The Spring 2017 Gem and Mineral Show was very successful. The parking lot was filled to capacity and we made over $3000 for the scholarship fund. I think it helped that it was so cold on Saturday, because people wanted to do something indoors. Here are some of the highlights.
Spring 2017 Lectures
Lectures presented by the Association of Earth Science Clubs of Greater Kansas City
Friday, March 10, 2017
3:00 p.m. “Opal Down Under”, Ron Wooly, Owner of Dreaming Down Under
Saturday, March 11, 2017
1:00 p.m. “Earth Science… Facts, Frauds and Scams”, Mark Sherwood, Independence Gem and Mineral Society
2:00 p.m. “The Life and Hard Times of the KU T. rex”, Dr. David Burnham, Research Associate, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
3:00 p.m. “Medullary bone in Tyrannosaurs: a question of chickens, eggs and possibly more”, Dr. Josh Schmerge, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
4:00 p.m. “History of Gold Mining”, Doug Foster, Show-Me Gold, Missouri
Sunday, March 12, 2017
2:00 p.m. “The Life and Hard Times of the KU T-rex”, Dr. David Burnham, Research Associate, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
3:00 p.m. “Islands in the sun: Eocene fossil mammals from Turkey”, Dr. Chris Beard, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
Gem Show Pictures Fall 2016
Dino Soiree at Powell Gardens
When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, June 17 (21 and older)
Enjoy drinks and light bites while you view a fascinating collection of fossils and hear from renowned University of Kansas Paleontologist Dr. David Burnham about the unique and ferocious Dakotaraptor. Prepaid reservations of $30/person or $25/member required. You can make those reservations at https://www.powellgardens.org/dino-soiree or by calling 816-697-2600 x209.
Guests will get one drink ticket, which can be exchanged for wine, beer or a non-alcoholic beverage at the bar. Additional drinks will be available for purchase.
Come early if you would like to take a self-guided tour of Jurassic Garden: A Prehistoric Adventure! If you cannot make the paleontology lecture, there are some other events at the Jurassic Garden: Dining with the Dinos on June 24 (reservations for BBQ dinner with dinos) and Dino Night July 22 (reservations for Dino Night). The Jurassic Garden will be available until August 14, 2016.
Selenite is a type of gypsum that has a flat reflective surface, usually gray, clear, white, or amber. Red is an unusual color for selenite, but they do exist. It is very soft and can be scratched by a fingernail (2 on the Mohs scale). At our February meeting, two of the door prizes were these selenite crystals found by President David Reed. The amber one is from Lake Kanopolis in Kansas. The gray one is from Lake Wilson, which is also in Kansas. David went to Lake Wilson and put a small crystal in the mud. He returned 3 years later and found the large gray crystal.
One time David and Stephanie went to Kansas and found several selenite crystals somewhere near the dam at Lake Wilson. They were gray like this one pictured, but much smaller. On the April field trip to Marquette, some club members also found selenite crystals.
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.
This is a special type of garnet called pyrope garnet. The name comes from the Greek pyro, meaning fire. Pyrope and other members of the aluminum part of the garnet group have a higher specific gravity and hardness, and are usually red. Calcium garnets like the previously mentioned andradite and uvarovite are the ones that are usually green and have a lower hardness and specific gravity.
Pyrope garnet is difficult to distinguish from almandine, but pyrope usually has fewer flaws and inclusions. However, garnet jewelry is usually almandine garnet because almandine is much more common and inexpensive.
If you would like some pyrope garnet it can be found nearby in Kansas, all around the Nemaha Uplift (or Nemaha Ridge), which is in the area between Salina and Manhattan, and extending south into Oklahoma. Basically, garnets are found anywhere near previous volcanic activity. The one pictured is from Apache County, Arizona. They are also found in Africa and other places. For lots and lots of information about this particular specimen, see its page on the RRUFF here.
A Great Geology Book
Rocks and Fossils of the Central United States with Special Emphasis on the Greater Kansas City Area by Richard Gentile
Review by David Reed:
This book is great! It has beautiful pictures of the fossils that can be found in Kansas City and clear stratographic sections explaining the geology of the area. It also shows locations for picking up the fossils. Everything you might wish to know about Kansas City is in this book. Well worth the money and you can ONLY get it at UMKC (Amazon doesn’t have it). We purchased one when we visited the Sutton Museum.
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!
Pictured here are some Pennsylvanian bivalves in limestone, collected near Bonner Springs, Kansas. (By Pennsylvanian, we mean the Pennsylvanian Period 323 – 290 million years ago.) But what is a bivalve? Bivalves have hard shells with two parts called valves and are usually bilaterally symmetrical, which means that their left and right sides look the same. Bivalves belong to the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Mollusca, Class Bivalvia, and include clams, oysters, scallops, and mussels. Bivalve fossils date back all the way to the Cambrian Period, 510 million years ago.
If you want to find one, Kansas is a pretty good place to start looking. Kansas has a lot of limestone and shale which is chock full of fossilized clams and oysters. You might find a little one like in the photo above, or you could find an inoceramid clam, some of which were up to 6 feet in diameter. Inoceramid clams are extinct, but they used to live on the ocean floor around western Kansas during the Cretaceous Period about 145 to 65 million years ago (yes, the Midwest used to be underwater). This one is about a foot long and you can see that the back is covered in oysters
Sources: Geo Kansas: http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Extension/fossils/bivalve.html Oceans of Kansas http://oceansofkansas.com/Inoceramids.html