Desert Pavement

Just finished uploading a file to Wikimedia Commons showing desert pavement. It’s reworked footage from my prospecting desert pavements video.

In this video, I remove all narration and free certain frames along the way. I think this works best, leaving a description of desert pavement up to educators and students.

There are many nice still photos of desert pavement from around the world at Wikimedia Commons but no video.

Here’s the link to its page at Wikimedia.,_Nevada.webm

Many devices can’t play that file format. So, here is the same footage at Vimeo, unfortunately, more compressed. Downloading any video file always and then playing it always produces the best results.
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Two Minutes Walking in A Desert Wash

I’m documenting some different things at Wikimedia Commons for anyone to view or use.

Wikmedia Commons uses an odd video file format that may not play on your device. It’s called .webm. These videos open and operate reliably in the Firefox broswer, my iPad, but not my iPhone.

Editing or otherwise working with a Wikimedia Commons hosted video may prove fruitless unless you have a commercial converter. I use Movavi products for all of my video work. They are very cheap compared to anything Adobe and are far simpler to use.
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For the Shell of It

Went back to the desert wash near Jean,  Nevada where I had found my first geode. Was looking for more. Didn’t find any but I may have found my second and third brachiopod or fossilized shell.

The first example is pretty convincing but the second is a mite odd. I see by a Google image search that brachiopods are often distorted.

Too many times a publication or a web page presents perfect specimens instead of what is usually found in the field. I’ve posted the images to the Fossil Forum on FB, I’ll see what they say.

Phivos Martin Broedsgaard-Raptis from the FB Fossil Page responded to the second specimen. “We call it a ‘mussel fracture’, it comes as a resulted of a concentrated force and radiates outwards from the point of contact.” I am assuming that something injured this poor mussel and the resulting damage was captured in stone.

Or, perhaps not. There is a geological process called plumose fracture. See the Wikipedia Common photo below. Okay, what do we have? A biological phenomenon or a geological one? I’m leaning to biologic because the rock is round and not a square or chip fragment.


Fig. 3.20f: Plumose structure and rib marks on an opening fracture in PMMA. Laboratory experiment (Rummel, 1987) on hydraulic fracturing induced fracture from pressurized cylindrical hole at left. – David D. Pollard

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The Kokoweef Cavern/Mine Complex

A fee dig today with the Southern Nevada Gem and Mineral Society to the Kokoweef Cavern Mine in the Mojave Desert.

Just a few photos now, more later. Much to write on. Travertine, onyx, and wonderful calcite cave popcorn, a stalactite which shows outstanding cleavage. eBay has specimens like the one pictured below made into cabs. Again, more later.

Members examining what to look for. The operator is donating this material to a school program.


A closer look at the material.

The tailing pile is steep and rocky but provides outstanding examples of this bubbly looking stalactite formation, much still clinging to its limestone host.

Some popcorn from the front.

And the same piece from the back, possibly cleaved when the cavern roof fell.

Well established buildings out of view, the result of former commercial zinc mining. This is not public land. This is private property as the result of a once patented mining claim.

The road in. Desert driving. At one fork a sign points to the right for the Kokoweef. Instead, one goes left.

Steven Bisyak documents everything about the area’s history and will gladly discuss same. I am trying to find a magazine article he referred to, “Uncharted Caverns of The Desert by Phillip Johnston.”

Steven Bisyak explaining the history of the cavern and the mine and his attempt to document its history.

Nice UV reaction on calcite under shortwave. The darker rock is limestone.

Visible light of same rock.

Faced with a bad stretch of road, a Jeep owner admitted to me that he didn’t have skid plates. This was my reaction.


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It’s All About The Gram

An upcoming road trip will take me to Boron, California to stop in at Desert Treasures, if they are open. On the outskirts of Boron, the Rio Tinto Borax Mine Visitor Center is next and then on to Barstow to visit the Desert Discovery Center to view The Old Woman Meteorite. Then over the Tehacapi Pass to Bakersfield.

Next day to Shark Tooth Hill and The Ernst Quarries, next to Randsburg, and then on to Ridgecrest to visit Minerals Unlimited.

North after that to Death Valley, then east to Beatty, and then a drop back down to Las Vegas. I will be posting photos along the way if I have cell coverage.

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The Southwest According To My Book

No agreed upon boundaries mark the American Southwest. For my book  I place its northern limit as the 38th parallel,  the United States’ border with Mexico its southern limit. This image shows the area I write about, in the main, with no Mexico or Texas coverage.