field trip

When people travel for rock and mineral reasons

Mini Field Trip July 2017

After our meeting on July 15, 2017 we decided to go on another mini field trip and look for fossils. There were crinoid stems, composita, and other fossils, as well as lots of blue shale. There was also something red and nobody knew what it was. I don’t have many pictures because it was very hot outside and my phone said something about battery temperature too high.

Composita fossils found in Kansas City. lots of crinoid stems and little fossils of many shapes

Composita found in Kansas City. Photo by Stephanie Reed

blue shale rocks in a row from kansas city mo

Blue shale. Photo by Stephanie Reed

bird in a tree

David met a friendly bird. Photo by David Reed.

man bending over gathering rocks outdoors

This is a traditional pose for members of rock clubs. Someday we may make a calendar. Photo by Stephanie Reed

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Mozarkite Trip to Lincoln

MOZARKITE, MISSOURI’S STATE STONE by Roger K. Pabian

(Editor’s note: This article was written by Roger and printed in The Gemrock in 2002. It is written about a field trip taken by Roger and Bill and Betty White.)

On May 3, I took a trip to Kansas City and then on to Lincoln, Missouri, to examine the in place occurrence of Mozarkite, the Official State Gemstone of Missouri. As part of my ongoing study of cryptocrystalline and amorphous quartz family gemstones, I thought that the Mozarkite mine would be a worthwhile trip.

In Kansas City, I joined up with Bill and Betty White on Friday afternoon. Bill and I spent much of the afternoon at one of the major tool houses there and I purchased quite a few diamond tools and other tools that would be of use for stone and metal work. We also hit one of the retail salvage outlets, a store that carries distressed merchandise, as they often have many tools of considerable value for very low prices.

On Saturday morning about 7:00 A.M. we left Independence for the small town of Lincoln, Missouri. The town is famous for its annual rock swap in September. There we teamed up with Linville Harms, owner of the Mozarkite mine, and then went on to the mine. The attached photos of the Mozarkite and the Mozarkite mines help you get a better idea of what the site is like.

mozarkite

Photos by Roger K. Pabian

Mozarkite is not an accepted mineral name but is simply a trade name that was developed to promote the acceptance of the stone as Missouri’s official State Gem and to generate sales to both lapidary and tourists. The name has found acceptance in some circles but is not an acceptable mineral name in others.

Mozarkite has formed in place in marine sedimentary rocks of Ordovician age — it probably is most common in the Jefferson City Formation. The Jefferson City Formation is comprised mostly of dolomite with silty and cherty stringers running through it. There are very few fossils in dolomized rocks as the addition of magnesium to the calcium carbonate of the limestone usually results in complete re-crystallization of the rock and destruction of any fossils or sedimentary structures therein. We did observe a fragment of a brachiopod shell that escaped destruction. It appeared to be a flat-shelled, long-hinge lined form, probably a strophomenoid, but no other determination could be made of it. Much of the local lore about Mozarkite attributes it to igneous activity but there is no evidence for any in that area of Ordovician or younger rocks.

The Mozarkite appears to be of strictly marine sedimentary origin. Some of the nodules show evidence of an accumulation of siliceous gel or ooze on their outer surfaces.

There appears to be three different facies of Mozarkite. The gemmy kind is a dense, brittle form that shows no crystallinity at 10X magnification. A second kind is what the locals call “sugary” Mozarkite. Some of this is quite colorful and has interesting patterns and enjoys some gem use. The “sugary” kind, However, this does not polish nearly as well as the dense, brittle kind. Then, there are some nodules that appear to be very fine sandy textured.

The three facies or textures of Mozarkite suggest that sorting of particles may have been one of the key factors in the origin of the material. Sorting of particles simply means that as some energy form such as wind or flowing water moved a mixture of unconsolidated particles, the heaviest or largest particles are the first ones to drop out of suspension. You can observe this phenomenon on the gravel bars of a stream or in the bars along beaches, estuaries, or lagoons. The coarsest particles will be on the upstream end of the bar or nearer the bottom of the bar. It may well be that the gem Mozarkite is a quartz argillite, a sedimentary rock made up of quartz particles of clay size, that is, smaller than 1/256th of a millimeter. The gemmy facies could also be derived from silica of organic or volcanic origin. The “sugary” facies is made up of the particles larger than 1/16th but smaller than 1/4 mm.

The source for the silica that makes up Mozarkite is currently not known. It may have been from Precambrian granite rocks that are found to the south and east. Sponge spicules may have been the source of silica; I will not totally disregard them. However, I usually favored volcanic ash as the source of siliva for large bodies of chert or flint in marine sedimentary sequences. If there was any volcanic activity involved with Mozarkite, it was from volcanoes that were far away from the Mozarkite-bearing strata.

Mozarkite is a very interesting gem material that could shed a lot of light on the geologic events and processes that led to its formation. My comments above are only a few ideas about its occurrence. Like many other ideas on his stone, my hypotheses need more documentation before they can either be accepted or rejected. My hypotheses should probably read as follows: “Mozarkite is a quartz argillite of marine sedimentary origin that formed in situ in shallow seas of Ordovician age. The source of the quartz is shield rocks of Precambrian ages that lie to the southeast of the area from which it is not found.”

To prove that, several things need to be done. First, properly oriented (top and north) nodules need to be collected from in place in the mine pits. The nodules should not be examined in the field to avoid “high grading” the material. An outcrops map or diagram would need to be made that shows the places from which each nodule was taken. Similar sampling should be carried out from several different layers in several different parts of the mine. The facies of each nodule would need to be located on the map. Does one zone produce only sandy material whereas another produces only gemmy material? Or do these facies occur at random? Thin sections (30 microns) would have to be made. The nature of the particles (angular or rounded) and any cement between them would need to be noted. Is there a silica cement between the particles or does their angularity hold them together? Then other occurrences, both geographic and stratigraphic, of Mozarkite would have to be noted. The sedimentary structures in the Mozarkite and the host rock would also have to be observed and recorded.

By the time all of this is done, one has done enough work to earn a Master of Science Degree. As you see, there is no easy answer for Mozarkite. Perhaps, as a club, or group of clubs, we might think of funding a student to carry out the above kind of research.

mozarkite open pit mine Lincoln Sedalia

Linville Harms (left) of Sedalia, Missouri, and Bill & Betty White examine the open pit mine. Linville is the mine owner. Photo by Roger K. Pabian

 

Missouri Mines Swap

Missouri Mines Rock Swap June 2017 mineral auction Park Hills Next weekend (June 10, 2017) we are going on a trip to the Missouri Mines Rock Swap in Park Hills, Missouri. We will look for drusy quartz and possibly Missouri banded agates. The swap itself goes from June 9-11 if you want to stay longer and is located at the Missouri Mines Historic Site near St. Joe State Park, 4000 MO-32, Park Hills, Missouri 63601. FREE admission to the show!

Directions: From Missouri 32, get off at Federal Mill Rd and look for the Missouri Mines Historic Site. Google Maps

Mini Field Trip May 2017

At the end of our meeting on May 20, 2017, David said, “Hey, we should go to [redacted] to get some fossils. It’s really close by.” Several members came along and looked for fossils.

Climbing and finding fossils in Missouri

Dan, David, and Connie climbing up to the good spot. Photo by Stephanie Reed

We had to climb a little bit to get to the good spot, but once we did, there were crinoid stems, brachiopods, encrusting and branching bryozoa, and other things. It was easy to get fossils out of the ground because it had recently rained. Afterward, David suggested another place nearby to go to find composita, so some people came along for that, too.

People climbing and finding fossils in Missouri, looking for fossils

Rock climbing in the “wilderness”. Photo by Stephanie Reed

In the summer weather, we expect to go on more spontaneous field trips like this in the Kansas City area. Make sure you come to our meetings dressed for adventure* if you want to come along!

*dressed for adventure= long pants, closed toe shoes, bring gloves and bug spray

Update: We took another mini field trip in July.

Joplin Mining Equipment

In November 2016, we went to see Marv Dahmen’s collection of vintage Joplin/Tri-State mining equipment and minerals. He talked about it for 5 hours but there was never a dull moment. We managed to record some of it, although it was so long Stephanie and David ran out of space on their phones. Here are some photos.

learning

Everyone listening to Marv. Photo by Stephanie Reed

driveway

Ore buckets as far as the eye can see! Photo by David Reed

crank

Ore crusher. Photo by Stephanie Reed

picher-museum

Most of the things outside are from the Picher Museum. Photo by Stephanie Reed

almost-scrap-metal

Ore buckets, a crucible, and one of the only 2 remaining drill bit buckets. They were sold for scrap metal when the Picher Museum was having hard times. Marv got them from the scrap metal place. Photo by Stephanie Reed

dewatering-2

This is not an ore bucket. This is a dewatering bucket. Photo by Stephanie Reed

dewatering-bucket

The inside of a dewatering bucket has a plunger inside. Photo by Stephanie Reed

drill

A drill. Photo by David Reed

round

Photo by David Reed

calcium-carbide

Calcium carbide and some lamps. Photo by David Reed

pushers

These long scoops are used to clean out the holes before putting in the dynamite. If you hit some debris while loading the dynamite it might explode. Photo by David Reed

wooden-openers

Wooden paddles for opening boxes of dynamite. It is too dangerous to use a metal implement. Photo by David Reed

mortar-pestle

Lamps, containers of carbide, and mortars and pestles. Photo by David Reed

blasting-caps

An impressive display of blasting caps. Photo by Stephanie Reed

indoor-display

Guy’s dropper lamps. These were used before carbide lamps were invented. Photo by Stephanie Reed

workshop

Marv in his workshop. On the table are some slabs that will soon be cut into cabs, and there is a curved plate that can be coated with ink and used to label boxes of Hercules dynamite (with removable plates for dates, lot numbers, etc.). Bucyrus Erie is a mining equipment company. Photo by David Reed

pendantsed

Marv also makes jewelry. Photo by David Reed

tumbled

Some of his freshly tumbled rocks. Photo by David Reed

shelves

Part of Marv’s rock collection. Photo by David Reed

jasper

Lots of Owyhee Jasper from Oregon and Idaho. Photo by David Reed

crimper

A device for crimping blasting caps. It is extremely rare. Photo by David Reed

pigtail

This is a pigtail, which is a blacksmith-made hook for ore buckets. It is specially curved so that the bucket won’t fall off while it is being raised up. Photo by David Reed

Thank you Marv for inviting us on your property and into your home to see your amazing collection!

November Field Trips

Our November meeting will be Saturday, November 19. On that day, you can choose from two great field trip opportunities!

Choice #1: Meet at the Firefighter’s Memorial (87th & Blue River) at 10:00 am to collect fossils, then come to the regular meeting at noon at the Kansas City Public Library.

Choice #2: Meet at the Praying Hands Memorial (Hwy 171 and Dawson Dr) in Webb City, MO at 12:30 pm. It’s about 2 hours from downtown Kansas City, so don’t be late! From there, we will drive together to see Marve’s collection of vintage mining equipment. This is a large collection that cannot be seen anywhere else. RSVP to Bruce Stinemetz.

Joplin Field Trip 2016

people looking at rocks collecting rocks joplin

Mardell, Kerry, and Roy. Photo by Molly Stinemetz.

people looking at rocks collecting rocks joplin

Janice and Mike looking for rocks. Photo by Molly Stinemetz.

people giving charitable donation shaking hands

Bruce Stinemetz presenting a donation from the Friends of Mineralogy to Brad Belk, Director of the Joplin Museum Complex. Photo by Molly Stinemetz.

Some rockhounds went on a field trip to Joplin, MO in September 2016. They looked for rocks and went to the Joplin Museum Complex, where they gave the museum a donation from the Friends of Mineralogy, which is a national non-profit group of people who love studying minerals. Many of our rockhounds are members of multiple clubs, including this one. The Friends of Mineralogy make donations such as this one because they are a 501(c)(3) organization and because the Joplin museum is really cool and deserves it.

Marquette Field Trip

Here are photos from the Show-Me Rockhounds’ field trip to Marquette, KS on April 16, 2016. This post was written by David Reed, current president of the club.

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Coronado Heights. Photo by David Reed

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Coronado Heights seen from afar. Photo by David Reed

Coronado Heights picnic

People having a picnic at Coronado Heights. Photo by David Reed

Coronado Heights wall with battlements

Wall with battlements. Photo by David Reed

Decorated telephone pole Marquette KS

Telephone pole in downtown Marquette imitating decorated telephone poles in Lucas, KS and elsewhere. Photo by David Reed

people in front of the diner

Meeting at the diner. Photo by David Reed

people in front of the diner

Meeting for lunch. Photo by David Reed

people meeting for the field trip

Ready for lunch. Photo by David Reed

art

Terminator in somebody’s yard. Photo by David Reed

Ring snake colorful belly

The bottom of a ring snake. The top is plain brown. The snake was found dead. Photo by David Reed

scorpion from Kansas

We found a live 2 inch long scorpion outside. Photo by David Reed

fossil in iron

A highly unusual fossil in iron. Photo by David Reed

helicopters flying

There were helicopters outside. Stephanie has helpfully combined two photos to add the zoomed-in part. It was very fast. Photos by David Reed

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Connie being photogenic with her car. Photo by David Reed

cars on a road

Look at all the people who came on the trip. We had a great time. Photo by David Reed

April Field Trip Polls

As you may know, we are having a field trip to Marquette, KS in April. We need to get some feedback to plan the trip. Please answer these 3 polls below.

We are considering staying overnight and also visiting Lake Kanopolis and Lake Wilson.

How shall we get there?

If you want to go on this field trip but you are not yet a member of the club, bring $5 for your membership fee and you can join during the trip.

Field Trip

Next Saturday (April 25) we are going on a field trip to the KU Natural History Museum at Dyche Hall, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd. Lawrence, Kansas 66045. Meet us at our usual meeting spot at 11:00 am and we will carpool to the museum. Hope to see you there!

The Bunker Mosasaur at the KU Natural History Museum.

Come see the Bunker Mosasaur! Photo from: http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/img/college-photo_24120..jpg