Explore a real-life cavern, see what it’s like to mine for gems. Find out how a real mine works, and discover why Manhattan can support all those high buildings—the rock strata of NYC and NYS.
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How do humans rely on minerals and rocks for the economy and where do they come from? MONDAY – DAY 1:
Sterling Hill Mine, NJ
Student Reflection – Luke, Sebastian, Matija, Jordan:
On Monday we went to the Sterling Hill Mine. First we took a tour of the museum and got to see where the miners worked. We went down into the mind and had a tour inside. On this trip we learned about different types of minerals and the daily lives of miners in the Sterling Hill Mine. the Sterling Hill Mine was originally created because of how much production of Zinc there was in the area. Zinc was very important, because it was used to make batteries, Sunscreen, galvanized steel, and even pennies! (From 1943, pennies are 95% zinc.)
This mine was also famous for its’ florescent minerals. Florescent minerals glow with bright colors under a black light. in this mine, there were 90 different types of minerals found.
During this trip we learned about the daily life of a miner and their jobs. All miners’ jobs were dangerous in some sort of way. First of all, being underground means no oxygen and production of a lot of carbon monoxide. So miners would carry small carbon dioxide tanks to breath, but since technology wasn’t that advanced, the air they breathed in could reach temperatures up to 350 degrees.
Mines also contained no natural light so miners would have small lamps they would carry with them as their source of light. Miners would charge their lamps in the lamp room. Miners also had tags to identify them. They would take their tags off a wall when their shift started, and put them back at the end of their shift. If any tags were missing they would know that someone was hurt or lost in the mine–then they would go look for them.
How do rocks from outer space and rocks from Earth compare and contrast?
What evidence in Central Park supports the theory that glaciers formed NYC?
Student Reflection – Central Park Glacial Striations – Sam, Daniel, Kenia, Tara
On Tuesday we went to Central Park to check out the glacier striations. Before we departed we had watched a 40 minute video about the geology of New York. Have you ever traveled to Manhattan and gone to Central Park, looked at the rocks and wondered how they got there? There was a time when a huge ice sheet covered New york. This ice sheet was 4 times larger than the Empire State Building, that moved boulders from New Jersey to New York. We also learned about erratic rocks. Erratic rocks are rocks that come from another place–they can come from a different state or other parts of the world. They get to a different location because the glaciers bring rocks and other materials with them as they move.
After learning this, we took the subway to Central Park. At the park we were taught how to use the compass. Then we were given a map of Central Park and we ventured out to measure the direction of the glacial striations on bedrocks.
How do caves form, and what will we find there?
Howe’s Cavern and Secret Cave Trip – Student Reflection: Constantina, Mariet and Norma –
In the caves we saw a lot of rock formations and other interesting things. For example, in the caves we saw stalactites, icicle-shaped formations that hang form the ceiling of the cave that are produced by precipitation of minerals from water dripping through the cracks in the ceiling. We also saw stalagmites, which are upward-growing mounds of minerals deposits. They are formed from the water dripping off the stalactites, which then accumulates and become mounds of mineral deposits on the cave floor. They usually have rounded or flattened tips and can only form under the stalactites. Flowstones are usually found in solution caves, which have limestone. They are composed of sheet-like deposits of calcite formed where water flows down the walls of the caves.
|The caverns were created by water. Underground streams eroded the limestone because it was slightly acidic. some parts of the cave were very narrow and had to be altered for people to pass through. They altered the caverns by drilling holes into the wall and placing dynamite into the holes. They also chipped the wall and added lights for us to be able to see. they added stairs for us to walk up and down. when the caves were first discovered, to explore it you had to be lowered down into a hole through the ceiling with a rope and had to bring your own flashlights. Before the walls were altered you had to crawl on your belly–it was very difficult to explore. The caves were also very dark, so they had to put lights in.
In the Secret Caverns we did a small experiment. We wanted to see if we could navigate through the cave in complete darkness. Since the cave ceiling was really low at times and it was pitch-black it was hard even when we were feeling the walls.
After the cave we got a bag of sand with different types of minerals and a sifter. We got the opportunity to try sifting for minerals like pyrite, garnet and calcite. Once we finished we got to keep the gemstones.
|Yaacov’s Nature group joined us for the Howe’s Cavern trip, and we joined them for the hike on Bear Mountain.|