September Presidents Message

As we turn our attention to Fall events, I am reminded that it’s time to form a nominating committee to prepare for our Fall elections. If you can help out with this committee, please let me know. Being on the committee in no way makes you a candidate, but means you would be tasked with finding a suitable one. This is your club, so resolve to help it thrive and remain an organization that you want to be a part of by being involved in how it’s run.
Coming up…
Portland Regional.
It’s that time again and it’s time to be thinking of putting in a display at the Portland Regional Show, which will be October 7th, 8th and 9th. This is still the 2nd weekend of October, but will seem like it’s happening in the first week. Set up will be on the 5th and 6th, so please plan on coming out and helping with that.
Holiday Banquet planning
Hey… we need a planner for this event.
Thanks everyone.

Tualatin Valley Rock and Gem Club Places third in NWFMS Website Competition

The results are in and the Tualatin Valley Rock and Gem Club is proud to announce we’ve won third place in the Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies website contest. The contest was open to all Federation member rock clubs within the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington, which comprise the NW Region of the American Federation.

“We’ve really come a long way considering only a few years ago we didn’t even have a web presence” Webmaster Mitch Metcalf Said. “So this is a really big deal for us and a huge honor.”

This was TVRGC’s first time entering the Federation’s annual contest. The First Place website was the the Yakima Rock and Mineral Club, which went on to compete at the American Federation Level.   Results were not available as of this posting.

Website Award - NW Federation of Mineralogical Societies - 3rd Place to Tualatin Valley Rock Club 2016

Congrats to all of the volunteers who worked so hard to ensure our site was a contender, bringing it up to date to be compliant with web standards and national and international laws for web accessibility and the ADA, way beyond the scope of the contest rules and requirements. We’re eager to keep you updated on all our activities and news from around the rock and mineral world as we continue to move forward.

Remember, you can subscribe to this site to receive email notifications when it updates by using the subscribe to site option in the sidebar.

July Presidents Message

Federation Show – July 29-31

The combined American and Northwest Federation Show will be held at the Linn County Expo Center down in Albany. This is an event that does not happen in Oregon very often and so I want to remind everyone that it could be decades before it happens again. If you go, I encourage you to wear your club logo and name badge so we show a strong presence down there. You will see displays and vendors from all over the country (and beyond) and you can expect to see things that we don’t see at our local shows. Hope to see lots of you there.

One more thing I’d like to bring up. While we still don’t have a club field trip chairman, there will be an opportunity for us to go on a field trip or two. The Multi-Federation Field Trip is the week after the show out of Prineville, Oregon. You are invited.
Details are in the Federation newsletter, on their website or you can inquire when you attend the show.

Summer Picnic – August 11th

Our club picnic will be held at the Rice Museum on Thursday, August 11th. That’s a regular meeting night, so don’t forget and go to the Senior Center. Just in case though, I’ll try to remember to put a sign on the door.
This year I’ll be your picnic coordinator, so contact me if you can help with things. For planning purposes, I’d like to have an idea of how many are coming as well, so send me an email with your guest list.
Set up will begin at 4pm and we will be eating about 6. This is a pot-luck, so members are asked to bring a dish to share (with serving spoon). The club will provide a main course of BBQ’d ribs and chicken plus cold bottled water in a cooler. All members and guests are asked to bring their own utensils, plates and anything that would make you more comfortable or add to the festivities (such as table cloths, chairs, lawn games or the like). The museum has a limited number of tables and chairs that they’ll set out for us, so if you have room, bring extras. We’ll also have a silent auction to raise money to cover the cost of the event, so bring some money to spend. Walt, our Treasurer, doesn’t take Credit Cards yet.
Wanted: Donations for the silent auction table. Please bring something and help the club with costs.

SummerFest at the Rice Museum

Do you like to have fun? Do you like hanging out with friends, looking at cool rocks, listening to live music and eating good food? Well then, this should interest you. The Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals is hosting their annual event on the first weekend of August (the 6th and 7th ).
The club will have a booth there and we need some volunteers to staff it and hand out brochures and sell club merchandise. If you would like to also sell your own stuff, contact me and get on the list. The club will get a nominal 10% of member sales proceeds and you will get a large crowd of buyers. Pretty good deal.
Help support the Rice Museum; – please tell your friends and neighbors about this event. Last year saw record attendance. Let’s see if we can help break that record.
Oh… and did I mention that the Flintstones will be there again this year? Yabba Dabba Doo!

Coming up…

The OMSI Mini Makers Fair will be on September 10-11 from 10AM to 5PM. We will have a booth again this year and need 10 people to staff it. We’ll have club rocks for sale, and we want to tell people about our club and encourage people to visit our meetings. Members can also sell their own jewelry, slabs or cabs. Last year the jewelry sold out quick. This will be a big crowd and thanks to Fred, Wilma and the Flintmobile, our booth gets plenty of attention.
All volunteers get free admission to the event (worth $15!) and a free T-shirt. Plus, Saturday evening there’s a free pizza and beer party compliments of OMSI. Contact me to get on the list.
– Mitch Metcalf

June Presidents Message

Summer picnic announcement.

2015 at the TVRGC picnic
TVRGC President Mitch Metcalf smiles for the camera at the 2015 club picnic.

Please make a note on your calendar that the club picnic will be on August 11th, which is a Thursday regular meeting night. We will be enjoying a delightful evening of food and camaraderie and a short program on the Rice Museum lawn. Set up will be at 4PM and dinner will be served around 5:30-6PM.

The club will provide a main dish and bottled water, condiments and maybe more, but members are asked to bring a side dish and desert to share, plus your own plates, utensils and anything else you might want to be comfortable.

The Rice will provide tables and chairs. If you have room in your vehicle, you might bring some extra chairs…just in case we go over their capacity.

As we have in years past, we’ll have a silent auction event to raise money to cover costs. If you can bring some items for this, it will be much appreciated. Items do not have to be rocks. Basically, anything useful or fun would work.

More on the menu will be forthcoming as we get this organized. And speaking of that, anyone want to help put this event together? Please let me know. Everything needs someone to do it, and it’s so much easier if many people help. Jobs include setting out the tables and chairs, decorations and table cloths, bringing ice chests and ice, silent auction set –up and more. We could use about 12 people to help out.


Federation Show 2016 – Albany, OR – July 29-30-31, 2016

NFMS’ 78th Anniversary Show

NFMS and AFMS Show Treasures of the Northwest 2016 - Albany Oregon Logo

Gems, Minerals, Rocks, and Fossils!

If it’s not on your calendar yet, you need to stop what you’re doing and put it there. The show will be just an hour and a half to our south, down in Albany, Oregon. My friends, this is a big deal. There will be displays from all over the country and vendors we just never see at our local shows. There is the potential that this won’t happen in Oregon again for decades. You see, the American Federation moves it’s annual show to a different region each year and there are 7 of them. This year, it’s in our Region, the Northwest, which consists of Alaska, Montana, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. So if each state of our Region hosted just once, the next time this would be in Oregon would be 7×5= 35 years.

The host club is Willamette Agate and Mineral Society, Inc., down in Albany, and that means it’s an easy drive from here. Here’s the address.

Linn County Expo Center
Willamette Event Center

3700 Knox Butte Rd., Albany, OR 97322

Hours: Fri: 10am – 6pm | Sat: 10am – 6pm | Sun: 10am – 4pm

I’d also like to encourage all members to submit a display case form and let’s put on a strong showing of our club’s talents.

I’ll see you there!

April 2016 President’s Message

Our annual March show is now in the books and what a nice one it was. We had solid attendance and stronger revenue than last year and by any measure we had a successful show. I want to thank everyone who helped, and especially Rose Jackson, who as Show Chair, was instrumental in making this years show run smoothly and be virtually trouble free. Rose did a good job, but she and I know it takes a team to make these shows come together. Without all of you coming out and helping, it just doesn’t happen. So thank you all.

The treasure will soon provide a complete breakdown of the Rock and Gem Club show, so stay tuned.

There are a lot of programs, events, and other club shows coming up, and if you go to our club website, you will find them on the calendar. We will be making a strong effort to make our website a resource for you and keep it up to date with articles and current information. If you find something that you want to share with the club, send it to me and we’ll get it posted.

Help Wanted

We have a vacancy in a key position this year and we need some help filling it. I’m talking about a Field Trip Chairman. Almost everyone agrees that an active field trip schedule is a very desired part of club membership. We need to get this program up and running. Summer is almost here and that’s prime time for getting out there: collecting specimens, learning about the geology of our area and just enjoying some camaraderie.

The job of Field Trip Chariman is to organize the calendar, make sure basics are covered (maps, times, etc.) and communicate these things to the club. Ideally, there will be several people helping to put these things together, including multiple field trip leaders. If you can help… even with just one event, get in touch with me. Let’s get out there and do some exploring.

Club Summer Picnic News

The club summer picnic is not yet scheduled. Do you have an idea that would be fun? Last year was a chili cook-off, we did a spaghetti theme the year before. Let’s shake things up and do something different. What would be fun? I’d also like some feedback on when and where. We’ve been doing the picnic on a regular meeting night, but if enough members want, we could schedule it for a weekend instead. What would YOU like to do? Let me know before May so we can get it organized and scheduled.

The Federation Show in July

The Federation Show coming up in July will be a rare opportunity for us to be part of a combined American and NW Federation show right here in Oregon. The show will be at the end of July down in Albany, and our club will be offering them loaner cases and whatever resources we can. The host club is the Willamette Agate and Mineral Society, and they are planning to have at least 200 display cases there.

I would like to encourage you to be a part of this. Fill out an application and send it in. You’ll find the application in the newsletter you receive from the Federation. We have an opportunity to really show off our skills and talents. I hope you’ll participate.

Ringwoodite Holds the Majority of Earth’s Water Underground

Blue Ringwoodite - Wiki CommonsFollowing up on theories that ringwoodite minerals deep within the Earth’s mantle may contain water, a BBC News report says researchers have provided the first direct evidence of this theory.

Diamonds, brought to the Earth’s surface in violent eruptions of deep volcanic rocks called kimberlites, provide a tantalising window into the deep Earth.

A research team led by Prof Graham Pearson of the University of Alberta, Canada, studied a diamond from a 100-million-year-old kimberlite found in Juina, Brazil, as part of a wider project.

They noticed that it contained a mineral, ringwoodite, that is only thought to form between 410km and 660km beneath the Earth’s surface, showing just how deep some diamonds originate.

While ringwoodite has previously been found in meteorites, this is the first time a terrestrial ringwoodite has been seen. But more extraordinarily, the researchers found that the mineral contains about 1% water.

According to the news report, this discovery is important because it solves a 25-tyear-old controversy about deep Earth being wet, dry, or wet in patches. The finding implies that the interior of the planet may store several times the water in the oceans, and demonstrates how hydrogen plays a critical role in the interior processes of the planet, and possibly other planets including Mars.

For more information on ringwoodite:

Scientists Revising Thoughts on Continental Plate Shifts

In a article on Phys, they report scientists have found clues in Alaska that has them rethinking how to continental crust forms based upon research published in Nature Geoscience.

A new study appearing in this week’s Nature Geoscience raises questions about one popular theory and provides new support for another, in which arc lava from the surface and shallow “plutons” – magma that solidified without erupting – are pulled down into the Earth at subduction zones and then rise up to accumulate at the bottom of the arc crust like steam on a kitchen ceiling. Scientists have found compelling evidence to suggest that this could have produced the vast majority of lower continental crust through Earth history.

The process, called relamination, starts at the edge of a continental plate, where an oceanic plate is diving under the continental plate and magma is rising to form a volcanic arc. As the oceanic plate dives, it drags down sediment, lava and plutonic rock from the edge of the arc. As arc material descends, minerals within it become unstable with the rising pressure and heat, and they undergo chemical changes. New minerals form, and chunks of the rock and sediment can break off. When those chunks are denser than the mantle rock around them, they continue to sink. But when they are less dense, such as those that form silica-rich granulites, they become buoyant and float upward until they reach the bottom of the arc crust and accumulate there.

For more information, see:

Cascadia Subduction Zone: Unprepared and Liquefaction

Call me paranoid, but when I see a 7.8 earthquake in Indonesia, and the news recalls the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that triggered the deadliest tsunami in history in 2004 killing more than 200,000 people, I’m reminded that we live in the shake zone of earthquakes and tsunamis, the Cascadia Subduction Zone. It doesn’t help when The New Yorker Magazine tells us that the “Really Big One” is coming and we’ll be able to surf to Idaho soon.

Last year, OPB-TV won awards for their “Unprepared” television series and documentary on the historical “big one” coming to the Pacific Northwest. It led to discussions around the state of Oregon involving geologists, seismologists, and area experts, all asking if we are prepared and what are we going to do or not do about it. They talked about the state of our bridges, schools, and the impact of liquefaction on our ports, home to fuel tanks, some almost 100 years old, that could rupture, dump into our precious waterways, and burn for ages. It was a wake-up call for all of us.

As a rock lover, I started questioning the ground under my feet. According to FEMA’s Earthquake Risk and Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) and their educational Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes 9.0 Magnitude Scenario (PDF), while I’m personally outside of the tsunami zone, besides being cut off from the rest of the world, the thing to fear most is: Liquefaction.

Tilted Victorian Home in San Francisco due to liquefaction - Photograph by G.K. Gilbert of the U.S. Geological Survey

Liquefaction is the process in which soil, often thought to be firm and solid, is “reduced” by earthquake shaking. While most commonly associated with saturated soils, liquefaction occurs in dry soils where there is space between the particles. Take a jar and fill it full of flour or grains. Tap it against the counter and you will see the level drop. Depending upon the space and shape of the grains, it might drop a little or a lot. That’s liquefaction in action. Continue reading “Cascadia Subduction Zone: Unprepared and Liquefaction”