Ask-a-Geologist #19: What gives amethyst that pretty purple color?

Lily wrote to us and asked about the mineral amethyst. Specifically, she wants to know what gives amethyst that beautiful purple color. In this video, we talk about why amethyst is purple, its relation to quartz and an interesting fact about how citrine fits into that mineral family.

Ask-a-Geologist Q&A Video #17: Can I Be a Geologist and How Do I Make My Dream Come True?

This week I am answering a question that I received from two readers, Alliondra and Alexandria. Their questions were so similar that I thought I would answer them together. They want to know:

Can I be a geologist some day and how can I make my dreams of becoming a geologist easier? In this video, I’ll tell you a little secret about how I came to be a geology major in college along with some tips on things you can do to prepare for college and your career.

Ask-a-Geologist Q&A #16: What types of rocks were changed by high temperature and high pressure?

Cory wrote to us and asked: What rocks are changed by high pressure and high temperature? Metamorphic rocks are the rocks that change either physically or chemically by heat and pressure. The term metamorphic comes from the Greek words “meta” which means change and “morph” which means form. Metamorphism is a solid state change meaning that the minerals within the rock recrystallize in response to heat, pressure and the chemical reaction with hot fluids without melting the original rock.

Ask-a-Geologist #15: What notes do I take when I find rocks and minerals?

Ellie wrote to us and asked what notes she should take when she finds rocks and minerals. Geologists use fancy notebooks with waterproof paper but a simple notebook and pen will work just fine. Watch this video to find out what notes to take and how to organize your notebook for your collection.

Ask-a-Geologist #14: What are the properties of the mineral calcite?

Sophia asked: what are the properties of calcite? I’m especially interested in its cleavage directions and fracture pattern.

Ask-a-Geologist #13: Do I need a geology degree to be a jewelry designer?

Hi everyone, my name is Tracy Barnhart and I am the professional geologist here at Mini Me Geology and I am back with another awesome question for you about geology careers.

Ask-a-Geologist Q&A Video #12: How do you clean streak plates?

Several of our readers have written to us and asked: How do you clean streak plates? In case you are not familiar with streak plates, they are little pieces of unglazed porcelain tile that you use to test the streak color of a mineral. There are black streak plates and white streak plates. You use the black plates for light-colored minerals and white plates for dark-colored minerals. To test the streak, you rub the mineral across the streak plate and see what color shows up on the plate. That is the streak or the color of the mineral in powdered form. When you do the test you need to rub hard on the streak plate because you are trying to crush part of the sample into a fine powder. Over time the plates will become dirty and you will want to clean them.

Ask-a-Geologist #10: What Are The Remains Of Once Living Organisms Found In Sedimentary Rocks?

Fossils are the remains or impressions of once living organisms that you can find in sedimentary rocks. There are two basic types of fossils that geologists and paleontologists talk about. These are body fossils and trace fossils. Body fossils are a real body part of an animal such as a dinosaur bone or a shark tooth. A trace fossil is something that shows evidence that something was there such as tracks, burrows, trails, molds, casts, and impressions.

Ask-A-Geologist Question #9: What grains are in conglomerate rocks?

Hi everyone! Today I’m here to answer another fabulous question from one of our readers. Today’s question is about the sedimentary rock conglomerate. Matthew asks: What grains are in conglomerate rocks?

Ask-A-Geologist #8: What is obsidian rock used for?

Hi everyone! Today I am back with another fabulous question from one of our readers. Today’s question is about obsidian. John asks: What is obsidian rock used for?