Ask-a-Geologist Q&A Video #12: How do you clean streak plates?

Several of our readers have written to us and asked: How do you clean streak plates? In case you are not familiar with streak plates, they are little pieces of unglazed porcelain tile that you use to test the streak color of a mineral. There are black streak plates and white streak plates. You use the black plates for light-colored minerals and white plates for dark-colored minerals. To test the streak, you rub the mineral across the streak plate and see what color shows up on the plate. That is the streak or the color of the mineral in powdered form. When you do the test you need to rub hard on the streak plate because you are trying to crush part of the sample into a fine powder. Over time the plates will become dirty and you will want to clean them.

Ask-a-Geologist Video #11: Why do pumice and scoria have holes and granite does not?

Hi everyone, today we have another great ask-a-geologist question from one of our fabulous readers. Peter wrote to us and asked: Granite, pumice, and scoria are igneous rocks, but why doesn’t granite have airholes, but the other two do?

Ask-a-Geologist #10: What Are The Remains Of Once-Living Organisms Found In Sedimentary Rocks?

Fossils are the remains or impressions of once living organisms that you can find in sedimentary rocks. There are two basic types of fossils that geologists and paleontologists talk about. These are body fossils and trace fossils. Body fossils are a real body part of an animal such as a dinosaur bone or a shark tooth. A trace fossil is something that shows evidence that something was there such as tracks, burrows, trails, molds, casts, and impressions.

Ask-A-Geologist Question #9: What grains are in conglomerate rocks?

Hi everyone! Today I’m here to answer another fabulous question from one of our readers. Today’s question is about the sedimentary rock conglomerate. Matthew asks: What grains are in conglomerate rocks?

Ask-A-Geologist #8: What is obsidian rock used for?

Hi everyone! Today I am back with another fabulous question from one of our readers. Today’s question is about obsidian. John asks: What is obsidian rock used for?

Ask-A-Geologist #7: Are amethysts a part of geodes or are the minerals in geodes different?

David asked: Are amethysts part of geodes or are the minerals in geodes different? Hi David, geodes can contain amethyst crystals. These unique samples form in open holes in sedimentary rocks such as limestone or igneous rocks likes basalt.

Ask-A-Geologist #6: What term is used for metamorphic rocks with a banded texture?

Hi everyone! Today we have another fabulous question from one of our readers. Today’s question is about metamorphic rocks. Jason asks: What term is used for metamorphic rocks with a banded texture?

Ask-A-Geologist Q&A #5: How Many Years of College Does it Take to Become a Geologist?

Hi everyone! This week we have a fantastic question from one of our readers about how many years of college you need to become a geologist. Hopefully, my answer will help you decide if this career might be for you.

Ask-a-Geologist #4: Why do geologists tests rocks for calcite?

Today we have another great geology question from one of our readers.

Terrance writes: Why do scientists check rocks to see if they contain calcite?

Ask-a-Geologist Question & Answer #3: Is it hard to be a geologist?

Once again we have another fabulous question from one of our website readers. Today’s question is about what it is like to be a geologist.