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.
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.
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.
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.
Following 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:
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:
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.
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”
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:
The Willamette Agate and Mineral Society is holding their “Treasures of the Northwest 2016” show July 29-31st in Albany, Oregon.
Presented in combination with the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies and Northwest Federation Mineralogical Society, the show at the Linn County Fair and Expo Building just off I-5 is expected to be one of the largest in the area.
They expect over 200 display classes, lectures, auctions, and daily field trips to a local petrified wood locale.
We’re working on plans to participate. Please let us know if you are interested and we’ll talk more about this at the next meeting.
Check the latest AFMS newsletter for details and entry forms.
The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies has announced a Program Competition in their latest newsletter, describing the benefits as:
There are real “rewards and recognition” for winners. Cash prizes defray production costs, an award certificate and pin are presented to the winners, and information about all winners is published in newsletters and magazines. But more important, each winning program is duplicated and distributed to the seven Regional Libraries,making the winning programs available to Clubs across the country — giving their members a chance to enjoy and learn from them for many years.
The group has contributed in the past, and it would be exciting to be recognized for some of our outstanding educators and programs.
The Competition recognizes and rewards authors of presentations about the Earth Sciences. The programs are then shared with other clubs across the country. The programs or presentations may consist of digital presentations (PowerPoint) and materials (PDF) or video, 30-40 minutes in length.
There are four classes for entries:
- Field Collecting
- Hot to Do It
- Just for Juniors (young people)
The judges are looking for:
- Accuracy and educational value
- Quality of photography and visuals
- Completeness of Story (but not too much)
- Narration that moves well from one image to the next
- Explore an area of interest or demonstrate ideas and techniques for use
- Well-crafted title, credits, and “the end” slides
The awards include $200 cash prize for the highest, $100 for other placements, and winners will be announced at the AFMS Awards Banquet.
If you are interested in entering the contest, let us know. We’d love to help you make it the best. Talk to a board member at the next meeting or contact us. For more information, check your latest AFMS newsletter.