The language of the quarryman

At the same time that scientists were beginning to differentiate and name rock units, the quarrymen working deep in the mines underneath Wren’s Nest would have developed their own naming system for the rocks they encountered. Working by candlelight, their names would have been based on basic features and the look of the rock. Experienced [...]

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Erratic Anvil’s

This is an extract from the Black Country Geological Society newsletter number 210, December 2011. It investigates how glacial erratics have been used as a local resouce in the Black Country. Each area of the Black Country has always been associated with its own specialised trade and Bloxwich is no exception, having long been a [...]

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Rock with laughter

This short but amusing extract entitled ‘Geobabble’ was taken from the newsletter of the Black Country Geological Society number 187, December 2007. It reveals that even minerals can have a sense of humour at this festive time of year. Petrology deals with the origin, composition, structure, and alteration of rocks. To do this geologists slice up perfectly good [...]

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Ore inspiring

This is an extract from ‘The Dudley Bug’ section in the Black Country Geological Society newsletter 209: October 2011. Today we use metal for practically everything, over the last 50 years uses and demand for metals has increased due to their properties. The most common metals we use in today’s modern society include copper, aluminium, [...]

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A Quick Guide to the Isle of Skye, Scotland

This is an extract from the newsletter of The ‘Black Country Geological Society‘, No. 197 October 2009. This was part of the regular section entitled ‘The Dudley Bug’ written by members Alison Roberts and Chris Broughton. The Isle of Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebridean Islands with an area of 3000Km2. Portree is the [...]

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What is an igneous rock?

Igneous rocks are hot molten rocks which rise towards the surface. The term igneous originated from the Latin term ignis which means ‘fire’. In order for them to begin to melt temperatures can be anything from 700°C. They begin to melt down within the deep crust or upper mantle and because the molten rock has [...]

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What is a metamorphic rock?

A metamorphic rock is a rock that has been altered. The word metamorphic comes from the Greek terms meta which means change and morphe which means form, so to change form. The process can alter metamorphic rocks, igneous rocks and sedimentary rocks. It is important to note that the temperatures at which metamorphism occurs is [...]

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What is a sedimentary rock?

Sedimentary rocks are formed by the breakdown older rocks into smaller grains to form sediment through surface processes. Over time these are deposited mainly with the use of water and build up in layers to form sedimentary rocks. In dry, arid environments such as the desert wind blown grains of sand build up and form sand [...]

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What are the differences between rocks and minerals?

The differences between rocks and minerals are that a mineral is a single constituent with a particular colour, atomic and crystalline structure. A rock however is an aggregate of different minerals which does not have a set composition or structure. So without minerals you wouldn’t get rocks. Minerals are often single crystals with a particular [...]

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