Category Archives: Geology

Lumps of Clay

Do you ever think much about what clay really is?

A while ago, we were at Bald Head Island, NC and spent some time on the beach. I enjoy walking on the beach and looking for interesting shells, etc. Something unusual caught my attention this time. A moist, brown/grey lump, roughly oval, covered with sand.


I kept walking. Then I saw another, and another. Most people ignored them, or thought they were probably some kind of animal feces. I’m just too curious, and besides, I didn’t think it was fecal material (there were no flies). So, I picked one up. It had more weight to it than I thought by just looking at it. I broke it apart and saw uniform texture and what appeared to be clay inside the sandy coating. I started to gather these “clay” blobs… much to some other visitors’ stupefaction.

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What to ask a Rock

I’ve been poking around some geologists’ blogs and found this terrific post about a mystery rock. Diego wrote to Evelyn Mervine about a rock he had found. He wanted to know if she could tell him what kind of rock it is. The great thing about her response is the list of questions that she would ask of the rock.

Read the post and the comments to see how geologists think as they solve puzzles like this.