Monday, December 3, 2012

Geology Kitchen #9 - Plate Tectonics

This episode discusses the scientific theory of plate tectonics, in which the Earth’s crust is subdivided into a series of large and small tectonic plates. Convergent, divergent or transform boundaries are discussed and demonstrated with brittle graham crackers and icing to illustrate the motions of the plates at these boundaries.   A second demonstration consisting of heating cream in a pan, representing convecting upper mantle, driving a relatively brittle layer of cocoa powder (the Crust).

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Geology Kitchen #6 - Weathering

Weathering concepts are visualized for both physical and chemical weathering processes. Freeze-thaw cycles and water action are discussed using kitchen experiments, as well as wind abrasion. The chemical disintegration and dissolution of minerals and rocks is demonstrated and discussed.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Geology Kitchen #5 - Chemical & Biological Sedimentary Rocks

Chemical and biological sedimentary rocks are discussed in this video. Carbonates, including limestones and dolomites are discussed, and cave stalactites are made. Evaporites are made in pan on stove experiment, and coal and chert are also examined as other forms of sedimentary rock. This episode is to be paired with the "Clastic Rocks" episode for a complete review of the sedimentary rock types.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Geology Kitchen #4 - Metamorphism

This episode explores the concepts of regional versus contact metamorphism. Heat and pressure are discussed and their roles in changing various rock types into metamorphic rock varieties. Contact metamorphism is discussed and demonstrated using a torch and marshmallow, and regional metamorphism is discussed using lasagna and examples of metamorphic rocks.

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Geology Kitchen #3 - Clastic Sedimentary Rocks

Episode 3 begins to examine the world of sedimentary rocks by looking at how clastic sedimentary rocks form. Various food stuffs of different grain sizes are used to demonstrate the relationship between rock name and grain size. Composite rocks are demonstrated from cereal and granola bars using grains of mixed sizes to show how variability in clastic rocks occurs in nature. A brief description of the sedimentary rock cycle from weathering and erosion, to sediment transport, to deposition in a basement and final burial and compaction are discussed.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Geology Kitchen #2 - Identifying Minerals

Episode 2 expands on the mineral concept by discussing the characteristics of minerals used in mineral identification. Minerals are categorized by the use of descriptive criteria; 

1) Color
2) Hardness
3) Luster
4) Shape/Cleavage
5) Density 

Fruit are again used to describe these elementary criteria and relate to the discussion on how minerals are categorized.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Geology Kitchen #1 - What is a Mineral?

Episode 1 introduces the concept of a mineral. Minerals are defined by five criteria;

1) They must be solid substances
2) they must be naturally-occurring
3) they must have a definable chemical composition
4) they must have an orderly crystalline structure
5) they must be inorganic by nature. 

The video introduces mineral properties using common fruit and vegetables as analogies for these five descriptive criteria. The video also demonstrates the orderly crystalline structure of halite (NaCl) using a model made of food (marshmallows and grapes). Comparisons between common substances such as ice and glass versus the mineral definition are made to illustrate the specific nature of the mineral definition. 

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