Petrographic, Microscopic, Gigalicious!

This is your brain on Tryptophan a thin section of dunite, a rock made up almost entirely of the mineral olivine, as seen in cross-polarized light through a Leica Z6 APO Macroscope. There is a band of black mineral grains to the left of center of the image that is a cumulate layer of the mineral chromite – in the magma chamber from which these minerals crystallized that band of chromite would have originally settled out in a horizontal layer. The width of the entire field of view visible here is just under 2 cm.

Dunite in Cross-Polarized Light
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Unlike most of my GigaPans I didn’t have help from the robot on this one. The thin section was moved by hand and the images were shot one by one. In fact, the stitch took far less time than the capture. Nonetheless it was well worth the effort – and the kind of task that is ideally suited to undergraduate/graduate students! :-) Speaking of which… any prospective geology undergrads or masters students interested in putting GigaPan technology to use in the pursuit of science? I’d like to hear from you!

Happy Thanksgiving Geoblogosphere!

Fauna in the Field GeoMeme

It seems I’m already a meme behind in posting this one, but better late than never…

The animals in the field meme has grown to include both domesticated and wild examples, but when I started going through old field photos looking to join the fun I came to the realization that I’ve got remarkably few digital photos of fauna (but plenty of flora). I do have a bunch of older slide photos with wildlife but I figured it might be more interesting to see the odd assortment of digital “wildlife” photos that I did stumble upon…

First, there’s a bear (not particularly geological, I’ll grant you, but I’ve got a soft spot for old Smokey):


Then there are the stegosauri:






Of course, I’ve got plenty more dinosaur photos from museums, but the ones above were the only ones I found in the “field”.

There is one “domesticated” animal I photographed in the field – friends of Adirondack geology may recognize the “Steer’s Head”:


And finally, I’ll wrap-up with a couple of local animals carved out of limestone by Hays, KS sculptor Peter Felten…

A lamb:

A bison (the Monarch of the Plains):

A hereford bull:

and finally, a nesting Pteradon: