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Rosetta Stones

Rosetta Stones

Adventures in the good science of rock-breaking.

Drooling Now. Could Someone Please Bring Me a Napkin?

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Lithified Detritus, long-time commenter and friend at ETEV, responded to ye olde beach rocks post by sending in beach rocks that, quite frankly, left me burbling incoherently. You know that feeling you get when you see something so awesome all you can do is make vaguely syllable-shaped noises and then attempt to breathe? Yeah, that's what happened. Covet. Covet these rocks.

Anyway. Rocks and their story, by our own Lithified Detritus. Images and words belong to him. The puddles of saliva are mostly mine.

You asked for beach rocks. As you wish...

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus I

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus I

This is from Presque Isle Park, in Marquette, MI. It's a lovely place, with awesome beach rocks:

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus II

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus II

The origin of these cobbles is close by - this is serpentinized peridotite of the Mona Formation, Archean in age - 2.6 billion years. Here it is pretty metamorphosed and intruded. it includes pillow formations.

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus III

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus III

Higher up it is heavily weathered. More pillow lavas!

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus IV

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus IV

The pinkish stones in this shot are in fact sandstone, from the adjacent, and in fact overlying Jacobsville sandstone, a mere billion or so years old -dates are a little iffy.

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus V

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus V

The Jacobsville contains no fossils, but in many places shows mud crack, ripple marks, and raindrop impressions. It is widely used as a building material in the U.P.

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus VI

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus VI

Pretty beach rocks!

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus VII

Beautiful beach rocks by Lithified Detritus VII

That's it. I am booking a damn flight to Marquette, Michigan. Who's got a couch I can crash on?

For those of you wishing to send me their beach rock beauties, you can send 'em on to dhunterauthor at gmail dot com. I've seen your comments on combing and anticipate awesomeness. Bring it!

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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