Friday, May 05, 2006

Santaquin Analysis

If I may share a little bit of the research I did with Dr. Dinklage in the Santaquin Metamorfic Complex (SMC) I would be much abliged. I want to refresh some of the work we did before I present it the week after next. We submitted our research the the Geological Society of America (GSA) to be published and presented at a branch conference in Gunnison, Colorado. Loads of geologist will be there and I'm a little nervous. What if they start asking me all sorts of complicated stuff I don't know. I'm only an undergrad student. I'm sure it will be fun. To analyse some of the stresses in the rock, what a geologist will do is slice a piece of the rock really thin, to about 30 micrometer (1,000,000 micrometer = 1 meter) and look at it through a petrographic microscope. It is very similar to a microbiologist looking through a microscope at cells, bacteria, etc., except geologist look at minerals. In some of our samples we could see microscopic fractures and minerals that have changed their composition due to hydrothermal alteration. The picture above is an example of a thin section. The colorful circle occurs when a polarized filter is put into place. It only allows light at certain wave lenghts to past throught that are reflected of the crystal, which can help identify what kind of mineral it is.


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