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The Gemstone of Minnesota's History - Research Paper Example

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The Gemstone of Minnesota’s History Hans Bruers Introduction to Geology Lake Superior Agates Almost 1.1 billion years ago, North America saw a massive rupture giving birth to a gigantic valley ranging from Eastern side of Lake Superior to Kansas. The rupture wasn’t a calm one; in fact, the event saw a striking eruption of lava as a result of the break out of volcanoes from the floor (Wolter 1986)…
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The Gemstone of Minnesotas History
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"The Gemstone of Minnesota's History"

Download file to see previous pages After studying and conducting various researches for the matter, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports the process by which the sediments were formed. For years, this erupted area sweltered in immense heat and volcanoes, after which Minnesota was covered with huge ebbs of sea water giving a cooling down affect. The ice-age period contributed towards the formation of sediments as the earth was covered with large pieces of ice throughout the period, as a result of which masterpieces like Lake Superior Agate were founded. Lake Superior located at the North of Duluth conceived the most historic and remarkable agate of Minnesota, the “Lake Superior Agate”. Lake Superior agate is Minnesota’s state gemstone, colored by the state’s biggest industrial mineral - iron, formed around a billion years ago from lava eruptions and distributed across the state by glaciers during the ice ages. Lake Superior Agate was a notable discovery as every geologist was interested in studying the causes behind the production of these sediments. After much research, a framework was developed to study the formation process. About a billion years ago, a catastrophic event hit the earth tearing apart North America and splitting it into two separate pieces. These events caused the rocks to hit deep beneath the earth which further caused the eruption of volcanic activities. The lava flowing out from the valley was, thus, exposed to the Northern and Southern areas of the earth. The tectonic force which was strong enough to break two continents apart also caused the trough of the earth to emerge which then became the basin of the Lake Superior1. The Lava eruptions, however, became the basis of the formation of the Agates. According to the geologists, the lava flows contained huge quantities of water vapors along with the carbon dioxide producing air bubbles within the deposits. Later, when there were ebbs of sea passing through the deposits, these bubbles dissolved ferric and quarts, along with other materials within the deposits which formed the basis of the colored areas within the agate. These sediments now became harder and, thus, started flowing free within the Lava flow. After about 20 million years, ice-age hit the earth, further triggering events resulting in the production of the Agates (Lynch and Lynch 2011). Not longer than 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, a Superior Glacier hit Minnesota carrying the sediments along and took them along towards South. Some of the agates were also crushed beneath the surface of the glacier and, thus, these were also transported south. The refined and polished agates were formed as a result of the activities of the huge glacier over the sediments (Wolter 1986). Whenever one observes the rock, the beautiful red color amazes a layman as a human mind is confused about how this color became incarnated within. However, the scientists have confirmed that the Ferric/Iron which is now vastly found in the mineral area of Minnesota has caused the pigmentation of the Agate after various chemical processes undergone by the events mentioned above. Thus, to understand the process which went into the production of the rock, studying the geography of the area also becomes important. Since the sediments had travelled through a distance, ending up in the shores of Lake Duluth, it is interesting to note the location and presence of the Agates ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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