Welcome new officers

Elections were held at our last meeting of November and our new officers for 2017 are:

President     Rose Jackson

Vice President   Carl Weaver

Treasurer    Richelle Borlaug

Secretary    Matthew Porter

Board Director  Cliff Vanderzanden

Board Director  Taylor Hunt

Board Director  Mitch Metcalf

Other changes of note:

Newsletter Editor   Pam Hunt

Show Chairman   Casey Truman

The official ceremony will be at our Holiday Dinner on December 10th at the Senior Center. If you haven’t done so, please RSVP to Mitch if you will be attending.

 

Oct/November Presidents Message

You’ve probably had enough of the election madness of 2016, and you’re probably also thinking “well at least it’s finally over on November 9th”. But it’s not, because on the 10th it’s time for us to vote again. That’s the day we elect the clubs officers for 2017.

My friends, after serving 4 years as your President, it is time for me to pass the gavel. It has been my honor to serve the club, and while it’s been interesting and sometimes fun, it’s also been a time of great change and challenge. As I look back on this past year in particular, the most significant challenges seemed to be finding volunteers and committee chairs. Often, it came down to the same small group of people who ended up taking on multiple roles just so something would get done. And a few committees just never got formed at all. And that’s kind of sad. I was often wondering ‘where’s the enthusiasm’?

Now, to be fair, this is a problem echoed by many other clubs I’ve spoken with as well. We all pretty much agree that since the 50’s, each new generation seemed to have less interest in clubs and community service. As a result, old timers continue to carry the load of doing everything…till one day when they either can’t or won’t. Then our club not only shrinks, it also loses that knowledge and expertise. Our challenge for the future will continue to be how to attract and keep new people. Their energy, curiosity and enthusiasm will be crucial to keep the club going. Let us all resolve to do what we can to encourage new blood to join and participate.

In our bylaws, it says this about the duties of members:

DUTIES OF MEMBERS:

  1. Adhere to the AFMS Code of Ethics.
  1. Attend meetings regularly.
  1. Attend Club sponsored activities
  1. Volunteer for Club sponsored activities such as:
    1. a)   Club Offices
    2. b)   Club committees
    3. c)     Show committees
  1. Keep up-to-date on rock hounding/geological topics by reading the HY GRADER and other publications.
  1. Share their knowledge and expertise with others.
  1. Wear their name badge at all Club functions.

In 2016 some members really stepped up and did all those things. Others, well, not so much. How did you do? Being a member of this club will be far more meaningful if everyone takes these duties seriously and participates with enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm can be contagious. Encourage it when you see it.

And here’s a good way to encourage it. At our November meeting we decide whom to honor with several awards. Last year, Jean Hunt won “Member of the Year” honors, and Beverly Burkholtz won the “Long and Outstanding Service Award”. Please come out and vote for whom you think should be honored this year for their service. If you haven’t been to a lot of meetings, you need only look at the front of this newsletter to see who’s been doing the work. If you think someone’s done an outstanding job, nominate them. Whether they win or not, it’s still going to be a great way to encourage them.

Send nominations direct to me or to any Board Member. If we get them in time, we’ll print some ballots with your nomination on them. If not, they can be written in by voters.

The Holiday Banquet, December 10th, will be at the Forest Grove Senior Center and will begin at 1:30 PM. If you can help with set-up and decorating, that will be at noon. Contact Vivian Howard and let her know you’ll be there. She might also need some decorations so let her know if you can help with that.

By 4:30 we have to begin clean-up because there’s another event at 5pm.

It’s free!

For the first time in years, there will not be a cost to attend this event. This year we’re going to do a nice, simple, Pot-Luck style banquet. The club will provide a main course (tbd), utensils and plates. Members are asked to bring deserts, sides and holiday goodies to share.

Raffle items needed.

As in years past, there will be a raffle of ‘cool stuff’. The proceeds are intended to cover the clubs cost of the room and other expenses, so bring your Dollars to buy tickets. And if you have something to contribute to the raffle, please bring it by prior to 1:30.

Thank you in advance for helping to make this a great time.

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.
Mitch

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.

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”

New Timeline for Tetrapod Biodiversity found in Fossils

A new study and timeline has been released showing 190 million years of tetrapod biodiversity, exceptional data for fossils and paleontology.

Recently, we have been able to provide some answers to the questions of how diverse through time has life been, based on the building of large fossil occurrence databases and new methods of analysing them. One such development has been the Paleobiology Database, a professional crowd-sourced archive of fossil history, where the context of fossils is provided in both space and time, and largely based on the published record of fossil discoveries.

…By applying SQS with our development of large fossil occurrence datasets, voila, we are able to gain renewed insight into the diversity of life through history in a way that accounts for the inherent biases of the fossil record!

And that’s just what a new study in PLOS Biology set out to do. Led by Roger Benson of the University of Oxford, an international team of researchers applied SQS to one of the largest tetrapod fossil occurrence databases ever assembled (if not the largest!), comprising more than 27,000 individual fossil occurrences! This represented almost 5000 fossil species, and the data were restricted to just those fossils that dwelled on land – so this excludes groups like ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, for example. They also excluded flying tetrapods, so birds, bats and mammals, as these are known to have very different preservational histories in the fossil record. For palaeontology though, this is definitely ‘big data’.

The team restricted their analyses to just the Mesozoic to early Paleogene, a time span of around 190 million years (a fairly long time, even by geological standards!). If you think about it, that’s 5000 species over about 190 million years, which compared to 30,000 around today is pretty weird even in itself.

For more information: