Help! I Have to Teach Rock and Mineral Identification and I’m Not a Geologist!

Have you ever had this thought? “Help! I have to teach rock and mineral identification and I’m not a geologist.” Identifying rocks and minerals is difficult. Even the most experienced geologists are stumped sometimes (often when an elementary student hands you a random rock they found on the playground and want to know what it is on the spot!). Minerals can have many colors and shapes while rocks sometimes just look alike.

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.

Rock & Mineral Books that I Love

I get a lot of questions here at Mini Me Geology about rock and mineral books. While I write all of our books about the identification of rocks and minerals, one book that I will not attempt is a compilation of every rock and mineral type known. Why? Because there are so many fabulous books already out there. I have several sitting on my bookshelf that I truly love so here is my list just in case you want to add to your own rock and mineral book library.

Ask-a-Geologist Video #11: Why do pumice and scoria have holes and granite does not?

Hi everyone, today we have another great ask-a-geologist question from one of our fabulous readers. Peter wrote to us and asked: Granite, pumice, and scoria are igneous rocks, but why doesn’t granite have airholes, but the other two do?

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?

Tracy Barnhart of Mini Me Geology Interviewed on Lowcountry Live

A few weeks ago, I did an interview on Lowcountry Live, a local television show in Charleston, SC.  I really appreciate Lowcountry Live having me on the show!  Check out the video here: