Friday, October 29, 2010

Spooky deskcrops

This month's Accretionary Wedge asks us to share photos of our favourite deskcrop, with bonus points if it is spooky. As one who moves, often, I have managed not to accumulate a personal collection of rocks, but rather catalogue them appropriately and store them in the collections of which every university I was with when I collected them. However, I have many photos on my computers of my samples. My personal favourite "spooky" rock photo is this back-scatter electron image of a monazite grain. Every time I see it I think I'm looking at the skull of some sort of humanoid creature.

This was one of the many grains in Tasmanian metamorphic rocks analyzed for U-Th-Pb dating for my PhD thesis. Analysis of a point near the optic lobe of the skull of this grain gave an age of 508 +/- 5 Ma for this grain, which is in good agreement with the main Cambrian metamorphism within Tasmania.

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