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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cherry Blossom Stones : I Knew I Muscovite Away

     Cherry blossom stones (or "pinite") are a complicated group of six cordeirite crystals surrounding a central indialite crystal which have all then been replaced by muscovite in a second metamorphic event. I knew I muscovite about them after reading about them for the first time today.



      The structure of the stones is shown in this illustration (please forgive the 'intergorth' typo:




     The dumbbell structure including the central indialite crystal creates these intriguing stones which are not fossils:



      The type locality is near Kyoto, Japan, of all perfect prefecture places. And these stones are found in a hornfels (metamorphosed shale or mudstone) matrix. 




     So much change in temperature and pressure in those metamorphic rocks to create these delicate hexagonal structures! The end result are muscovite replacement crystals of these cordeirite-indialite crystals all on the hornfels rock.

        Chemically, indialite is a magnesium aluminosilicate mineral (Mg2Al4Si5O18).  Cordierite is an iron magnesium aluminosilicate mineral ((Fe,Mg)2Al4Si5O18).



      
      Have you heard of cherry blossom stones before? Does the complex interrelationship of the host rock, original crystal structure of two different minerals then replaced by another mineral in a hexagonal structure make you say "Wow?!"

Whoa. Wow,

Steph

New canine mountain friends on a perfect Colorado Day:






        We said our Colorado au revoirs this weekend. . . ZOË is Addis Ababa bound, home-made injera sourdough flat bread in hand ;-). A most excellent adventure until September, 2017; Colorado peeps will miss you! Excited to hear about your grand adventure!



      


39 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Paul, have you heard/read "I swan." as an equivalent to "I do declare?"

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    2. Well, I may chicken (this week especially), but I have not "I swanned" before.

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    3. I think it would be great to have marital vows add the "declare" to say "I do declare! ;-)

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    4. All I can think of is Jon Stewart channeling Lindsey Graham.

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  2. I thought muscovites were from Russia, not Japan?

    And I believe that cherry blossoms have a 5-lobed shape, not 6-lobed like your stones. But I can see the resemblance.

    Cherry blossoms have deep symbolic meaning for the Japanese, and especially in Imperial Japan in the 1930s were associated with militarism (they bloom together all at once, and die quickly), and later with their kamikaze aircraft. Note the stylized (5-sided) cherry blossom on this Ohka (cherry blossom) piloted bomb.

    We often visit beautiful Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ, in early May when the cherries are in bloom. There's a cherry tree at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, that was a gift from the Japanese government about 100 years ago. But I think it's overshadowed, symbolically, by the apple tree there that was grafted from the one that dropped an apple on Newton's head even longer ago.

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    1. Jan, I am glad you brought up the 5- vs 6-petal issue with the real blooms vs. the minerals. I was thinking about nature and Fibonacci and the 5-sided bloom being better for optimum sunlight. Minerals, of course, don't have to be concerned about sunlight. It's interesting how many six-sided minerals there are. . .not to mention your Geneva dtive (below).

      The blooms in NJ are beautiful. The bloom on the piloted bomb just seems wrong though.

      Does the grafted apple produce apples? Do they, indeed, fall down? ;-)

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    2. Oh, and I did not mean to be Russian past your muscovite point, jan.

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    3. It's been a long time since I've seen the Newton apple tree there. I believe it did bear fruit at one time.

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    4. Why would 5-sided blooms be better for sunlight? Besides, the petals don't do photosynthesis significantly; they're there to attract pollinators. It's the leaves that care about sunlight.

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  3. What do you get when you cross last week's square wheels and catenaries with this week's 6-lobed cherry blossom shaped stones? Today's Wikipedia featured picture, of a Geneva drive. I can watch that clever mechanism for much longer than seems healthy.

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  4. "The bloom on the piloted bomb just seems wrong though." Yes, as does Enola Gay seem wrong, named after a... MOTHER!

    Six > Five.
    Yes Five is a member of the estimable Fibonacci Sequence. But Six circles perfectly surround a circle of identical radius. Six is the first perfect number. There is something about Six.

    Hexagonal cherry blossoms rule.

    LegoHexGetsABadRap

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    1. Yes, Lego6, putting a hex on you with a perfect number is getting a bad rap.

      Perfectly possible?

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  5. I'm learning something new about geology today - those rocks are awesome! --Margaret G.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Margaret G.!

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  6. New photo of Maizie canine friends in the mountains added above. :-)

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    Replies
    1. That bandana troubles me. Please tell me Maizie's not hanging out with gangstas.

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    2. Maizie has a wild side. . .

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  7. Pluto's moons dance like me. "It's just a bizarre, bizarre thing to see."

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    Replies
    1. Ha! Never saw a watermelon move like that before. . .;-)

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    2. I expected a chick to pop its head out at any moment!

      LegoPlutoPoultyPlucker

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  8. Amateur civil engineering update: after this week's rains, the washboarding of the dirt road I complained about a couple of weeks ago is much less pronounced. This effect was noted in several of the references cited previously, but I don't think it was explained. Does the cohesiveness of wet sand and gravel prevent ridge formation, or does water act as a lubricant, unlocking locked grains that support ridges?

    Anyway, the TURTLE X-ING signs are up again in the Great Swamp, and, apparently, our reptiles are literate, because I did see several crossing the roads. But what they've got in book smarts, they lack in street smarts, IMHO. I saw several females scooping out depressions in the dirt at the side of the road to lay their eggs. This seems awfully maladaptive, setting up their young to become roadkill if they make the wrong choice of initial direction. (They can't be born knowing how to read, can they?) Any ideas why they do this? (And don't say it's because the asphalt is too tough to scoop out.)

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  9. As to the washboard effect, I go for water acting as a lubricant unlocking the grains.

    As to turtles building on the edge of roads, it must be those turtles who shoulder a lot of responsibility toward their young. . .

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  10. Replies
    1. For the sheer perversity of it, I googled 'bees talking about chicken', garnering that and this.

      Honey chicken / chicken homey? That's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard.

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    2. Don't worry, bee happy.

      Easy for you to say.

      Bittersweet farewell to my daring daughter! She's off on her grand Ethiopian adventure and has said her au revoirs to Colorado.

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  11. Replies
    1. Engineering can, indeed, be glamorous! Great program, jan. Thanks.

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  12. Two recent writing-related remembrances: Zapf and Musetto,

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    1. Enjoyed these two elite remembrances, jan. Thanks. Blogger was/is giving me fits yesterday/today at PEOTS. Looking toward a post this evening if the planets/asteroids/space dust aligns ;-).

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  13. New post on "Trilobite Bottoms: Molting, Molting, Molting" is up now!

    Enjoy!

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