Minerals Activities


    1. A family friend from Luxembourg, rich from generations of family-owned mining businesses, has an enormous collection of exotic mineral ores from countries worldwide. She takes an interest in the fact that you are studying northeast U.S. geology and says she'd like to give you a summer job tracking down mineral resources for her collections from the Northeast U.S. She asks what it would take financially for her to be able to hire you for the job. Coming from a line of business people, she wants your estimates written out and itemized. 

Assuming you can collect your own examples of mineral resources, plot out a travel course to take you to as many sites as you could visit during one summer and list the minerals you could collect. Find the shortest possible route to find as many minerals as possible. Also explain, for her educational benefit, the age and geologic context in which each formed using the following events:

    1. the Grenville passive margin
    2. the Taconic converge,
    3. interval (Silurian-Early Devonian) between Taconic and Acadian
    4. the Acadian convergence,
    5. interval (Mississippian-Early Permian) between Acadian and Alleghenian
    6. the Alleghenian convergence,
    7. interval (Early-mid Triassic) between Alleghanian and rifting
    8. the rifting apart of Pangea, and
    9. interval (mid-Jurassic-late Jurassic) between rifting and creation of Coastal Plain
    10. the Coastal Plain passive margin and shaping by erosion of many of current land-forms
    11. Pleistocene glaciation and Holocene post-glacial.
  1. Your friend grows interested in the number of mineral resources in the Northeast, and wonders if there are any potentially financially lucrative mining operations in your local area. Although you make it known that your community must consider environmental implications of future mining, you do agree to look for some background information on the Web and in the library. 

    Based on figures from the NE Guide or elsewhere, figure out (a) what has been mined in your area and (b) explain in a letter to your friend how these minerals relate to your local geological history. 

  2. Through her connections, a European geographer grows interested in the amount of experience you have accumulated tracking down mineral resources. He wonders if the northeast might be self-sufficient in mineral resources, which would have implications for understanding the economy and human history of the Northeast. He says he will hire you for the next summer to help him in his research. 

    Using an almanac or other resources and your creativity, estimate as best you can which minerals are abundant enough to supply the Northeast and which are not. Predict if this has changed over the last 200 years. Describe how the varied geology contributed to the variety of minerals, and similarly explain the absence of any prominent minerals that we do not find in the area.