Monthly Archives: August 2011
Scientific and preparedness communities encourage preparedness
Check out this educational video about what to do in case of an earthquake. It was prepared last year by the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency. – Joe
Earthquakes in Missouri
The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude 2.4 earthquake nine miles north of West Plains, Missouri at 4:48 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. At this time we have no reports of the event being felt. Visit this USGS site to learn more or to report shaking. Approximately an hour prior, a magnitude 2.1 earthquake was recorded one mile west northwest of Cooter, Missouri (180 miles south of St. Louis). Small earthquakes occur in Missouri daily. –Joe
Former State Geologist of Missouri Interviewed for Documentary
Brick by Chance and Fortune: A St. Louis Story, a feature length documentary about brick in St. Louis by Bill Streeter, debuted Sunday, Aug. 14 at the Tivoli Theater in University City. The documentary pays homage to the rich heritage of brick architecture in St. Louis, which was home to some of the largest and most innovative clay working companies of the nineteenth century. Among those interviewed and appearing in the film include Mimi Garstang. Mimi served as State Geologist of Missouri and Geology and Land Survey Division Director from 1979-2008. In the film, Mimi discusses the geology and abundance of clay in St. Louis, which made it possible for the brick industry to thrive in the city. Many fine examples of brick work produced still exist. The documentary also features historians, preservationists, a city alderman and others who share a love for St. Louis brick. The documentary won “Best Local History Feature” in the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase and is now an official selection in the St. Louis International Film Festival. If you missed the debut, you’re not out of luck. Screenings are set for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2 and 3 at Off Broadway, 3511 Lemp Ave., St. Louis. Learn more. – Joe
As many readers know, this year marks the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War and Missouri was a key geographic location for control of the west. Numerous geologists and Civil War buffs have written articles through the years about how geology affected outcomes of some Civil War battles. Here are just a few sites that host such articles: Smithsonian.com, Earth Magazine, The Geological Society of America, and Science Daily.
Take a look at what Missouri State Parks has to offer for those interested in learning more about the Civil War in Missouri (and other topics). For example, Wednesday, Oct. 12, “Songs of the Civil War” will be presented at 1 p.m. at the Missouri State Museum. The museum is on the first floor of the State Capitol, 201 W. Capitol in Jefferson City.
Also, check out an event scheduled for Sept. 15-17 at the Bates County Museum in Butler. “The Civil War in Missouri” is sponsored by the Bates County Museum and Historical Society. Kevin Evans, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Geology and Missouri State University, Springfield, Mo., is one of the presenters. Kevin’s presentation, “Geologic Influences on the Conduct of the Civil War in Southwestern Missouri” promises to be interesting for Civil War buffs. Be sure to register for the symposium by August 26. –Joe
Newburg Children’s Museum
Edie Starbuck, one of our geologists, recently taught about Missouri geology in Newburg at the Newburg Children’s Museum. Edie was invited to share about rocks, minerals and fossils by the museum’s curator, Elizabeth te Groen. The museum, located in the 2-story annex of the historic Houston House on First Street in Newburg, has been open since May 2008 and is a dream come true for curator, Elizabeth te Groen. The museum consists of eight rooms with exhibits, displays and hands-on activities relevant to expanding the horizons of young people in the earth sciences specifically relating to earth, water, sky and man. There is also a children’s activity room containing children’s crafts, and books. On Thursdays, during the school year, it is used by a group of children after school. Presently, the museum is open Tuesday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact te Groen at the Newburg Children’s Museum by calling 573-762-3077 or 573-762-2029. –Joe
Found only in Missouri, the colorful Mozarkite is a special variety of chert, typically red, pink, and purple with varying tints of green or gray. It has won acceptance as a distinctive variety by lapidaries nationwide because of its unique varied colors. The rock’s beauty is enhanced by cutting and polishing for jewelry and is often considered a semi-precious gemstone. Designated as Missouri’s official state rock in 1967, it is only found in the Show-Me State. The most abundant deposits are found in west-central Missouri, south of the Missouri River. The Benton County town of Lincoln may have the only rock club dedicated to the stone. The Mozarkite Society of Lincoln promotes awareness and education about Mozarkite and the interest in the study of mineralogy, lapidary, and jewelry. –Joe
Hypsibema missouriense was first discovered in 1942 when Missouri Geological Survey geologist Dan Stewart was working near the town of Glen Allen in Bollinger County. Dan was investigating clay deposits in the area when a local family told him about clay they had encountered in a recently dug well. When Dan arrived at the location, he was shown several bones that had been found in the clay. These bones were sold to the Smithsonian but it was not until the 1980s that the dinosaur was correctly identified as a hadrosaur or “duck billed” dinosaur. It was a herbivore with jaws that contained over 1,000 teeth. Hypsibema had evolved specialized teeth to handle the tough, fibrous vegetation of the time. Hypsibema lived in Missouri during the late Cretaceous period around 75 million years ago and became the state’s official dinosaur on July 9, 2004. Learn more about the official state dinosaur from the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History website. Other state symbols may be found on the Secretary of State’s website.
Seventh annual event hosted by U.S. Geological Survey
The seventh annual Earthquake Insight Field Trip is planned for November 2-4, 2011. The field trip will start and end in St. Louis. This event is hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey and is designed for non-scientists – leaders and decision-makers in the private sector, infrastructure management, and government. The field-trip route will include earthquake-related sites in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Field trip participants will learn about the earthquake history of the central U.S. and earthquake hazards in this area. The field trip will be led by geoscientists, engineers, and emergency planners who are active in current research and private state-of-the-practice. This is a great opportunity for business leaders and scientists to interact and discuss important aspects of seismic hazards in the central U.S. The report of the first Earthquake Insight Field Trip, which was in 2005, is available online. The route and content of each Earthquake Insight Field Trip since then has been unique and varied. For more information or to register, please contact Phyllis Steckel at email@example.com or 636-239-4013. Learn more here –Joe
Stop by the Womans Building at the Missouri State Fair this Saturday and you can meet Charles Spencer, author of the new book, Roadside Geology of Missouri. The Show-Me State has plenty of impressive geology to see. Charles will have copies of his new book available for purchase at our geology exhibit. Be sure to ask him to autograph your copy. If you can’t make it to the fair you can order online from the Missouri Geology Store. The Womans Building is #13. We are near the Pepsi Grandstand. Here is a map of the Fairgrounds. –Joe
Geology exhibits on-site August 11-21
The Missouri State Fair begins tomorrow, August 11 in Sedalia. Stop by our exhibit where you’ll see our impressive display of rocks, minerals and fossils. We will also have the Active Earth earthquake exhibit there for you to learn about earthquakes. Members of the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission will also be on hand Saturday, August 12 to answer questions about earthquakes in Missouri. So, be sure to drop by. We are just west of the Pepsi Grandstand. The first Missouri State Fair was held in 1901. However, the women and infants had few accommodations until the “Womans Building” was added in 1910 and this is where the department hosts a number of exhibits. Once there, you will see this technically incorrect spelling was imprinted on the structure’s front masonry in 1910 and has never been changed. So, stop by the Historic Womans Building and enjoy all of our exhibits. Here is a map of the Fairgrounds. We are building 13. –Joe