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Where to Find Rocks

  • Date Submitted: 04/03/2010 10:34 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53 
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Where To Find Rocks

(Where to Find Rocks)

      In the great interior plains and lowlands of the United States, a wide variety of sedimentary rocks are exposed. Igneous and metamorphic rocks are widespread in the mountains and piedmont areas of New England, the Appalachians, the Western Cordillera, and scattered interior hill lands; igneous rocks make up almost all the land of Hawaii. Along the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains, loose and unconsolidated rocks are widespread.

      The best collecting sites are quarries, road cuts or natural cliffs, and outcrops. Open fields and level country are poor places. Hills and steep slopes are better sites.

(Collecting Equipment)

      The beginning collector needs two pieces of somewhat specialized equipment, a geologist's hammer and a hand lens. The hammer is used to break off fresh rock specimens and to trim them to display size. The head of a geologist's hammer has one blunt hammering end. The other end of the most versatile and widely used style is a pick. it is used mostly in soft sedimentary rocks and in collecting fossils.
      The hand lens, sometimes called a pocket magnifier, is used to identify mineral grains. Six-power to ten-power magnification is best.
      Other pieces of necessary equipment are inexpensive and easy to find: a knapsack to carry specimens, equipment, and food; bags and paper in which to wrap individual specimens; a notebook for keeping field notes until more permanent records can be made; and a packet knife, helpful in many ways, especially to test the hardness of mineral grains.

      On some collecting trips, additional equipment is needed. Sledge hammers can be used to break especially hard ledges of rock. Cold chisels often make it possible to loosen specimens. Dilute hydrochloric acid helps in identify limestone and dolomite.

(Housing and Enlarging a Collection)
      The practical problems of cataloging and storing a collection must be considered by every...

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