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Archive for December, 2010

(since last week encompassed Thanksgiving, I made the news journals extra credit, so there was no blog entry for week #11.)

What my students found in their search through the news:

Just as a heads up, this is the 2nd to last week of this assignment.   Next semester, I have mineralogy & structure, so my class-related blog posts will have a different focus.

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Ann’s Musing on Geology & Other Things is hosting the Accretionary Wedge #29: What geological features about the area you call “home” do you love? and what do you not like? Its a busy time at the end of the semester, but I knew immediately how I would answer this question.

I’ve only recently moved to St. Peter in order to teach for a year at Gustavus College.   Previous to Minnesota, I’ve lived in a variety of places and in my mind they all can be categorized either as “flat” or as “hilly.”   The flat places I’ve landed have all been located on sedimentary rocks & have involved at least a several hour drive to reach a garnet-bearing metamorphic rock.   But some of the hilly places have also been a few hours from garnet-grade rocks.   My ideal “home” would have garnet-bearing rocks either underfoot or within a 30 minute drive and some form of topographic relief greater than a few 100 meters.   Such as:

Alp de Confin--1000 m above the nearest town--with both pelitic & mafic eclogites to ooh & ahh over

However, I currently live on glacial till next to a river valley that cuts down into dolomite & sandstone.   Ok, the erratics have garnet in them occasionally, but that’s not the local bedrock.   Things I can appreciate here, though?   Its not dead flat.   The till has a fairly nice hummocky topography to it.

GoogleMaps terrain map of the area east of St. Peter

I can also get to high grade metamorphic rocks in a few hours, which is almost close enough to drive to during a lab period.   Actually, the gneisses are along the same river that flows through town, so technically I think I could canoe upriver to get to garnets.   Would probably take a while to get there though…

Figure 2 from Schmitz et al. (2006)

I also appreciate the fact that I live within the listening range of Minnesota public radio that has a very diverse & eclectic selection of classical music on their playlist.   But that’s the pianist in me speaking 🙂

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