Friday, April 11, 2014

What Did He Say? That Was Not Gneiss!

It feels like forever since I have been able to post anything. Mid-terms were a blast. Happy to report I aced everything from Geochem II to English 102. Relieved to say the least!

Unfortunately my father is back in the hospital. Mom and he have been married forever - no seriously - forever...and he tunes her out like a champ. He refused to eat, and take his meds, fell twice in one day to boot. Mom got tired of his refusal to eat (falling because he is so weak from NOT eating) so she called 9-1-1. Needless to say when my Dad saw the gurney he was NOT a happy camper, thankfully a Turlock firefighter whose last name was Gonzales made him smile.  They say as your parents get older and older, you become the parent. Boy Howdy if that is not the truth.

So geology! That is why my few friends come here to hear about...

Have to tell you that metamorphic rocks are what we are delving into right now. LOVE metamorphic rocks - from here on out - MetaM rx. Writing metamorphic rocks over and over in your notes gets pretty tiring. The DOWNFALL of MetaM rx is their names. No "real" geology student can resist the urge to pun using gneiss (pronounced 'nice') or schist. Going to a Tier 1 university apparently does NOT prevent such antics from the geology students here.  Heard in lab today:

  • "Why does this rock smell like's kinda gneiss."
  • "Who has A16? Oh, thanks that is gneiss of you to share."
  •  "Did you just lick that?"
  • I can't believe I signed up for this schist.
You get the idea. Granite works well to...just don't don't take it for granite. Fault. Orogeny. Cleavage. Hardness.  All geological words that can be fun to use in a sentence, however there is a not overdo it or you might become the target of your fellow geology students. I just bite my lip and listen to the nonsense...of course usually laughing when delivered properly.

Geology students apparently have a few attributes/skills I lack, which makes me wonder if I choose the correct field of study.
  1. You must be a beer drinker (almost a connoisseur is your older than 30).
  2. Your handwriting must equal a doctor's signature.
  3. You wear khaki hiking pants everyday of the year (close!)
  4. Baseball caps are essential accessories (I like my boonie thanks).
  5. Taking "shots" around the campfire at field camp is a MUST.
  6. You should have facial hair (okay I am almost there thanks to menopause).
Being a geology student however has many pluses and they include challenges that your professors are probably behind closed doors laughing over. I must admit that university professors are a little different in that you must do office hours to get anywhere. They are helpful, don't get me wrong, but YOU must make the efforts to visit them during their office hours to clarify concepts, check on homework projects, etc.

Learning cross-sections are fun, challenging and are really not gneiss when they don't work out right. I had to do 4 before this one, and it is only my "draft" I am delivering to my professor tomorrow. It is the mapping field trip we took during school break a few weeks ago. Red Rock Canyon State Park. Thanks to my MJC geology professor Garry Hayes...I was the only one who had been there before which helped abundantly. Kept my old notebooks...and never take those for granite!
I do think I need to trim off the bottom a little though and start my elevation at 2000 feet. It is a little weird going back to feet since all I have been immersed in the past year is metric. I am actually preferring it too. This cross-section was a blast, but hard work to get the strikes and dips, and even harder to hike all day long up slopes with unstable debris. Thankfully, my lab partner Rick is a saint and walked ahead at times to gather intel, or waited for my sorry old butt to catch up.

This is ONE of three things I am preparing for my Final Project. The Final is a geological topographic map with all the different contacts of rocks, nonconformities, and other geologic symbols of the structures we found on our field mapping adventure. The pink (Tertiary tuff) and the lavender colored section (Ts1) a tertiary sedimentary are easiest thanks to Garry, but the other "newer" stratigraphy layers are not familiar and took some thinking and remembering my "laws" of deposition.

So here's to having a fun challenge. I love learning geology. I love learning about our planet we are so blessed to have in our care. The layers tell us stories of time before us...millions of years of our planet changing and creating different landscapes. Different animals and climates all play into this time travel through this cross-section. How can you not be amazed to look at these homoclinic rocks from several million years of deposition (Miocene: 23 mya) and not wonder what it must have looked like. Many cool site available to learn about the geology, flora and fauna of the Ricardo Formation of the Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA.

California State Parks
Fossils Found at RRCSP
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
Geotripper's Blog
Geology of RRCSP

No comments:

Post a Comment