Rocks and Minerals

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Christian is interested in Tasmania. Below are some photos from my collection taken in 1988...

Natural Beauty to Discover

 Coastline

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Caves

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Beaches

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Wateralls

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Hiking

A famous hike in Tasmania follows the Overland Track. Starting at Cradle Mountain, you head across mountain and valley until you reach Lake St. Clair. Catching a boat across the lake, you then make your way home. You can go with a group of friends or join a walking tour but allow about six days and make certain you're fit. 🙂

Cradle Mountain and the start of your journey.

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Location: Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia

Lake St.Clair

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Location: Lake St. CLair, Tasmania, Australia

For details about the Overland Hiking Tours... Cradle Mountain Huts Tour details

 

Mining and Logging

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Location: Queenstown, Tasmania, Australia

These are the hills around the town of Queenstown. Mining and smelting of copper had eventually killed the trees on the mountains. The town is proud of its mining past but mining ended in 1994. Tourism is now a big money earner for the community. With the rebuilding of the old mining railway, the West Coast Wilderness Railway offers a wonderful scenic ride across the mountains to Strahan (pronounced "strawn") where tourists can ride boats along the beautiful Gordon River (pictured below).

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Location: Gordon River, Tasmania, Australia

Then There Are the Animals

Bennetts Wallaby

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Location: Lake St. CLair, Tasmania, Australia

Cape Barren Geese

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Location: Lake St. CLair, Tasmania, Australia

Some of the Tasmanian animals in a museum display

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Aboriginal Heritage

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The picture is a museum display showing the type of shelters used by Tasmanian Aborigines. The animal you see is a Tasmanian devil. Unlike the Bugs Bunny Tassie, he is the size of a small dog. The devils are meat and carrion eaters and, like kangaroos, are marsupials, i.e. pouched animals.

There was once a vibrant Aboriginal culture in Tasmania but, with the coming of colonists, disease and official persecution brought an end to their language and much of their cultural heritage. It was one of Australia's saddest times in history. For more information on Aboriginal Tasmanians

Convict Past

The first Europeans to come to live in Tasmania were convicts sent by England. They have left behind the remains of their occupation at places such as Port Arthur and in bridges and buildings around Tasmania.

Port Arthur

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Location: Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia

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Location: Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia

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Location: Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia

Convict built bridge at Richmond

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Location: Richmond, Tasmania, Australia

Convict built bridge at Ross.

I wonder if your can work out why I like the name of this town? 🙂

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Location: Ross, Tasmania, Australia

 

Tasmania lies about as far south of the equator as Iowa is north of the equator.

B4, as part of their collaborative project, "Our World, Our Numbers" posted an image of Pancake Rocks and suggested other landmarks in New Zealand. Bradley responded to my comment. To see their original post...

New Zealand Landmarks

Dear Bradley,

In a way I did see a dinosaur at Pancake Rocks but only when watching a documentary on dinosaurs.

In 2000, BBC Worldwide Ltd. released a twin DVD set named, “Walking With Dinosaurs”. Wanting a scene for the great southern land at the time of the dinosaurs, they chose New Zealand. An ornithocheirus appeared on the rocks care of computer animation. The scene appears in “Episode 4 – Giants of the Skies”.

I have found the episode on You Tube. You should ask your teacher before viewing it to make certain you have permission. I think you will quickly recognise Pancake Rocks. 🙂

This video is not mine and should not be copied. This is only a link to a BBC You Tube video.

In reality, the dinosaurs were long gone before Pancake Rocks started to form.

You live in an amazing country, Bradley. There are so many landmarks to see. I'll share my photos of some of my favourite places in New Zealand. I think you'll know some of them.

The South Island

Pancake Rocks is also one of my favourites.

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Living on the east coast of Australia, I had seen sunrise over the ocean but my first ocean sunset was seen at Geymouth.

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Climbing on Franz Joseph Glacier was a real experience.

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Cruising on board the TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu.

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Riding on board the Kingston Flyer.

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Visiting Milford Sound.

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Walking the valley towards Mt. Cook.

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and on the North Island

Looking across Lake Taupo to the snow-capped volcanoes of Tongariro National Park.

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Visiting the Whakarewarewa thermal area and seeing the Pohutu Geyser.

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Walking down Waimangu Valley thermal area and seeing steaming cliffs and hot water streams.

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Exploring the volcanic crater of Mt. Tarawera. The arrow is pointing to some people on the far rim. Can you see them?

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@RossMannell

1 Comment

for Global Grade 3's original post...

The POWER of a FLATTENED Classroom

*Recently I have been adding "Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes." under my photos and graphics so schools can use them without worrying about copyright if they find them useful. If you see the message below photos, graphics, audio or video, you will know it is okay to use on your school blogs or class projects.

Hello Global Grade 3,

What a wonderful surprise to be honoured by your class in this way. It’s hard to believe my blogging adventures started only early in 2011. At that time I wouldn't have imagined how much blogging would become a part of my life or how many classes I would visit through blogging. Like many things in life, I saw something interesting and tried it out.

Zubayda – The sample of iron sand came from a place in New Zealand’s North Island known as Awakino. The Awakino River enters the Tasman Sea at this point. The heavy iron sands were washed down the river from volcanic areas upstream.  I was able to check slides from a visit to Awakino in 1983 and found a slide of the beach with the iron sands. Below is  can of the old slide. In summer, the beach is too hot to walk on so people walk along a small stream to get to the water’s edge.

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Tre – The DVD was to show the sort of thing I make for schools and community groups. Almost every child in the school appeared in their production. I thought it might be fun for you to hear the Aussie accent and see the Aussie kids perform. For many years I used the iron sands when my classes were looking at magnetism. Because the sands don’t seem to rust, I was able to use them many times.

 

Cemre – I have been able to hold a real koala and have photographed and videoed them many times. They are cute looking but are only awake two or three hours a day. Below is a photo I took of Suzie. She lives at Potoroo Palace, an animal refuge near my home.

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Nick – The pahoehoe is interesting. It crumbles into sand but, unlike the New Zealand sand, isn’t rich in iron. Did you know there are different types of lava?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lava

Dimitrios – The Australian flag has three major parts to it. The Union Jack is in the top left hand corner and shows our link with the United Kingdom. The five smaller stars on the right are known as the Southern Cross (or Crux to astronomers). While it can be seen in the northern hemisphere at some time in the year, it’s always in our night sky. I can use it to find south at night. The large star under the Union Jack is known as the Commonwealth Star. It has 7 points, one for each state and one for the Australian territories.

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Constantine – When you look at flowing lava, you can tell what type it is by how it moves along. The pahoehoe moves along almost like thick honey whereas the a’a’ seems to be chunky and harder.

Jayden – I know how much fun it can be to receive a surprise package. The mystery of what it contains can be exciting.

Chris – The scree was an unusual find in a way. After finishing my tour into the crater, I found many pieces had been caught in my clothing. The way in to the Mt. Tarawera crater is a very steep scree slope. Each step I took in the deep scree was well over a metre long as I made my way down. This meant I didn’t really have to collect it, it caught a ride with me. The iron sand was from New Zealand. The black pahoehoe and a’a’ were from Hawaii. The photo below is already on this blog but I thought I would repeat it. The arrow points to people on the crater rim. You can see a break in the rim to the right of the people where people start down. About half way down the scree slope you can see a trail start. It's a great experience going down the very steep slope. With the deep scree, it's not very likely you would lose you footing but it would be a very long way to roll to the bottom.

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AJ – How many rocks? That would be hard as I have from tiny gemstones to a large and heavy lead/zinc sample. I suppose there might be between one and two hundred samples. The Australian and Canadian dollar are almost in parity (the same value) when I just checked.  $A1.00 = $C1.03 The a’a’ and pahoehoe came from the same area of what Hawaiians call The Big Island. The Big Island is really Hawaii but the whole island chain has taken the name. The samples came Kilaeua lava flows. I don’t have very much of either. Your samples were the third I have sent out, one to England, one to Wales and one to you. You will see the name of the iron sand beach in Zubayda’s reply.

Davis – The small school in the DVD ended up buying around 60 copies of the disks. The money I take in helps me make more for others. I don’t make a profit by what I do but I have to charge for some otherwise I couldn’t afford to make them. The project I am doing for a choir now involves a special DVD for girls in a dance school and a DVD and 2 CDs for the choir. The girls pay $5 for their DVD and the choir gets the DVD and 2CDs for $10.

My favourite? I have recordings I’ve made in schools back to 1982. Each holds a special place in my memory but my favourites are probably the big shows involving 15 schools. There are so many talented students and teachers around.

Obsidian is also known as volcanic glass. Magma with high amounts of silica (also in sand) can form obsidian if it cools quickly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsidian

Christopher – There have been many special designs of the Australian dollar but the basic design, and my favourite, is the kangaroo dollar. I agree, sulphur is interesting and easy to find in volcanic areas. It is one of the three major ingredients in making gunpowder. I like sulphur crystals but they need to be protected if they are to keep their shine. My crystal sample was gather, with permission of the owners, from a volcanic area near Rotorua. Rotorua has the smell of sulphur everywhere.

Chelsea – You probably already know the Canadian flag also once had the Union Jack on it before it became what it is today. It wouldn’t surprise me if one day Australia takes a new design. There are many people with suggested designs often including kangaroos and/or stars. What I have always found strange is out $1 coin is bigger than our $2 coin. It always seemed the $2 should have been the bigger.

Rayann – How long to make a movie? I haven’t really kept record of how long it can take but, to give you and example, it has taken me about 8 hours just to design the titles at the beginning and credits at the end for the latest DVD project and more to do the same for the two CDs. There are many other tasks involved but, as a rough guess, my latest project might take around 40 to 50 hours before I make a master DVD for copying.

In my reply to Zubayda, I have shown a picture of the iron sand beach at Awakino in New Zealand.

In my reply to Dimitrios, I discuss the Australian flag.

James – One interesting thing many don’t seem to know is Australia only became a nation in 1901. Before that there were British colonies under the names we now call our states. The states voted to form a commonwealth under the name Australia. The original 1901 flag had only a six pointed star. Our current flag didn't become official until 1934.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_flag

Joyce – The schools DVD was fun to make. They only phoned me the day before to ask if I could film their play as parents had asked for a copy after their first night. The next day I was there checking out the hall and setting up cameras. They didn’t use microphones so the sound was only from the cameras therefore the baby noises.

What was interesting about the box for me is they were all amongst my favourite things. I have a number of glove puppets I’ve used in class, many rock samples, some flags, 30 years of school videos and I have always liked the kangaroo $1.

Ben – Until we can send objects to people on line, we’ll always need snail mail to send gifts. I always enjoy making the DVDs. My most successful can sell around 200 copies but I also give some away for free just because I enjoy making them. Schools know I charge them nothing for small projects. Schools always get a free copy of anything I make for them.

Danny – I probably started collecting rocks when I was your age. I have always been interested in science so geology was just one subject area I explored. My science degree was really in zoology and psychology but I also studied some maths, botany and chemistry at university. I didn't have time to study geology and physics.

The obsidian was bought from a rock shop in New Zealand. I wasn’t able to find any in areas where you are allowed to take samples so rock shops are a great source of interesting ricks and fossils.

Lauren – The school on the DVD is in a small coastal town. It has a beautiful beach, small boat launching inlet, some rugged coastline and is between two national parks with beautiful scenery. I holidayed there as a child as did my mother when she was a girl and my grandfather when he was a boy. My mother’s side of my family has been in this area since 1847. The photo below is taken from a wharf and shows Tathra Beach in the background.

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Ella – The koala puppet was bought in a local shop. I have another type of koala in my collection as well as a platypus, kookaburra, and cockatoo plus some non-Australian animals. My favourite local animal refuge has three koalas. I was able to film the first time Suzie’s baby poked its head out of Suzie’s pouch. They also sell Australian animal glove puppets.

Elijah – It wouldn’t be a good idea to use a’a’ as soap as it would be a little too scratchy, There is a volcanic stone I wasn’t able to send that can be used but not as soap. Pumice is a light volcanic stone. When superheated rock is thrown out and cools quickly, bubbles can form. Because of these many small bubbles, pumice is able to float in water. People can use it to rub calluses off their skin. I am out of samples at the moment or I would have included some.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumice

Rebecca – When called in to film shows, I often don’t know what is going to happen. For the show in the DVD, I had no idea what would happen. I found it fun to watch. The only catch is I can be standing in the same spot for two hours while filming to make sure everything records well. Only when I edit the film on this computer do I have the chance to watch each act and cut out the bloopers or times when nothing is happening.

Tyler – Videoing in schools has been a part of my life since 1982. All the old videotapes are now on DVD so I have 30 years of school history recorded on them. Looking at the 1982 video, it can be hard to believe cute little 5 year old Nathan and Jenny would now be 35 years old. There are many memories stored in my DVDs, slides, negatives and photos. I hope to eventually have all stored on computers so they won’t be lost. J

For the class…

Do YOU know the significance of the six stars on the Australian flag? What do the symbols on YOUR flag represent?

(My reply for Dimitrios)  The Australian flag has three major parts to it. The Union Jack is in the top left hand corner and shows our link with the United Kingdom. The five smaller stars on the right are known as the Southern Cross (or Crux to astronomers). While it can be seen in the northern hemisphere at some time in the year, it’s always in our night sky. I can use it to find south at night. The large star under the Union Jack is known as the Commonwealth Star. It has 7 points, one for each state and one for the Australian territories.

Do you have a national bird, or flower or animal?

Australia

Flower – Golden Wattle

I didn't have a photo of the golden wattle in my collection but here is a photo of a similar wattle.

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Bird – emu

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Mammal – kangaroo

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The three emblems appear of Australia’s Coat of Arms.

This is not my graphic. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

As well as national emblems, each state has its own emblems.

Floral emblems of Australia…

http://www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/emblemsAust.htm

Animal emblems of Australia…

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/australias-animals-emblems.htm

Bird emblems of Australia…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Australian_bird_emblems

Do you have a favourite rock, mineral or fossil sample in YOUR collection? What makes it your favourite?

My favourite is crystal pyrite. It has the colour of gold and is also known as fool’s gold. It is much prettier than gold although worth very little. It’s easy to tell the difference. Hit a sample with a stone. If it flattens, it’s gold. If it shatters into little pieces, it’s pyrite.

Pyrite is iron sulphide. Here is a sample from my collection. It comes from Northern Territory in Australia. I have seen very beautiful examples from Italy. It measures 6cm across and weighs 250g.

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Pyrite is often found mixed in with other minerals. Below is a photo of lead/zinc ore from Tasmania. You can see the golden coloured pyrite at the top of the sample. The sample weighs 2500g mainly because of its lead content.

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@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

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To see Global Grade 3's original post and the comments relating to this post, click below...

Global Grade 3

Hello Global Grade 3,

Looking through some old 35mm slides, I found some interesting ones I had taken years ago. I decided to start scanning them. You are the first with whom I have shared these photos since they were taken.

The volcanoes in New Zealand tend to normally be more ash volcanoes than lava volcanoes. I have seen magma thrown out in photos but I am not aware of any recent lava flows.

Mt. Tarawera is a popular tourist attraction. You can hike up its slopes or go on a four-wheel drive tour. I have taken the easy way up twice now. Once on the rim, you have to hike and climb (not hard) along a trail to the far side of the main crater before going down a steep scree slope to the bottom of the crater. I made the walk with a video camera and tripod plus a 35mm camera in hand. You can see two craters along the walk. The main tourist accessible crater you can see in this extended comment…

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/05/23/samples-scree-obsidian-samples/

The other crater is to the south of the trail and is shown below.

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Tourists aren’t allowed in that one. You need to be experienced rock climbers due to the dangerous slopes. Below is another slide I scanned with the first. It shows sulphur (sulfur) crystals and was taken near an active vent. Sulphur crystals break down when exposed to water but near a vent, they are kept warm and dry and keep their crystal shine. I have a sample of sulphur crystals in my collection. It has spent 20 years in a clear perspex water-tight container so it keeps its shine.

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In 1996, I was able to travel to Hawaii when my brother won a trip. We also flew down to The Big Island (the real island of Hawaii). I took a chance to take a helicopter ride over the very active Kilaeua volcano.

 

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In the photo below, we can see gases escaping from a fumarole on the side of Kilaeua. We were able to fly nearby and peer down to see lava flowing below.

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At this point the lava was flowing below ground through lava tubes. These underground lava tunnels are formed when lava cools at the surface but stays liquid inside the tube. When the lava flow stops, long tubes are left. Below is a photo of an old lava tube now with access for tourists.

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When the lava flows out of the tube and into the sea, the seawater boils and steam rises. In the photo below, you can see steam rising as lava hits the water. Look carefully and you can see the yellow glow of the lava as it emerges from tubes at the water's edge near the centre top of the photo.

Have you ever wondered what happens to trees when lava flows above the ground and around trees? In the aerial photo below, you can see finger-like structures jutting above the ground. Lava had surrounded trees. The trees had burned away and hollow tubes were left to mark where trees had been.

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There are walks on Kilaeua. The photo below was taken on a walk. It shows a large caldera. Calderas are formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption. Can you imagine it once being filled with hot glowing, bubbling magma?

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Now for some new photos I took today to show other volcano associated rocks from my collection. As lava cools, flows might crack or gases may be caught inside the cooled lava both leaving spaces. In time water carrying dissolved minerals can seep into the spaces, the water leaving the minerals behind as it evaporated. Here are some photos of what can result. These are photos of thunder eggs and geodes. While not all geodes (a geode is a rock with a space in it) are formed in association with volcanoes, these were.

The first photos show agate and quartz crystals, both forms of silicon dioxide (SiO2)...

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The next one is a favourite. It is only about 10cm (4") across and shows amethyst crystals inside. Amethyst is a form of quartz.

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Now one last photo I had taken along a highway about eleven kilometres (about 7 miles) from my home. It is a rock cutting.

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Look at the coloured layers of rock. My area was, millions of years ago, a place with a number of volcanoes. Now imagine a massive volcanic eruption from beneath shattering these layers of rocks into small pieces (scree also known as talus). You can see why scree can have many colours. Scree is not only found in and around volcanoes like Mt. Tarawera, it can be found anywhere where small fragments of rock break away from larger rocks such as cliffs and mountains.

Isn’t geology interesting?  I hope you enjoyed looking at this collection of photos. 🙂

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

 

4 Comments

Hello Year 4,

My classes always enjoyed “Fun with Magnets”, that’s what I called our look into magnetism when I had a class.

I can see by your worksheets in the photos, you had to choose objects, decide what material was in the object, predict what might happen then record your results. This is pretty much the way scientists carry out experiments.

Did you notice not all metals were attracted to magnets?

You tend to find metals must be ferrous (containing iron) to work. I suppose that would mean, if you were to include very small metals filaments (string) into paper, then paper would be picked up by magnets. J

At one school I ran a Double Helix Science Club for children interested in science. Each week we would have a different science activity or experiment to carry out. Here are a few of the activities from the Science Club book I had written. You can click on an image to enlarge it.

 

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Schools and students have permission to print and use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to print and use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to print and use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Enjoy science, it will help you discover the world around you.

@Ross Mannell

I had intended adding video of my helicopter ride over Hawaii. It showed lava flowing into the ocean as well as a view into a caldera at the lava below. Having had my trasnfer device break down, I though I would add some You Tube links of volcanic activity if it's okay for you all to view....

National Geographic also has a short video of their favourite photos of volcanic activity. There is an ad at the beginning.

I hope you all have had fun learning about volcanoes.

 

 

Just a reminder, I am not a volcanologist just a geology hobbiest. I try to get my information correct but you can let me know if you find any errors. 🙂

In the last post, I looked at hot spots. New Zealand's active thermal areas are different to Hawaii. New Zealand lies on the fault line caused by the interaction of the Australian and Pacific plates.

Wikipedia has information on plate tectonics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_tectonics

Look at the image below from Google Earth or find New Zealand if you have now installed Google Earth. You can see the fault line to the south-west of New Zealand (bottom left corner). It runs across the South Island of New Zealand then off to the north-east.

Tension can build up as the plates move. When the tension is suddenly released, you get earthquakes. Near fault lines, you can find volcanoes and thermal areas such as in the North Island of New Zealand.

Below is an old image of Mt Ngauruhoe erupting well before you were all born. I think it was in the early 70s but I don't remember when. Mt Ngauruhoe is what I would call a classic volcanic cone shape and is really a part of the Mt Tongariro volcanic complex.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngauruhoe

Mt Ngauruhoe is to be found in the Mt Tongariro National Park on the North Island of New Zealand. Mt Tongariro is volcanic complex including Mt Ngauruhoe. Below is a Google Earth image of the national park.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tongariro

In 1995, I had been in Invercargill at the south end of New Zealand's South Island when I heard Mt Ruapehu (in the Tongariro National Park) was erupting. I wasn't able to book a flight north for a few days because of the dangers the erupting volcanic ash posed for planes. I caught one of the first flights north and went to pick up a rental car. I had to dust off the volcanic ash which had settled on the car before heading to the volcano.

On arriving at the national park, I wasn't able to travel too close but was on the lower slopes. It had settled down and was smoking constantly. I took some photos and video clips before leaving. Two days later I heard one person had managed to sneak through the police lines so he could stand on the rim of the volcano to watch the smoking crater. On arriving back down, the man was arrested. Later that day the volcano again became very active. An explosion destroyed the ledge the man had been on. Volcanoes are very dangerous when they are erupting. I always keep my distance when the warnings are out.

Below are two video clips I took on the day. The first is the original footage taken some kilometres from the volcano. The second has been accelerated to show the escaping smoke and ash.

PLEASE NOTE: The video clips in this post were taken when home video cameras were reasonably new. The quality is poor due to the early camera and the low quality Quicktime movies made back then.

This 2nd clip is only a few frames long. Once loaded keep clicking on play to see the movement not easy to see in the first video above. From a distance you can't always see much happening.

 

 

Rotorua and Its Thermal Sites

One of the most popular ares of the North Island of New Zealand is Rotorua. There are numerous thermal areas to visit as well as the nearby Mt Tarawera I mentioned in an earlier post. Here are a few photos.

Pohutu Geyser photos, Whakarewarewa

 

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

 

A video clip of the Lady Knox Geyser near Rotorua

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Hot Mud Pools, Whakarewarewa

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A video clip of the boiling mud

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Thermal Water Pools (hot enough to boil an egg), Whakarewarewa

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Boiling Water Pool (Orakei Korako south of Rotorua)

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Whakarewarewa is a major tourist attraction in Rotorua. It is owned and run by the Maori people. As well as the thermal areas, there is a cultural centre where students learn the art of wood carving. Here are two carvings in my collection.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

For a Wiki link to Whakarewarewa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whakarewarewa

Te Wairoa

The Buried village of Te Wairoa is near Rotorua. It lies to the west of Mt Tarawera near the shores of Lake Tarawera. You might remember I mentioned the 1886 eruption that made the scree sample I sent you.

The village was traditional Maori. On the morning of June 10, 1886, the people of the village were woken by the eruptiing Mt Tarawera. Ash and rock was thrown up into the air by the massive explosion. As the ash fell back to earth, the nearby village was covered. 120 people lost their lives in the eruption, many of them from this village. Below is one of the unearthed structures. Archeologists have uncovered a number of the structures of the village.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The picture below is a scan of a coloured slide I took a number of years ago. The quality isn't brilliant but it wlll hekp me give you a little more information.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The east coast of the island of Oahu, Hawaii gives you an idea of how rugged volcanic coasts can be. Many locations in Hawaii have been used in movies and television shows. "Lost" and "Jurassic Park", for example, made use of Hawaii's rugged and beautiful locations.

The Hawaiian islands are located over what is known as a hotspot*. Over millions of years, the movement of the crust has caused volcanoes to appear in a chain. Look at the Google Earth image below. Stretching away to the north-west, you can see the chain of submerged islands that may once have been above the water. Google Earth allows you to see these. It's a great way of looking for geological features on a large scale. Have you already loaded it so you can zoom in?

The hotspot is still very active. A large new volcano is already growing beneath the ocean to the south of Hawaii and will most likely one day be seen above the ocean surface. We have a very active world beneath us.

Link for hotspot:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotspot_%28geology%29

Want Google Earth... go to:

http://www.google.com/earth/index.html

 

Hello Year 6,

This post is to give a little information about the last two of six samples you should soon have.

Iron Sands

The small iron sand sample I've sent came from a riverside beach on the North Island of New Zealand at a place called Awakino. You can use Google Earth to locate the river mouth in the photo below.

Iron sands (or titanomagnetite) were eroded from volcanic rocks and washed down rivers. The sands can vary in iron content but at Awakino are 95+% iron. The sand is very easily picked up by magnets but is hard to get all of it off again so if you try to pick the sand up with a magnet, wrap the magnet in paper to make it easy.

Iron sands are mined in places because of their high iron content. The site below gives some more information...

http://www.ttrl.co.nz/cms.aspx?page=What_are_Iron_Sands&flag=1

The picture below has been scanned from a slide taken over 25 years ago on one of my trips to see New Zealand's sights and especially the volcanic areas of the North Island.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Pumice Stone

Pumice is a 'frothy' lava formed when super-heated lava under high pressure mixes with water such as in underwater volcanic eruptions. When the lava is released, the sudden change in pressure and rapid cooling form gases in the cooling rock. The pumice stone is very light and can float on water.

I think the pumice stone I have sent you came from an underwater eruption near Tonga in about 1984. Huge rafts of the pumice floated towards Fiji, some even making it to the shores of Australia where I found the sample on a beach.

For more information on pumice, the Wikipedia link below may help

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumice

Remember you can check out Tonga and Fiji using Google Earth. The image below shows Fiji and Tonga. You can see Tonga is really the tops of peaks in an underwater mountain range. You can use Google Earth to view other areas. Try places such as Hawaii's Big Island, Yellowstone National Park in USA, Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius, Iceland, Mount Kilamanjaro and any other volcanoes or thermal areas of interest. Google Earth can almost take you inside.

 

In this post, I'm going to show you some photos taken of an active volcanic area on The Big Island of Hawaii. The island is the real Hawaii but, as most people think of all the isalnds as Hawaii, they tend to call it The Big Island.

Here is a link to information about The Big Island...

http://www.gohawaii.com/big-island/regions-neighborhoods/kau/hawaii-volcanoes...

The photos below were taken of lava flows on Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes. Tourists aren't allowed to get too close to lava flows because of the danger so these came care of a friend. I will later post some taken by me from the safety of a helicopter above a caldera*.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caldera

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These photos show pahoehoe lava flows. Being cooler, the darker colour flows ooze out of the lava tubes like honey from a tipped jar.

 

The following two photos were taken from a helicopter. As the flowing lava hits the sea water, clouds of steam are formed as the water boils. The constant flow of lava adds to The Big Island.

Below is a Google Earth image of Hawaii. If you download Google Earth to your computer you can zoom in on Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and Kilauea volcanoes.

Hello Year 6,

The small samples of scree and obsidian are from New Zealand's volcanic areas on the North Island.

I am not sure exactly where the obsidian came from but I know it can be found in the crater although people aren't permitted to collect it there. I have seen samples in the crater. The piece I have and the small sample I've sent were bought at a rock shop.

The scree sample is from the crater and is an accidental collection example. When in Rotorua, New Zealand, you can book to go on a tour of the crater. You are driven up to the crater edge by 4WD cars before hiking up along the crater rim then  making a steep descent through scree to the bottom of the crater.

When I say a quick descent, you follow a steep track over the crater rim then make large strides in the scree. Each step seems to be over a metre in length as you move along.Care has to be taken as it is a long way to roll to the bottom if you fall.

On arriving back after the trip, I found many bits of scree had been caught in clothing and boots. They became my collection of scree.

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Obsidian - volcanic glass -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsidian

Scree - or talus, is broken rock fragments. The scree in the crater was made when the Mt Tarawera erupted in 1886 -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scree

Mt Tarawera, New Zealand -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tarawera

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A great way to view volcanoes is to use Google Earth. The satellite images can let you look down craters.

Here is a link to Google Earth. You would need to download it.

http://www.google.com/earth/index.html

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Image 1: A screen capture of Google Earth viewing Mt Tarawera, New Zealand.

If you load the full sized image, you can see a rectangle drawn on the screen shot of Mt Tarawera. The rectangle roughly shows you where the next photo shows, inside the crater.

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Image 2: A photo I took when I was on a tour into the crater of Mt Tarawera. I was standing on the eastern rim of the crater and was looking west. The arrow points to a group of people on the far side. They are about to make their way into the crater. Their size can give you an idea of how large that part of the crater really is. You can make out the track. It's quite an experience.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I have organised a few family trips to New Zealand for families in schools where I've taught. The thermal areas and volcanoes are wonderful.When I took this photo, I had some students with me. They were worried the volcano might erupt while we were in it. At that time, the volcano had erupted just over 110 years before.

I smiled and said, "It erupts about every 110 years so we're safe.... Wait a minute, it's due now."

The boys I was talking to knew me well, "Sure," they said with a smile.

1 Comment

Hello Year 6, High Lawn.

I have a package ready to send to you on the next mail. It should arrive by the end of next week (September 30) if all goes well. The package contains six small samples I've collected over a number of years.

This initial post on this blog is to let you know a little about what is arriving. I will make more posts with greater details as I get time. At first, the posts will let you know what each sample is, how and where I collected it and a little bit about the place I collected it.

Later posts will include photos and video clips I've taken in and around volcanic areas in New Zealand and Hawaii (the Big Island). I'll also try to add links to sites or video clips that may be of use or show what I am posting.

I hope you like the samples. The photos were taken on a grid where each square is 1cm by 1cm so you can see the sizes.

 

Scree from New Zealand. I collected this almost accidentally while making my way down to the bottom of a volcano crater.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Obsidian or volcanic glass. Again, this sample is from New Zealand. It also came from a volcanic crater although this was part of a piece I had bought.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Iron sands. I collected this from a beach on the North Island of New Zealand. there, the beach is black with sand almost 100% pure iron. It can be picked up by a magnet. Despite being iron and in salty water, it doesn't rust and is much better to use than iron filings when playing with magnets.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Pumice. This is a very light rock which, if I remember correctly, came from a volcano under the ocean near Fiji. Large amounts in the underwater eruption floated to Australia. I collected this from a beach. A number os on the back of it. This was just a spare numbered sample from my collection.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Pahoehoe is one of the types of lava from an Hawaiian volcano. Once cooled, it is the easiest to walk on. It breaks down into black sand.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

'a'a is the second type of lava coming from hawaii. It tends to have sharper edges and is harder than pahoehoe. I like to think it's named that because of the sound you make if you walk on it barefoot when it is cooled.

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I hope you like your little collection from the other side of the world. My home town here was once a volcanic region but this was many millions of years ago. I see many traces it was once active but the above samples are much more recent and from active volcanoes. More on this later.

Ross Mannell (teacher)

Australia