Rock Enrichment Projects
(Glacial Till Sampling & Geologic Natural History)
(parent notes)

Part 1: Sample Collection

If you pass any equipment on your way in @ the end of the period, bring it in with you! Mr. J. will sound 3 whistle bursts ~5min before the end of the period to call you back to class in time on collection days. You are responsible for making it to your next class on time.

You may collect your samples from anywhere - home, the McMurray nature trails, etc. - but the starting rock must AT LEAST be cobble stone sized (about the size of a clenched fist).

Once trained by Mr. J., and equiped with goggles & hard hat, you may use sample reduction devices (sledgehammers:P) in the trail in situ (on site) or on the anvil bolders exclusively - sledge hammers break sidewalks and macadam blacktop, and any students responsible for such damages will be held financially accountable. Samples may be broken on the anvil bolders by the turnpikes at either entrance to the lower parking lot, and shared if desired. Pick up fragments and PUT, (do NOT THROW) them in the woods.

Freshly broken surfaces are preferable for mineral component ID's, but either partner may also wish to wash their samples outside the lab windows using the hoses attached to the faucets if they so desire. NEVER wash samples in the sinks - the cost of repairing drains clogged with rock debris will also be billed to responsible miscreants:P.

Wrap samples in paper bearing your name, period, and the sample number. DO NOT WRITE ON THE SAMPLES. Ink discolores the minerals extant, and leads to false IDs.

Store your samples either in your locker, or in the gray plastic drawers under the side counters in the lab for your table group. Lockers are secured; drawers are not, but you MUST have access to your samples in lab daily.

Don't expect hall passes to go get your samples after class starts - if your samples are not consistently available for work during class, you will be docked class preparation points (10% of your grade). If you lose your samples, you get to replace them on your own time.

Part 2: Sample IDs
(individual activity)(30 points)
Each person identifies 5 samples they collected. Identify 5 more for 50%xc.

Check out loupes to help you with these ID's as well as the following links:

EZ (kiddie) ThinkQuest Intro - might seem condescending . . .

& 3rd Gr. Canadian Dichotomous Tree . . .

UK Geological Society Rock Cycle with Sample Rocks (natural history)





Brooke Westen Intro Dichotomous Tree html
 intro descriptions pdf

Intro Sedimentary Particle Classification pdf

metamorphic .pdf 

How To Perform Mohs Tests pdf

 JMU's Sedimentary Site

JMU's Metamorphic Site

 JMU's Igneous Site

Intro dichotomous tree pdf

  UCSNY-Sedimentary Chart Descriptions & Pix

  UCSNY-Metamorphic Chart Descriptions & Pix

 UCSNY-Igneous Chart Descriptions & Pix

 GeoMan's Advanced Dichotomous Tree

 GeoMan's Sedimentary Rock ID Chart

GeoMan's Metamorphic Rock ID Chart

GeoMan's Igneous Rock ID Chart

RockHound Rock IDs

 RockHound Sedimentary IDs

RockHound Metamorphis IDs

RockHound Igneous IDs

 Wikipedia List of Rock Type Links

 Wikipedia Sedimentary
Rock Descriptions

  Wikipedia Metamorphic
Rock Descriptions

  Wikipedia Igneous
Rock Descriptions

 The Stupid Page of Rocks

sedimentary texture & composition chart

metamorphic texture & composition chart

igenous texture & composition chart

 BC-How Are Rocks Classified?

BC - Sedimentary Rocks

 BC - Metamorphic Rocks

BC - Igneous Rocks

 CalPoly Pomona ALERT

 CalPoly Metamorphic Descriptions, Pix, & Dichotomous Trees

 CalPoly Igneous Descriptions, Pix, & Dichotomous Trees

BlackHawk College Physical Geology 101 Lab Study Aid Mat'l. 

BlackHawk College Sedimentary Rock Identification

BlackHawk College Metamorphic Rock Identification 

 BlackHawk College Igneous Rock Identification 

 VSC Geologic Photo Galleries

 GeoAhead Name Based ID w/ description & pix links

About.Com Rock ID Tables

 About.Com Sedimentary Rocks

About.Com Metaamorphic Rocks 

 About.Com Igneous Rocks

 Bob's Rock Shop Unified Dichotomous Tree (no pix)

  Bob's Rock Shop Sedimentary Dichotomous Descriptions (no pix)

  Bob's Rock Shop Metamorphic Dichotomous Descriptions (no pix)

 Bob's Rock Shop Igneous Dichotomous Desctiptions (no pix) 

 HM Geology Glossary

Fond Du Lac Tribal & Community College Rock ID Tutorials 

Fond Du Lac Tribal & Community College Sedimentary Rock Kit

 Fond Du Lac Tribal & Community College Metamorphic Rock Kit

 Fond Du Lac Tribal & Community College Igneous Rock Kit 

Show 3 defining characteristics (physical properties of the mix of minerals present) , both described in text (~2¶, or ~75 words ea.) and labeled on a freehand drawing for each of the 3 required samples. Remember, each person does their own IDs, or you split the grade!

Use the following feature list to lable and describe your samples:

colors, luster, streak, Mohs, fracture/cleavage, crystal shapes, layering, grain size, mineral proportion, weathering features, and any pecular field indicators, (such as wet smell for shale).


3 points / ID for correctly labeled characteristics
4 points / ID for 6 trait writing style -
web resource / downloadable PDF

3 points / ID for artistry

10 points / ID possible ; 30 points for this section


Some samples of expected ID products:
Sample ID#1, Sample ID#2, Sample ID#3



Individuals or groups of up to 3 in the same class can give serious, melodramatic, satirical, comical, (or any combination thereof) oral presentations, using visual aids and factual & / or performance notes / scripts, in place of the writing assignment below:

The presentation or writeup needs to cover the development and evolution of the sample, including it's transport to the location of discovery. Purely fantastic explanations, without factual content , are not acceptable.

In simple terms, take the identifying features from a rock ID, and add on where it forms, how it forms, and how it got to where you found it.

required components:
describe each phase of existence using physical characteristics / field tests:
(sedimentary formation, to metamorphic, to surface uplift, for instance)

20 points possible:
5 points for the speculative, fact-based info on formation & transport for each of the 3 specimins
5 points for writing quality or oral presentation quality


UP TO 5 EXTRA ROCK "ID'S" : 5 PROJECT POINTS EACH = 25pts.max / 5pts.ea.


Up to 2 Mineral Projects: 10 pts.ea.
You can either do a crystal growth experiment, or run a different recipie, or a mineral research report.

Map the internal pathways of the wood ball bearing box - use solution mechanics, and position of partially plugged drilled holes. 5pts.

Tectonics URLs: (helpful for Natural Histories)


Geologic Timeline

TerraGalleria - natural history and sociology

Tectonics Test Map


Visable Geology interactive PaleoMaps

Visable Paleo-Earth - Arecibo

UC Berkeley's PaleoMaps

USGS / NPS Tectonics Animations

VolcanoWorld - Plate Tectonics

EarthScope GPS Plate Motion

USGS Dynamic Planet OnLine Tectonics GIS


GoogleEarth KMZ Layer File for Tectonic Plates USGS

GoogleEarth for Educators

USGS This Dynamic Earth Tutorials

ALL USGS media

USGS "The Living Rock" 60min vid

USGS ALL education

USGS-ALL education links

ONLY USGS education links


A Tapestry of Time and Terrain - USGS I-2720

NBC-GeoBio TimeLine Tectonics

Wegener ref1 & ref2

Radioisotope Dating & ref2 & ref3

Geology OnLine Radioactive Decay Dating

Science Channel "Faces of Earth" (amazon)(2)

Seafloor Tectonics

USGS KMZ Ocean Floor Age



JOIDES Resolution / ODP / JOIDES (2)

Chikyu (2)


Marianas Trench (2) (3)

new mantle drill proposal

project MoHole

Icelandic magma

Earth Cross Sections

Earth XC montage

EQ OnLine Demos

PBS Savage EQ Fault / Seismic Wave Motion, & Tsunami Animations

Plummer, McGeary, & Carlson "Physical Geology" Plate Boundary Animations

Geology OnLine Virtual EQ Lab

NSF - TERC Earth Science Animations

McDougal-Littell "Exploring Earth" Visualizations

USGS EQ Ground Motion Sims

USGS EQ Animations

NOAA Fault Images

Magnitude vs Intensity & 2

Seismic Waves

Straits of Hormuz Sincline & Anticline

EQ eLabs

i2e2 LIGO eLab portal

VISD Seismometer (2) (3)

QCN Seismic Network (Stanford USB kits)

USGS 7 day S +2.5 Seismicity Map

USGS GoogleEarth KML EQ files

DELESE EQ Teaching Boxes

DLESE Living in EarthQuake Country

Rapid earthQuake Viewer (REV)

IRIS Rapid Eq Viewer (IRIS) (Resources) (Animations) (Apps) (Recent Event Lessons) - "Musical" Plates

New Madrid GIS

ESRI's Bicentenial Madrid Histrories (WebGIS)


PBS Past & Future Tsunami Event Map

Tsunami URLs

Vashon Tsunami Simulation

Siesmic Tomography

EarthScope FAQ & Images

IRIS FAQ & Images

Discover Mag Seismic Tomography -


Seismic Tomography Java

abstract (front page)


U235 Fission rxn

Trinity = 20KT

Bikini X-roads 23KT H20

Tsar = 57MT

DoD-DoE program film

Moon Origin

moon origin(UA-LPI-Jay Melosh)

Wikki moon origin

Bill Hartman / Planetary Science Institute moon origin

Robin Canup SciAm 2012 Revision (local pdf) (AAAS)

Hartman YouTube moon origins & Cannup YouTube moon origins

PBS / NOVA moon origins

Planetary Sciences Research Developments-Jeff Taylor moon origin

"If We Had No Moon" Discovery Channel DVD (51min)- Bill Hartmann, Robin Canup, Jay Melosh - Tectonics, Climate Stabilzation, Lunar Prospector / Interplanetary Travel (see links at end of Rock Project also)


Igneous Land Forms

Mt. Rainier Evacuation Plan

Mt.St. Helens Footage

Yellowstone GIS

Discovery Channel's 6 Supervolcanoes (?) VEI8 (1,000kM^3 ejecta) (2) (3)

Discovery Channel
Supervolcano (110 min=1hr50min)

Toba SuperVolcano (Graham:>)

Surface Water

USGS Water Cycle

Channeled Scablands - Lake Missoula


NOAA Ocean Explorer

Plastic Beach


Sally Ride Science ISS EarthKAM (PD presentations)

My NASA Data

WA geology locations

GoogleEarth (turotial)

GoogleEarth in Maps

NASA WorldWind Java SDK (features) (wiki)

ESRI's MyWorldGIS v4 for Home

WorldMapper Global Demographic GIS

GPS Visualizer

Holt, Reinhart, & Winston World Atlas