celsius). When the molten Earth cooled, the liquid lava gelled into
rocks. Details about the rocks and when they began to form, a subject of intense
debate, have been limited by sparse data.

One such debate centers on whether early Earth was covered by oceans of hot lava
or if the planet’s surface had cooled enough for rock formation and was covered
instead by oceans of water.

Zircon crystals could hold the answer. These crystals are tough and relatively
resistant to melting. As a result, they retain their chemical nature and can
provide vital clues about past events that occurred in the Earth’s crust and mantle.



rockhound field trip- Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland

Filed under: Coming Events,regular postings — Gary @ 8:59 am

Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland Field Trip: Aug. 24 and 25,

Friday Aug. 24, 2007: National Limestone Quarry Corp. Quarry in Mount
Pleasant Mills, PA for Wavellite, Strontianite, Calcite and Celestite.
The Quarry is located at 217 Quarry Rd, Mount Pleasant Mills, PA. Meet
at 7:30 AM, enter at 8:00 AM. No late arrivals. Dig all day (bring
lunch). Please bring a “WNY/S. Ontario area” specimen to donate to the
quarry manager.