Archive for September 20th, 2010

What we do during I.S. Meetings

September 20th, 2010

I had an I.S. Meeting with Sam Spencer (’11) this morning. This is what we did:

Sam is working on the geochemistry of a ~200 million year old diabase sheet that intruded into a rift basin in southeast Pennsylvania. When you think of geochemistry, you might think of white lab coats and fancy equipment, but the first step in any geochemistry project is to crush and powder the samples. It’s a dirty job, but I think it’s one of the best parts of geochemistry. Today, Sam took the hammer to a sample we affectionately call the “potato.” It’s a dense, coarse-grained mafic rock that shows spheroidal weathering, which creates piles of brown, rounded potato-like rocks in the field.

A visit to glacier country in New Zealand

September 20th, 2010

Franz Josef Glacier, South Island, New Zealand. Photograph by Andrew Collins.

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND–Our Wooster Geologist in New Zealand, junior geology major Andrew Collins, is on an enforced break from his studies at the University of Canterbury. (The earthquake damage and the continuing aftershocks have given Andrew a new perspective on neotectonics.) Like any good geologist, he took the opportunity to see more of the land. One of his visits was to Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the northwestern coast of South Island. There he saw the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers descending from the Southern Alps into a coastal rainforest. You can see more of Andrew’s photographs and read his narratives on his blog. This year Wooster Geologists also had close encounters with glaciers in Iceland and Alaska.

Fox Glacier, South Island, New Zealand. Note the internal stratification. Photograph by Andrew Collins.