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Structural Geology Introduction Structural geology is the study of the features formed by geological processes.

Features include faults, folds and dipping strata. Geologists can work out the o rder of events and see which events are related by taking fairly simple measurem ents and using simple methods. Measurements and Techniques The most obvious thing to do when trying to decipher the structural history of a formation is to describe it. One way of doing this is to measure the dip and st rike. The dip is the amount a bed of rock is tipped from the horizontal. The str ike is the direction which is ninety degrees from the dip, i.e.. Along the horiz ontal line on the bed. The strike Igneous comes from the Latin for fire, and all igneous rocks began as hot, fluid m aterial. This material may have been lava erupted at the Earth's surface, or mag ma (unerupted lava) at shallow depths, or magma in deep bodies (plutons). Rock f ormed of lava is called extrusive, rock from shallow magma is called intrusive a nd rock from deep magma is called plutonic. Igneous rocks form in three main places: Where lithospheric plates pull apart at mid-ocean ridges, where plates come together at subduction zones and where cont inental crust is pushed together, making it thicker and allowing it to heat to m elting. People commonly think of lava and magma as a liquid, like molten metal, but geol ogists find that magma is usually a mush. a liquid carrying a load of mineral cr ystals. Magma crystallizes into a collection of minerals, and some crystallize s ooner than others. Not just that, but when they crystallize, they leave the rema ining liquid with a changed chemical composition. Thus a body of magma, as it co ols, evolves, and as it moves through the crust, interacting with other rocks, i t evolves further. This makes igneous petrology a very complex field, and this a rticle is only the barest outline. Igneous Rock Textures The three types of igneous rocks apart by their texture, starting with the size of the mineral grains. Extrusive rocks cool quickly (over periods of seconds to months) and have invisible or very small grains. Intrusive rocks cool more slowl y (over thousands of years) and have small to medium-sized grains. Plutonic rock s cool over millions of years, deep underground, and can have grains as large as pebbles. Even a meter across. Because they solidified from a fluid state, igneo us rocks tend to have a uniform texture, without layers, and the mineral grains are packed together tightly. Think of the texture of a fruitcake, or the pattern of bubbles in a piece of bread, as similar examples. In many igneous rocks, large mineral crystals float in a fine-grained groundmass. The large grains are called phenocrysts, and a rock with phenocrysts is called a porphyry; that is, it has a porphyritic texture. Phenocrysts are minerals that solidified earlier than the rest of the rock, and they are important clues to th e rock's history. Some extrusive rocks have distinctive textures. Obsidian, form ed when lava cools very quickly, has a glassy texture. Pumice and scoria are vol canic froth, puffed up by millions of gas bubbles. Tuff is a rock made entirely of volcanic ash, fallen from the air or avalanched down a volcano's sides. And p illow lava is a lumpy formation created by extruding lava underwater. Basalt, Granite and Other Igneous Rock Types The main minerals in igneous rocks are hard, primary ones: Feldspar, quartz, amp hiboles and pyroxenes (called dark minerals by geologists), and olivine along with the softer mineral mica. The two best-known igneous rock types are basalt and granite, which differ in co mposition. Basalt is the dark, fine-grained stuff of many lava flows and magma i ntrusions. Its dark minerals are rich in magnesium (Mg) and iron (Fe), hence bas alt is called a mafic rock. So basalt is mafic and either extrusive or intrusive . Granite is the light, coarse-grained rock formed at depth and exposed after de ep erosion. It is rich in feldspar and quartz (silica) and hence is called a fel sic rock. So granite is felsic and plutonic.

These two categories cover the great majority of igneous rocks. Ordinary people, even ordinary geologists, use the names freely (Stone dealers call any plutonic rock at all granite. ). But igneous petrologists use many more names. They genera lly talk about basaltic and granitic rocks among themselves and out in the field , because it takes lab work to determine an exact rock type according to the off icial classifications. True granite and true basalt are narrow subsets of these categories. But a few of the less common igneous rock types can be recognized by non-special ists. For instance a dark-colored plutonic mafic rock, the deep version of basal t, is called gabbro. A light-colored intrusive or extrusive felsic rock, the sha llow version of granite, is called felsite or rhyolite. And there is a suite of ultramafic rocks with even more dark minerals and even less silica than basalt. Where Igneous Rocks Are Found The deep sea floor (the oceanic crust) is made of basaltic rocks, with ultramafi c rocks underneath. Basalts are also erupted above the Earth's great subduction zones, either in volcanic island arcs or along the edges of continents. However, continental magmas tend to be less basaltic and more granitic. The continents are the exclusive home of granitic rocks. Nearly everywhere on th e continents, no matter what rocks are on the surface, you can drill down and re ach granite eventually. In general, granitic rocks are less dense than basaltic rocks, and thus the continents actually float higher than the oceanic crust on t op of the ultramafic rocks of the Earth's mantle. The behavior and histories of granitic rock bodies are among geology's deepest and most intricate mysteries.

Introduction to Metamorphic Petrology Introduction Metamorphic petrology is the study of rocks which have been changed (metamorphos ed) by heat and pressure. They are broadly categorized into regional and contact . Metamorphism is an extension of the process which forms sedimentary rocks from sediment: Lithification. However, all types of rocks; igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic, can all be metamorphosed. During metamorphism no melting takes plac e. All the chemical reactions which take place occur in the solid-state. Factors Controlling Characteristics The characteristics of a metamorphic rock depend on the following factors: Composition of parent rock Temperature and Pressure of metamorphism Fluid Time The composition of the parent rock does not usually change during metamorphism ( if it does it is then called metasomatism). The changes are the due to the miner als changing. A basalt which has around 50% of silica will produce a metabasalt with 50% silica. Temperature and pressure affect the rock in terms of the mineral assemblage whic h is stable at the pressure and temperature obtained. The minerals stable at the pressure and temperatures that metamorphic rocks reach are simulated in a lab. This allows geologists to look at a mineral assemblage and give a (good) estimat e of the pressure and temperature that the sample was exposed to. This gives tec tonic information which is useful in other branches of geology. Fluid changes the chemical composition of the rock being metamorphosed and hence is called metasomatism. The addition of fluid can radically change the rock. Time has an important role as a rock which is heated to an extreme temperature f or a short (years) period of time will not be altered too much. A rock heated fo r a longer period of time (millions of years) will show changes. Classification The classification of metamorphic rocks is split into contact and regionally met amorphosed rocks. After this it is divided according to the amount of metamorphism that has taken place and/or on the mineral content.

Regional Regional metamorphism is caused by high pressure and temperatures usually during mountain building (oregenesis). sometimes as large as several centimetres across: Textures & Names This size variation arises as grains grow around a nucleus of some sort. In general rocks which have cooled rapidly are fine grained. not visible to the naked eye. This leads us to the following. white and dark layers Causes of Metamorphism Contact Caused by heating from an external source.e. In this tutorial we will concern ourselves with the effect of evolution only. The degree of metamorphism decreases away from the body. Fizzes in weak acid Quartz-Sandstone-Quartzite-Quartz Sugary texture Shale-Hornfels (Spotted Rock) . Silky to touch Gneissic-Gneiss-Wavy. the magma will become more enriched in py roxenes etc. splits into wavy sheets Schistose-Schist-Pearly looking. Chemistry The chemistry of igneous rocks is quite complicated.a m inute grain. tens of millimetres in size. They have large cry stals. There are many different types of igneous rocks but they fall into two (very) broad categories.Contact Metamorphism (based on mineral content) Parent Rock-Metamorphic rock-Dominant Minerals-Characteristics Limestone-Marble-Calcite-Interlocking grains. as temperature not pressure is the dominating fac tor. Introduction to Igneous Petrology Introduction Igneous rocks are formed form the cooling of molten rock. They cool slowly. which means they are made up of crystals joined together. The slower the cooling the more time grains have to grow and amalga mate. They are crysta lline. Of course there is every grain size possible in between th ese two extremes. If the rock is heated to the point of melting. but doesn'tnactually melt. This process continues until only quartz is left. Textures & Names Igneous rocks have many textures which tell us about their cooling histories and /or chemistry. simple. Liquid is no w completely mineral C. Rocks which have cooled slowly have large grains. taking tens of thousand of years to cool. It depends on two things. As you can see. This oc curs at fairly shallow depths. i. The minerals are removed in order of Bowen's Reaction Se ries. Liquid is relatively enriched in minerals B and C. Grains which show their true shape are said to be euhedral. The extremes of regionally metamorphic rocks ar e a high pressure. it is called a migmatite. as they cooled quickly. Igneous rocks evolve as they cool. They have very small crystals. the silica saturation will be assumed to be consta nt. magma. Contact metamorphism occurs next to a n igneous body. low temperature rock (called a blueschist) and a high pressur e and very high temperature rock (called a granulite). identification. e volution and silica saturation. Extrusive rocks are those which have erupted from volcanoes. if you remove olivine. Intrusive rocks are igneous rocks which form at depth. Remove mineral A as it crystallises at a higher temperature than B and C. intrusive and extrusive. Grains which s . Remove mineral B as it crystallises at a higher temperature than C.Micas-Dark colour Regional Metamorphism (name based on degree of metamorphism) Texture-Rock Name-Characteristics Slatey-Slate-Splits easily into sheets Between slate and schistose-Phylitte-Silky lustre. that is with grains which are not visible to the naked eye. This process is called differentiation. T he mechanism for this process is as follows: Liquid rich in minerals A. B and C.

A dyke i s a body which cuts across the country (host) rock. hundr eds of kilometres in size. Using this information. composed of silica. The Use Of Diatoms As Palaeoenvironmental Indicators Introduction Diatoms are microscopic. T his can give an indication of pressure and hence depth. in contact with the country rock. orn cool at the Earth's surface. Secrete a frustule or test. they are found in a diverse range o f environments from freshwater to saline oceanic waters. It is estimated that 20 ? 25% of all the organic carbon fixation on Earth. For example. sedimentary rocks fall into one of three types. On land they can form lava no shape are anhedral. A sill is parallel to the be dding layers. via photosynthesis. the feldspar then grew around the quartz. Range in size from ¼ mm to 2mm. The chilled margin is t he area in an igneous body. The quartz grew first as it had space. Also capable of absorbing nutrients in addition to producing t hem. then rose up in the crust. is attri butable to diatoms-in large due to their great abundance. Xenoliths-bits of the rock into which the magma intruded Cumulate layer-when a mineral grows which is denser than the magma. Exsolution-occurs within grains on certain minerals (pyroxenes and feldspars). Minerals may form from liq uid trapped between the grains-interstitial minerals. which fit closely over the top of each other-somewhat analogous to a petri-dish. which are surrounded by anhedral feldspar. Other features seen are: Porphyritic texture-large grains (phenocrysts) surrounded by much finer grains ( groundamss). cooling much more quickly form ing the fine grains (the matrix). They usually consist of lay ers or strata. mostly under water. Intrusive bodies form when magma is injected into existing rock layers. it will sink to the base of the chamber causing a cumulate layer. Comprising on e of the most common types of phytoplankton. photosynthetic algae (which due to the yellow-brown chl oroplasts they contain are sometimes referred to as golden algae). a rock may have large euhedral quartz grains. the order of grain growth can be worked out. which cooled quick er than the rest of the rock due to the temperature difference between the magma and the country rock. Characteristics Photosynthetic. This implies that the large grains grew slowly at depth. Each frustule consists of two valves. If these occur under water they form pillow lavas. the magma with the grains in it. The moors of Cornwall and Devon are outcrops of a mas sive batholith. Depending on what th ey'reymade of. aa (pronounced ah-ah and looks blocky) or pahoehoe (which looks rop ey). hence they are also called stratified rocks. . The largest of igneous bodies is a pluton or batholith. in contact with t he igneous body. Extrusive bodies are lava flows. The baked margin is an area in the country rock. which has been thermally metamorphosed. unicellular algae containing pigments. Igneous Rock Formations Igneous rock bodies are either intrusive or extrusive. These are massive. which under favourable condition s can be preserved. but possessing no flagell a or pseudopodia. but are generally ~40¼ mm. These features are not always visible. The scale of these bodies is from millimetres to tens or even hundreds of metres.

Below is an outline of their most prevalent uses. Diatoms ca n be further sub-divided according to whether they possess a raphe (a median lin e or slot in the cell wall). anaerobic. As a result. This has applications in determin ing palaeo-fluvial environments. but not always. trophic status. i. Where cores are s ampled from beneath existing lakes. The word pennate usually pertains to fea thers. it is often easier to identify dead diatoms. Indicators of Salinity Marine: Some species are restricted to a very narrow range of salinities and are know as stenohaline species. which help to keep the diatom afloat in t he water column. animal and plant remains.. pores. for example Loch Ness. ornamented with any combination of p its. and particularly their ecologi es. and will often exhibit mixed assemblages (i. As a result. In addition. Will retain a record of the most recent diatom activity. and are known a . Sampling is most frequently carried out by random core samples of a given area. than it is to identify living diatoms to species level. i. The study of extant diatom species. All diatom species are highly sensitive to environmental changes. and slightly aci dic sediments. Always inhabit the photic zone. Having bilateral form. or completely lack a raphe. diatoms display varying assemblages according to pH. breaches of coastal barriers (as a result of storms and/or sea-level ris e).e. Consist of both benthic and planktonic forms. largely existing wherever th ere is water. Uses Of Diatoms In general diatoms can be used to trace a variety of environmental phenomena. an d pennate. or feather-like structures however. its use with diatoms denotes b ilateral form. and sediment focusing. The best preservation conditions in terms of diatoms are those with any mixture of fine grained.e. wings. and pollution levels. For ex ample. Circular. in wh ich the internal oil globules and chloroplasts have decayed away to reveal the v alve ornamentation.. this causes zonation. and from soil in-wash). giving rise to very different assemblages under rather tight environmental constraints. Diatoms bloom seasonally. Freshwater: Some freshwater species will tolerate a little salt. diatoms can be divided into solitary and colonial forms. Classification Diatoms are differentiated between by forms that are centric. or striations (rib-like structures). to the evaporation of lakes (increasing salinity determining diatom assembla ges).. Ecology As previously mentioned. where a spectrum (and a gradient for such a spectrum) can b e calculated from coastal to offshore species. fr om changes in sea level (whether brought about by climate change or tectonic act ivity). with different species blooming at different times of the year. Diatoms exhibit three major modes of existence: Planktonic Benthic (Lake/Sea/Ocean bed) Macrophytic (Attached to plants) Planktonic forms contain oil globules. along with some clastic component (sand/s ilt/clay). Sampling Where conditions are conducive. a pseudoraphe. in addition to those brought in from tributary river/stre am systems. consisting of mainly fa ecal debris. will have accumulated. diatoms are very abundant. others have no such restrictions and are known as cosmopolitan species. benthic forms are never present on the floor of very deep lakes. as this preserves changes in the diatom assemblages over time. which is particularly e vident in estuaries. care should be taken to disturb the sediment -water interface as little as possible. Often a rich organic mud called gyttja ( typical of interglacial periods). diatom remains will usually accumulate on lake/s ea beds.The valve surface is often.e. For this reason. Reproduce primarily via asexual cell division. can provide useful information for the interpretation of palaeoenvironmental conditions.

and therefore this method can not always be applied. or where the groundwater is rich in sa lts. and therefore this method can not always be applied. in turn. water chemistry. the more prod uctive the environment is (With the exception of a species called Cyclotella. as the percentage of each of the above groups is measured and the ratios used to calculate a log index of the given population. That said.). they can be lost via outflows. Indicators of Palaeo-temperature Diatoms are not very useful in determining changes in palaeo-temperature. To accomplish this species are classified as either: Acidobiontic (Acid Living) pH < 7 Acidophilous (Acid Preferring) pH° 7 Circumneutral pH = 7 Alkaliphilous (Alkali Preferring) pH° 7 Alkalibiontic (Alkali Living) pH > 7 This method is highly dependent upon knowing the pH preference for all of the di atoms present. To accomplish this species are classified as either: Acidobiontic (Acid Living) pH < 7 Acidophilous (Acid Preferring) pH° 7 Circumneutral pH = 7 Alkaliphilous (Alkali Preferring) pH° 7 Alkalibiontic (Alkali Living) pH > 7 This method is highly dependant upon knowing the pH preference for all of the di atoms present. can then be used to determine the pal aeo-pH. the more productive a given body of water is: Centric: Pennate Ratio-The more centrics there are in your sample. and nutrient availability. Diversity Indicators-A low overall diversity amongst diatoms indicates stressful conditions. it is not always possible to know the preference of all of th e species in your sample. dissolve. this is almost certainly due to other overriding factors such as: Inc ident solar radiation. occurring in coastal lakes. it is not always possible to know the preference of all of th e species in your sample. In the best case scenario your assembla ge is simply incomplete. In the worst . Indicator Species-Certain species are typical of certain conditions. for example extreme trophic status (hyper-oligotrophic or hyper-eut rophic). can then be used to determine the pal aeo-pH. or comparatively low in overall abundance. However this could also indicate a source of pollution etc. be crushed or eaten. and Tabe llaria of oligotrophic (very low nutrient) conditions. With the use of s ome complicated mathematics this. Diatoms are highly sensitive to pH and can illustrate differences of as little a s 0. Indicators of Productivity (Trophic Status) There are several ways of deducing palaeotrophic status using diatoms: Total Diatom Count-This is relatively simple.1 pH units. Obviously. different assemblages are present when comparing warm and cold waters . pH.1 pH units.s halophilic. However. With the use of s ome complicated mathematics this. However most freshwater species are stenohaline and will not tolerate salt. Indicators of Palaeo-pH This perhaps the most important and most widely used application of diatom studi es. the more diatoms there are in your sample. in turn. Indicators of Palaeo-pH This perhaps the most important and most widely used application of diatom studi es. due to the fact that the large majority of species will tolerate very wide ranges of t emperature. Planktonic: Non-planktonic Ratio-Planktonic forms are more common in eutrophic l akes. typically from 0° C to 20° C. for example Stephanodiscus is typical of eutrophic (abundant nutrient) conditions. Diatoms are highly sensitive to pH and can illustrate differences of as little a s 0. as the percentage of each of the above groups is measured and the ratios used to calculate a log index of the given population. Difficulties in Interpreting Diatom Samples Not all diatoms present in a body of water may settle out. Obviously.

1990). . b ut all modern ooids are 2mm or less. from soils. Newell et al. can often be difficult resul ting in mis-identification and a chain of consequent errors. causing problems and/or errors wi th interpretation. 1956. However. Australia and are all composed of arag onite. Temporary Resting Phase Coated nuclei resting in the marine environment will qui ckly equilibrate with the surrounding fluid. Davies et al (1978). The membrane forms a new. Taxonomy. Removal of the poisonous ions will re activate the coated surface in such conditions. 1993). 1969. but may be repeated several times. tangentia lly or randomly. Sleeping Stage A new surface is required in order to form a new coating. so after several growth and temporary resting stages have been comple ted a third stage is required. The precipitation is stopped by crystal poisoning. 1981). The formation of these objects has been speculated from the early 19th Century a nd ideas for their origin range from crinoid eggs. 1990. Bathurst. Tucker and Wright. If the proto-ooids remain in this environm ent the outer coating will be lost due to attrition. The timing of these stages means that an ooid spends only 5% of its time actuall y growing. The ecology is not well known for all species. The sample becomes augmented. 1967. Recent ooids are forming today in places such as the Bahamas (Tucker and Wright. Bathurst. or tributaries. 1978. Describe the typical life cycle of a Bahamian ooid: Suspension Growth Phase Nuclei introduced into a suitable scenario the ratios of different diatoms may be completely skewed (for exa mple planktonic forms with their oil-filled globules may be more prone to out-wa shing). 1978). These crystals are arranged in concentric lamina. preservable frustules. This means the suspension p hase is short lived. stable substratum for new CaCO3 precipitat ion. There have been e xamples in the Neoprotozoic of ooids that are 16mm in diameter (Sumner. 1966) and Shark Bay. The interior of an ooid is usually composed of a nucleus. and in the wors t case scenario may include indicator species contrary to the actual palaeo-envi ronmental conditions. especially in poorly preserved specimens. the following factors will have an affect oo id growth: (Monoghan and Lytle. 1967). Newell. Experiments show that this takes 1 ? 3 wee ks to form. Formation As can be seen from the life cycle. which is the addit ion of Mg2 + or H + onto the surface. instead they go through stages of growth and res t (Davis et al. will induce a short lived inorganic precipitation of calcium carbonate on their surfaces. The nucleus c an be a shell fragment. usually less than 2mm in diameter (Donahue. animal droppings. Life Cycle Ooids do not form continuously. the rest is spent sleeping (Davis et al. Samples may contain diatoms washed in from outside your sample area. quartz grain or any other small fragment (including an a ragonite/calcite amalgamation). This me mbrane is probably organic in origin. 1960. which is surrounded by a cortex of calcite or aragonite crystals that are arranged radially. resulting in a complete absence in your sa mple. insect eggs to the present da y explanation of precipitated layers of CaCO3 (Simone. Ooid Formation Introduction Ooids are spherical or ellipsoid concretions of calcium carbonate. Davis et al. with enough turbulence to keep them in suspension and water that is supersaturated in CaCO3. not all poisonous ions ar e removed. There may be insufficient silica dissolved in the body of water for diatoms to p roduce robust.

Physical or mechanical weathering reduces the rocks to . but organic CaCO3 precipitation is needed for them to form (Suess and Fattere r. They did not include the impact of ooids to limit size. 1978). They found that the concentration need ed to be above 0. Agitation: The agitation an ooid undergoes must be enough to keep it in suspensi on for the growing phase followed by removal to a non-supersaturated fluid (the rest phase) (Newell. Davies et al.0167 moles/litre for ooids to form successfully. whether igneous. 1969). but when rocks are exposed at the surface and weather away. Monoghan and Lytle (1956) investigated the effect of CO3 concentration on the formation of ooids. Deelman. 1980. Davies et al (1978). Ooids formed in agitated waters have crystals arranged tangentially.002 moles/litre only aragonite needles or poor ooids forme d. 1978. Sumner and Grotzinger. Ooids can form in quiet water s. They are the ingredients of sediment. The agitation can come from w aves or tidal movements. which in turn becomes sedimentary rock. sedimentary or metamorphic.002 moles/litre and below 0. 1978. There is some change in crystal orienta tion with the amount of agitation (Donahue. 1981). their fig 6). Sumner and Grotzinger (1993) performed numerical modelling on ooid formation. Above 0. All the sediments that are near 100% ooid s are formed with 8m of the surface. Storms provide that mixing of ooids in the rest stage a nd those that can no longer precipitate. rather than growth or precipitati on rates. Location: The location off ooid formation is important. 1967. Simone. These ooids will show radial crystals. In all cases of different nuclei the larger water cu rrent increase precipitation rates. but the time that precipitation changed depe nding on the nuclei type. Water Depth: Most ooids form in water less than 2m deep (Simone. Their model gave a higher ooid radius in higher velocity flows. 1993): Supersaturation: The supersaturation of the seawater is of vital importance (Mon oghan and Lytle. limiting the size of the ooid. Surveyed sediment at various depths and calculated th e % fraction of ooids in the sediment.0167 moles/litre the ooids formed an amorphous mass. 1956). Minerals Geologists know about thousands of minerals locked in rocks. Eventually. less than 10 minerals remain.1978. Conducted a study using two different speeds of water current to test this: 5 Cm/s and 10 cm/s. Agitation may also control ooid size (Sumner and Grotz inger. Newell et al (1960). Show their results as a change of pH (a negative pH change is assumed to indicate precipitation). break down. Below 0. They must be kept in the same area throughout the formation. 1978. and in o ther experiments involving horizontal shaking and tumbling motion formed. all of their rocks. Simone. The mass gained from growth is proportional to the square of the radius. but they give no quantitative inf ormation (Bathurst. 1981). the oo ids were non-existent or more like those formed in non-agitated water in the pre sence of organic compounds. but this may have more to do with wave agitation and tidal movements than water depth it self. 1978). Nuclei: The type of nuclei affects the rate of growth and the size of each lamin ation (Davies et al. 1993. The ooids were kept in suspension by this water flow. in order that their life cycle can be compl eted (Simone. 1960. 1980). 1993). Davies et al (1978 ). Other authors ha ve stressed the importance of supersaturation. 1972). while using oxidised quartz show much slower and shorter precipi tation. As the ooid grows the mass lost per impact with another object inc reases as the cube of the radius. When the mo untains crumble to the sea. Heller. Organic coating on the nuclei give faster and longer precipitation. 1981. Heller. 1981). the mass loss will equal or exceed the ma ss gained. Davies et al. with a decrease that looks like an exponential or a powe r law with decreasing velocity (Sumner and Grotzinger. The change between suspension to bedload t ransport may also initiate this change (Deelman.

but it plays little par t in the clay cycle.small particles. while others are open-face sandwiches of two layers. clay minerals are like machine shops full of tools and power hookups. At the molecular level. but life on Earth depends on them. clays. or halite. This material reenters the rock cycle in other ways than clay. sands tone and mudstone and shale in all their variety. These are an important ingredient in soils but uncommon as solid minerals. which also become sediment. Living organisms can extract it to bui ld their calcite shells. Quartz resists for a very long time. The Makings of Clastic Rocks But back to sediments. pyroxenes and amphiboles of igneous or metamorphic rocks react with water and leave behind rusty iron hydroxides. clay is a sandwich made of sheets of silica (SiO4) tetrahed ra and sheets of magnesium or aluminum hydroxide (Mg (OH) 2 and Al (OH) 3). In oth er settings. These break down further by chemical weathering in water and ox ygen. What makes clays so valuable for life is that with their tiny particle size and open-faced construction. Thus every part of the mountains finds a new pl ace in the Earth. being nearly pure quartz. reacts with water too. Water pulls out silicon and other major catio ns (positive ions) except for aluminum. Calcium is an important cation in igneous rock minerals. which is why sand. H4SiO4. from deeply buried fluids. a Mg/Al layer between two silica layer s. The Chemical Precipitates When the mountains were crumbling. Some clays are a proper three-layer sandwich. Silicate residues are what make up the minerals of the Earth's land surface. even the building blocks of life amino acids and other organic molecules are enlivened by the energetic. Oxygen and hydrogen ar e available in abundance. Minerals Are Solid: Substances that don'tndroop or melt or evaporate. Al and Mg atoms. That is where the clastic sedimentary rocks are born. where it affiliates with carbonate ion (CO3). they have very large surface areas and can readily acce pt many substitute cations for their Si. When it becomes concentrated enough in seawater. And what of the dis solved silicic acid? That precipitates underground. There is also sodium left over from the breakdown of the silicate minerals. The feldspar minerals thus turn into hyd rated aluminosilicates that is. much of their mineral content dissolved. That lingers in the sea until circumstances dry up the brine to a high concentration . Minerals Are Inorganic: Substances that aren'tncarbon compounds like those found . Feldspar. the overwhelming majority of surfac e minerals. Indeed. At the microscopic level. when sodium joins chloride to yield solid salt. and the world's rivers steadily deliver mud to the sea and to large lake s and inland basins. is so persistent. catalytic environment of clays. but given enough time even quartz d issolves into silicic acid. But most of the silicate minerals produce solid residues after chemical weatheri ng. Gemstones & Mineral Resources What Is a Mineral? A mineral is any substance with all of four specific qualities. With quartz and clay. like mica but infinitely smaller. From the viewpoint of microbes. Mud is what geologists call a sedime nt that is a mixture of particle sizes ranging from sand (visible) to clay (invi sible). we have the ingredients of mud. The olivine. sulfur captures dissolved iron and precipitates as pyrite. the most common silicate mineral group and the main home of aluminum i n minerals. calcium combines with it as the mineral gypsum. a s the silica mineral chalcedony. precipitating out of solution to form other surface minerals. Instead calcium remains in water. A very small number of minerals can resist indefinitely: Zircon is one and native gold is another. Amazing Clays Clay minerals are not much to look at. They also add brown and red colors to sedimentary rocks. calcium ca rbonate comes out of solution as calcite. Where sulfur is abundant. Minerals. clays are tiny flakes. Minerals Are Natural: Substances that form without any human help.

Amorphous Minerals A few things fall short in crystallinity. epidot e (Ca2Al2 (Fe3 +. Its metallic flakes can b e crumpled like aluminum foil. It degrades into calcite and water above 8 degrees Celsius. The substance s that make up coal. Minerals Are Crystalline: Substances that have a distinct recipe and arrangement of atoms. They are amorphous. Indeed. native mercury is considered a mineral. Mineraloids are a small club: Strictly speaking it includes only opal and lechat elierite. wood. but there are minerals on the books that aren'tntruly natural. At about 40 degrees below zero. the carbon sheds all its other elements and becomes graph ite. carbon ato ms arranged in sheets. Soft Minerals Traditionally. even though the metal is liquid at room temperature. And salt (halite) behaves similarly. mineralogists could propose names for chemical compounds that f ormed during the breakdown of artificial substances. mercury solidifies a nd forms crystals like other metals. the same as quart z) and water formed under near-surface conditions. These get the honorary name mineraloid. it's safe to say that all the world's diamonds and graphite are of organic origin even if they aren'tnstr ictly speaking organic. though. it flows in its solid state. Diamond. They are truly glasses or colloids. Ice is a mineral. It might be as simple as halite's (NaCl) or complex like. That's wh at makes plate tectonics possible. are different kinds of hydrocarbon compounds derived from cell walls. So there are parts of Antarctica where merc ury is unimpeachably a mineral. you could tell what mineral you were seeing by its molecular makeup and arrangement. but molybdenite is another. rising underground in broad domes and sometimes spilling out in salt glaciers. But wh en ice collects in large enough bodies. things found in places like industrial sludge pits and rusting cars (although iron rust is the same as the natural minerals hematite. Al) (SiO4) (Si2O7) O (OH) ). consider the mineral ikaite. magnetite and goethite). slowly deform given enough heat and pressure. But even these can be show n to be crystalline at the nano-scale using the technique of X-ray powder diffra ction. similarly. The mica minerals a re the best-known example. scientific Latin for formless. Organic Minerals The rule that minerals must be inorganic may be the strictest one. or chemica l formula. graphite is a true mineral. even though it isn'tnlisted in the mineral field guide. but you can'tnbring it into the lab except in a freezer. Other minerals that aren'tnquite solid are instead flexible. no mineral is really solid exc ept maybe diamond. the ocean floor and oth er cold places. After some 4 billion years of life on Earth. Even though it is of organic origin. because X-rays are a super-short-wave type of light that can imag e extremely small things. Unnatural Minerals Until the 1990S. But if coal is squeezed hard e nough for long enough. That loophole is now closed. Many minerals form cry stals that are too small to see under the microscope. For a less extreme example. wi th a fully random structure at the atomic scale. and the rocks they are part of. is carbon atoms arranged in a rigid f ramework. whi . Having a crystal form means that the substance has a definite recipe. for instance. But a few substances fail the X-ray test. all minerals. Other substances considered mineraloids include the gemstones jet and amber. These are called macerals inste ad of minerals (for more see Coal in a Nutshell). but if you were shrunk to an atom 's size. a hydrated calcium carb onate that forms only in cold water. pollen and so on. that's what glaciers living things. And of course the asbestos mineral chrysotile is stringy enough to weave into cloth. So in a sense. hard as we try. It is significant in the polar regions. while lechatelierite is a qua rtz glass formed by the shock of a meteorite impact or lightning striking the gr ound. say. Opal is a nearly random combination of silica (SiO2.

Step 1: Pick Your Mineral Step 2: Luster. If your mineral has metallic luster. although I disagree because by that logic.5) and a few key minerals. After that you'llube read y to take your information to the right place. and if you have several pieces. of course. Taste is definitive for halite (rock salt). Examine Mineral Steps to Mineral Identification: The first thing to do is to observe and test yo ur mineral. Heft is how heavy a mineral feels in the hand. but quartz can have many othe r colors. Most rocks are about t hree times as dense as water. because these are the most common and the ones you should learn first. vinegar will do. Look for luster on a fresh surface. not flavor. Color is a fairly reliable indicator in the opaque and metallic miner als for instance the blue of the opaque mineral lazurite or the brass-yellow of the metallic mineral pyrite. Experts use color all the time because they have learned the u sual colors and the usual exceptions for common minerals. but a few other evaporite minerals also have distinctive tastes. For this you'lluneed your fingernail (hardness about 2). while it may assume the shape of a proper iron-o xide mineral. a knife or nail (hardness 5. For this test. Fizz means the effervescent reaction of certain carbonat e minerals to the acid test. Step 3: Hardness. Now you are ready for mineral identification. For are respectively high-quality fossils of coal and tree resin. Use the largest piece you can find. Luster is the way a mineral reflects light and the first key ste p in mineral identification. In the translucent or transparent minerals. make sure sure that they are all the same mineral. Step 4: Color. If you'reua beginner. an informal sense of density. and examine your specimen in g ood light. Step 5: Other Mineral Properties. Just t ouch your tongue to a fresh face of the mineral and be ready to spit after all i t's called taste. Use the 10 . writing down the answers. they have a specific gravity of about 3. Make note of a mineral that is noticeably light or heavy for its size. Step 6: Look It Up. seashells should be included.point Mohs hardness scale. Examine your mineral for all of the following properties. and a luster between glassy and dull is ca lled resinous or waxy. a coin (hardness 3). Pearl goes here too. that is. A luster between meta llic and glassy is called adamantine. Don'tnworry about taste if you don'tnlive in an ar ea with these minerals. If your mineral is not one of these. but it can be a com plicated subject. Color is important in mineral identification. try the sources in the Mineral Identification Guides catego ry. color i s usually the result of a chemical impurity and should not be the only thing you use. Minerals to Gemstones Mineral Gemstone Albite Moonstone Olivine Chrysolite. First of all. glassy (vitreous) and dull. pure quartz is clear or white. you can take your information to a book or to an online resource. Each min eral's name is linked to a good photograph and notes to help you confirm the ide ntification. be sure you ar en'tnlooking at a weathered or tarnished surface. Peridot Almandine Garnet Opal Opal Almandine-Pyrope Garnet Rhodolite Orthoclase Feldspar Moonstone . T he last mineraloid is rather like the rusty car I mentioned earlier: Limonite is a mixture of iron oxides that. Once you have observed and noted these mineral properties. The three major types of luster are metallic. pay close attention to color but do not rely on it. has no structure or order whatever. The important hardness es are between 2 and 7. Start with my table of the rock-forming minerals. go to my Minerals with Metalli c Luster gallery to see the most likely minerals in this group.

respond to high temperatures and pressures. Fluids are the most important agent of metamorphism. Onyx. Ver delite Lazurite Lapis Lazuli Turquoise Turquoise Malachite Malachite Uvarovite Garnet. The clay minerals of sedimentary rocks. Indigolite/Indicolite. Beryl. which form as feldspar and mica break down in the conditions at the Earth's surface. Morion Apatite Apatite Rhodochrosite Rhodochrosite Benitoite Benitoite Scapolite Scapolite Beryl Aquamarine. Citrine. but sedimentary rocks hold the most. The sedimentary rock limestone recrystallizes and becomes marble. Rubicelle Corundum Ruby. Kunzite Diamond Diamond Sugilite Sugilite Diopside Chrome Diopside. Uvarovite Microcline Feldspar Amazonite. then into phyllite. althoug h it becomes more strongly cemented as the sedimentary rock sandstone turns to q uartzite. Cairngorm. Morganite Sinhalite Sinhalite Brazilianite Brazilianite Sodalite Sodalite Chalcedony Agate. Schorl. Heliodore. Chrysoberyl Sphene Titanite Cordierite Cordierite. Chrysoprase. Every rock contains some wa ter. Tsavorite Garnet Topaz Topaz Jadeite Jade Tourmaline Achroite. Rubellite. because both rise as you go deeper in t he Earth. Dravite. Goshenite. Thus the sedimen tary rock shale metamorphoses first into slate. Clays are surface minerals. The mineral quartz does not change under high temperature and pressure. Iolite Spinel Pleonast. Mudstones.Amber Amber Plagioclase Feldspar Moonstone Andalusite Andalusite Pyrope Garnet Andradite Demantoid Garnet Quartz Amethyst. Sapphire Spodumene Hiddenite. Metamorphose int o gneiss. Sard Spessartine Mandarin Garnet Chrysoberyl Alexandrite. then schist. Bloodstone. Carnelian. First there is the water that was trap . in particular. Ametrine. Aventurine. Emerald. Jasper. Moonstone Zircon Zircon Nephrite Jade Zoisite Tanzanite Oligoclase Feldspar Sunstone Metamorphism The Four Agents of Regional Metamorphism Heat and pressure usually work together. Violan Taaffeite Taaffeite Grossularite Hessonite. Heliotrop e. Dichroite. Intermediate rocks that mix sand and clay. With heat and pressure they slowly return to mica and feldspar.

What I'veIdescribed is how regional metamorphism affects sedimentary rocks. crinkly foliation foliated coarse n has large crystals foliated coarse foliated coarse foliated nonfoliated nite nonfoliated ar intrusions nonfoliated Eclogite nonfoliated Marble hard mixed dark and light wrinkled foliation. With further metamorphism. garnet and pyroxene fine or coarse hard dark Hornfels coarse hard red and green coarse soft light calcite or dolomite by the test . in endless variety. Second is the water that is liberated by clay minerals as they change back to feldspar and mica. full of silica (forming chalcedony) o r full of sulfides or carbonates or metals. the foliation becomes more intense. t hese include serpentinite. This usually occurs near igneous intrusions. rocks can be turned into something hard to tell from plutonic granites. These kinds of rocks give joy to experts be cause of what they say about deep-seated conditions during things like plate col lisions. Strain refers to any change in the shape of rocks due to the force of stress. The presence of mineral layers is called foliation and is important to observe when identifying a metamorphic rock. Identification of Metamorphic Rocks Foliation e foliated foliated Grain Size fine fine soft soft Hardness dark dark Usual Color Other Rock Typ Phyllite tink when struck Slate shiny. greenschist and other rarer species such as eclogite. found ne dense. mottled surface Serpenti dull and opaque colors. Underground coal fires can also cause mild contact metamorphism of the same degr ee as occurs when baking bricks. Where the strain makes the rock stre tch (shear strain). is contact meta morphism. important in specific localities. interacting with rocks elsewhere. that the foliation can be warped and stirred like taffy. the interaction of rock with chemically active fluids. Lava can rip chunks of country rock off the channel wall and turn them into exotic minerals. new minerals grow with their grains orien ted according to the direction of pressure. As strain increases. As fluids form and move in buried rocks. and the mineral sort themselves into thicker layers. but they aren'tnfound in most parts of the world. another subject for specialists. In most metamorphic rocks the la yers are made of mica. Contact or Local Metamorphism A lesser type of metamorphism. Metamorphism can be so intense. If you'reua mineral collector it's worth your while to learn about these. Igne ous rocks give rise to a different set of minerals and metamorphic rock types. That's what gives schist and gneiss their foliation. This water can become so charged with dissolved materials that the resulting fluid is no less than a liq uid mineral. The rocks next to the lava invasion are baked into hornfels. with all four factors acting at their extreme ra nge. It may be acidic or alkaline. Fluids tend to w ander away from their birthplaces. blueschist. these minerals form layers. That proces s. is called metasomatism .ped in the sediment as it became rock. ofte Schist hard mixed banded Gneiss hard mixed distorted melted layers Migmatite dark mostly hornblende Amphibolite coarse hard fine soft greenish shiny. and the result is called migmatite. too. The rest of us can only admire the laboratory skills needed to make sen se of such rocks. where hot magma forces it self into sedimentary strata.

then halite. These are what happens whe n sedimentary and igneous rocks become changed. These agents can act and interact in an infinite variety of way s. amphibole or pyroxene Syenite coarse medium to dark little or no quartz low-calcium plagioclase and dark minerals Diorite coarse medium to dark no quartz. or metamorphosed. . quartz. pressure. always has olivine olivine with amphibole and/or pyroxene Peridotite coarse dark dense mostly pyroxene with olivine and amphibole Pyroxenite coarse green dense at least 90% olivine Dunite very coarse any color usually in small intrusive bodies typically granitic Pegmatite Chemical Sedimentary Rocks These same ancient shallow seas sometimes allowed large areas to become isolated and begin drying up. pyroxene or olivine Porphyry coarse light wide range of color and grain size feldspar and quartz with minor mica. The four main agents that metamorphose rocks are heat. In that setting. the regiona l scale and the local scale. Metamorphism acts at two scales. fl uids and strain.nonfoliated coarse hard light quartz (no fizzing with acid) Quartzit e Metamorphic rocks are the third great class of rocks. The resulting rocks are certain limestones or dolomites. as the seawater grows more concentrated. the n gypsum. starting with calcite. minerals begin to come out of solution (precipitate). may have olivine high-calcium plagioclase and dark minerals Gabbro coarse dark dense. most of the thousands of rare minerals known to science occur in metamorphic ( shape-changed ) rocks. As a result. Identification of Igneous Rocks Grain Size Usual Color Other Composition Rock Type fine dark glassy appearance lava glass Obsidian fine light many small bubbles lava froth from sticky lava Pumice fine dark many large bubbles lava froth from fluid lava Scoria fine or mixed light contains quartz high-silica lava Felsite fine or mixed medium between felsite and basalt medium-silica lava Andesite fine or mixed dark has no quartz low-silica lava Basalt mixed any color large grains in fine-grained matrix large grains of feldspar. amp hibole or pyroxene Granite coarse light like granite but without quartz feldspar with minor mica. by conditions underground.

in very direct ways. This usually happens below the sediment surface. The industrially important zeolite minerals also form by diagenetic processes. Diagenesis: Underground Changes All kinds of sedimentary rocks are subject to further changes during their stay underground. Albite. Sedimentary rocks are rich in geologic history of a special kind. what the world was like in the geologic past. From these clues we know that most sedimentary rocks are of marine origin. marks left by water curren ts. Microcline Feldspars Amethyst Quartz Morganite Beryl Ametrine Quartz Morion Quartz Andalusite Andalusite Onyx Chalcedony Apatite Apatite Opal Opal Aquamarine Beryl Peridot Olivine Aventurine Chalcedony Pleonast Spinel Benitoite Benitoite . they involve the deep Earth and require intensive work to decipher. which are gentle and do not deform the rocks. Gemstones to Minerals Gemstone Mineral Achroite Tourmaline Kunzite Spodumene Agate Chalcedony Lapis Lazuli Lazurite Alexandrite Chrysoberyl Malachite Malachite Amazonite Microcline Feldspar Mandarin Garnet Spessartine Amber Amber Moonstone Orthoclase. In some cases chert can also form by precipitation. The most important types of diagenesis involve the formation of dolomite mineral ization in limestones. But some sedimentary rocks formed on land: Clastic r ocks made on the bottoms of large freshwater lakes or as accumulations of desert sand. Those clues might be fossils. the formation of petroleum and of higher grades of coal a nd the formation of many types of ore bodies. Sedimentary Rocks Are Stories The beauty of sedimentary rocks is that their strata are full of clues to what t he past world was like. Plagioclase. While igneous and metamorphic rocks also have stories. and evaporites in playas. Fluids may penetrate them and change their chemistry. These are called continental or terrigenous (land-formed) sedimentary rocks. low temperatu res and moderate pressures may change some of the minerals into other minerals. These rocks. These processes. usual ly forming in shallow seas. are also part of the sedimentary clan. where different fluids can circulate and interact chemically. called the evaporite seque nce. organic rocks in peat bogs or lake beds. But in sedimentary rocks you can recognize. mudcracks or more subtle features seen under the microscope or in the lab. and rock salt respectively. are called diagen esis as opposed to metamorphosis (although there is no well-defined boundary bet ween the two).gypsum rock.

Quartz Quartz Beryl Beryl Rhodochrosite Rhodochrosite Bloodstone Chalcedony Rhodolite Almandine-Pyrope Garnet Brazilianite Brazilianite Rubellite Tourmaline Cairngorm Quartz Rubicelle Spinel Carnelian Chalcedony Ruby Corundum Chrome Diopside Diopside Sapphire Corundum Chrysoberyl Chrysoberyl Sard Chalcedony Chrysolite Olivine Scapolite Scapolite Chrysoprase Chalcedony Schorl Tourmaline Citrine Quartz Sinhalite Sinhalite Cordierite Cordierite Sodalite Sodalite Demantoid Garnet Andradite Spinel Spinel Diamond Diamond Sugilite Sugilite Dichroite Cordierite Sunstone Oligoclase Feldspar Dravite Tourmaline Taaffeite Taaffeite Emerald Beryl Tanzanite Zoisite Garnet Pyrope. Uvarovite Titanite Sphene Goshenite Beryl Topaz Topaz Heliodore Beryl Tourmaline Tourmaline Heliotrope Chalcedony Tsavorite Garnet Grossularite Hessonite Grossularite Turquoise Turquoise Hiddenite Spodumene Uvarovite Uvarovite Indigolite/Indicolite Tourmaline Verdelite Tourmaline Iolite Cordierite Violan Diopside Jade Nephrite or Jadeite Zircon Zircon Jasper Chalcedony . Spessartine. Andradite. Almandine. Grossularite.

There are two ways of appreciating the mineral kingdom. Only low magnesium calcite is stable at surface pressure and temperatures. However. They form in warm. The creatures precipitate the carbonate in order to produce some kind of structure. Components Carbonates can be made of several components. If minerals are like different sorts of people. after all. People have found valuab le things in their own yards. Peloids: Peloids are sand sized grains (100 ? 150 micrometers) of micro-crystall ine carbonate. in a formation known as a grapestone. algae and mud clasts. If you don'tnmind that. then these places are fine. Where the mineralogist asks What variety of cow is this? th e gemologist asks Where's the beef? Gemstone Fanciers versus Mineral Collectors Just as beeves and cows are different names for the same thing. many gemstones h ave names that differ from their proper mineral names. most modern c arbonates are composed of aragonite as this is the mineral that most biological organisms create to make their shells or skeletons. a magnesium rich carbonate produced by diagenesis. with a strong tidal currents. The rest of thi s article is for fanciers. rarity the personality of minerals in themselves. It is therefore the most common mineral in ancient carbonates. For a real-life example. Olivine is an important r ock-forming mineral. Aragonite (CaCO3). Intraclasts: Intraclasts are clast of other limestone that appear in younger lim estones. Of course these categories overlap. who collec t and classify all the different animals. The collector of minerals loves their natural crystal form. which comes in high magnesium and low magnesium forms. That's why I have a big Gemstones category t hat gives you a peek over the fence from the mineral collector's side. These are: Bioclasts: Bioclasts are fragments of dead sea creatures. as they may be mad . or if you'reutaking children with you. Mineralogy There are three main minerals that form carbonates: Calcite (CaCO3). One of Carly Wickell' s favorites is the Sheffield Ruby Mine. fl uorescence. To keep the two sets of names straight. join the rockhounds near you and follow them around: The ultimate gemstone fanatic dreams of opening a mine. If mineralogists are like zookeepers. read about Scott Klein's fresnoite mine deep in the Ca lifornia Coast Range. optical effects and value in a word. gemologists are like butchers. gastropods (snails) and Halim eda (a green algae). But most mines are generally enriched th e old-fashioned term is salted with extra stones. you might find a place like Emeralds appealing. The fancier of gemstones is in love with what makes minerals sexy: Their purity. color. whi ch sells only uncut emerald crystals.Gemstones and Precious Stones Gemstones are the sexy minerals. their beauty. Examples of organisms that p roduce aragonite shells are bivalves (sea shells). use the Gemstones to Minerals tables. One place they'reyc oncentrated in is the Franklin district of North Carolina. They are sometimes found clumped together. size. Dolomite (CaMg (CO3) 2). If you'reua minera l-collecting kind of person. They are generally rounded or sub-rounded. for example. Ooids: Ooids are rounded grains formed by precipitation of calcite around a nucl eus to produce concentric circles (Figure 3). To do better. Wave action may also contribute to their near-sph erical shape. chemical variety. These include shells a nd corals. Digging Gemstones I suppose there could be a third reaction to browsing all these jewels Where can I dig up my own? There are gemstone mines all over the place. shallow waters. Organisms that produce a calcite shell include brachipods ( a rare type of sea shell) and ostrocods (a small crustacean). but as a gemstone it's called peridot. They can be quite difficult to distinguish at times. They originate from fe cal pellets. which has a different structure to calcite. gemstones are the supermodels. who foc us on the edible ones. You might not have to move to Franklin.

1998). lithifying it rapidly. The Origin and Early Evolution of Birds Introduction Birds are phylogenetically considered to be members of the theropod dinosaurs. This makes it diff icult to compare them with other taxonomic groups (Padian et al. It was thought that clavicles could not have been lost and then re-evolved into furcula and so a more ancient ancestor for birds was sought for: The candidate suggested was the thecodonts from which all other archosaurs are t hought to have evolved. they have no diagnostic characters of their own and are not a good phylogenetic group. The Thecodont Hypothesis The thecodont hypothesis for the origin of birds is characterised by being a def ault option. Both micrite and sparite form the matrix or cement in carbonate rocks. The synapomorphies of birds and crocodiles have been tested . they have no diagnostic characters of their own and are not a good phylogenetic group. from the late Jurassic of Bavaria. For example. Archaeopteryx and a modern bird are shown in figure one. Hence. The fossil reco rd of modern birds began in the early Tertiary (Padian et al. The thecodont hypothesis for the origin of birds is characterised by being a def ault option. The candidate suggested was the thecodonts f rom which all other archosaurs are thought to have evolved. There are a lot of anatomical terms used to describe the evolution of birds. Sparite: Sparite is coarser than micrite. with grains less than 4 micro meters. which can be com pared to other taxa. Ho wever. Subseque ntly. in order to define most of the terms used . The Crocodylomorph Hypothesis Crocodylomorphs include crocodiles and some Triassic-Jurassic forms that are clo sely related but not true crocodiles. Germany. This hypothesis has fewer problems than th e thecodont hypothesis. whic h is represented by seven skeletons and a feather. This is because it is not due to positive correlation of characters and taxa but due to the negative association with other taxa. A problem is that th e archosaurs are a wastebasket group containing all archosaurian reptiles that do not fit into dinosaurs. A problem is that the archosaurs are a wastebasket group c ontaining all archosaurian reptiles that do not fit into dinosaurs. It was originally thought that theropods shared more features with birds than any other group. This is because it is not due to positive correlation of characters and taxa but due to the negative association with other taxa. at the time there was no evidence for clavicles in theropods. The first know n fossil bird is Archaeopteryx. Ho wever. but it has been found that most are general to the archosaurs. the hardground may be broken up and incorporated into the surrounding sedi ment. Hence. crocodiles o r pterosaurs. It was thought that clavicles could not have been lost and then re-evolved into furcula and so a more ancient ancestor for birds was sought for. t heir closest non-avian relatives are the dromaeosaurid theropods. as crocodiles are a monophyletic group.e of a similar rock as that which encases it. at the time there was no evidence for clavicles in theropods. Micrite: Micrite is microcystalline carbonate mud. which are t he equivalent of the furcula or wishbone in birds. 1998). Even if these a . with a grain size of more than 4 micro meters and is crystalline. crocodiles or pterosaurs. which are t he equivalent of the furcula or wishbone in birds. This makes it difficult to compare them with other tax onomic groups (Padian et al. 1998). There is no fossil evidence f rom before this time that has been proven to be of avian origin. the refore diagrams showing the skeletons of a theropod dinosaur. It was originally thought that theropods shared more features with birds than any other group. hardgrounds can from when sea water flows through carbonate sediment.

1998). The Cursorial Theory The cursorial theory is based on the evidence that Archaeopteryx was a strong. In coelurosaurs. This suggests that flight could have begun by running. Hypotheses for the original function of feathers include insulation. display and camouflage. The Evolution of Feathers The first known feathers are from a small coelurosaurian dinosaur called Sinosau ropteryx. and from evidence that birds evolved from small. Therefore. There have been found a series of skeletal changes in theropods that are considered to be avian. leg-powered g lides after prey or away from predators (Padian et al. active. It is biomechanically easier to evolve flight from gliding than from the gr ound. decoupling of the fore-and hindlimbs was achieved in the coelurosa urs and the tail and hindlimb were progressively decoupled in the earliest birds (Padian et al. 1998). but it has been shown that this action would cause the proto-bird to lose its balance by throwing off its angular momentum. 1998). with the fi rst held off the ground and the fifth lost. leaping and sustaining short. These features were passed to birds from their dinosaurian an cestors and not specifically evolved for an avian lifestyle (Padian et al. the tail becomes even shorter and the hyperflex ing wrist joint is present. Deinonychus and the other d romaeosaurs. there is a reduction and loss of manual digits four and five. These are hypotheses are difficult to test. There has been some dou bt as to whether selection could improve both the forelimb and hindlimb at the s ame. Modern lizards have been reported to reach theses speeds. Any model also needs to account for the evolution of the flight stroke. but it i s not known whether proto-birds could reach such speeds. basal theropod dinos aurs have lightly built bones and a foot reduced to three main toes. It has been suggested that feathers were used as nets to capture insect s. An increased airfoil surface would increase lift and stability. there are only 15 ? 20 synapomorphies compared to over 70 with the theropods (Padian et al. they are shared by a broa der group within the theropod dinosaurs. biped. 1998) . it was suggest ed that insects were caught using the teeth with the arms held out laterally. this feature was used as a preyseizing stroke (Padian et al. 1998). in the dromaeosaurids and Archaeopteryx. a gile. Fused clavicles (furcula) are apparently basal to Tetanurae (carnosaurs and coelurosaurs) and sternal plates are known in a variety of tetanurans. In the accepted. This shows that feathers did not evolve specifically for flight (Padian et al. In dinosaurs. and partial i nterlocking. running pr edators. There are numerous synapomorphies of the skeleton and skull t hat link birds and theropods. Finally. It has b een shown that the immediate sister groups of birds. and a reduction in the number. As an alternative. of the tail vertebrae. already had the sideways-flexing wrist joint that in birds is essen tial to the production of thrust. in creasing lightness of the skeleton. dromae osaurids and other groups. which has a row of small fringed structures along its vertebral column . which include birds. However. It would have only taken a slight adjustment of the angle of attack of this pred . th e pubis begins to point backwards instead of forwards. the arms become longer and the first toe begins to ro tate backwards behind the metatarsals. the pubis and ischium begin to show a g reater disparity in length. feathers are not a synapomorphy of birds. The other proble m is the ground speed that would be required to reach a typical flight speed of 6 ? 7 mS ? 1. 1998). and it seems likely tha t feathers were used for several different purposes as they are now (Padian et a l. although this does not indicate that it evolved this way. For example. The Theropod Hypothesis Cladistic analysis supports this hypothesis and shows that the most closely rela ted group (sister group) of theropods to the birds includes the dromaesaurids su ch as Deinonychus. Moving through the theropod sequence towards birds. the anterior projection o n the foot of the pubis is lost. which allows the action that is crucial to the fligh t stroke in birds. Criticisms of this include the problems of drag and needing to work against grav ity. 1998).

1998). The evidence for an arboreal lifest yle overall is weak. Also. By running. Archaeopteryx had a forelimb longer than th e hindlimb. This is supported by two arguments. whic h suggests that it was capable of some flight. Archaeopteryx has none of the features of typical vertebrate gliders. The second argument is that the feathers of Archaeopteryx are asymmetrical. Howe ver. What kinds of isolation can lead to the formation of a new species? . Generally it is thought that Archaeopteryx could glide as well as most modern bi rds and fly by flapping to some extent. 1998). the evidence seems to point to a modified version of the cursorial theo ry of bird. Experiment s have shown that pigeons with a severed supracoracoideus tendon can not take-of f from ground level. nor is it aerodynamically designed to fly. data shows that the asym metry is less than that of modern fliers and gliders and this argument is only v alid if it is assumed that fossil animals must look exactly like modern ones whe n performing the same function (Padian et al. It is thoug ht to have had a fully evolved flight stroke capable of generating thrust as wel l as lift. Iberomesornis. The presence of an alula in the early Cretaceous Eoalulavis shows tha t the wing mechanism that allowed flying at lower speeds and to manoeuvre like l iving birds evolved early in bird history. which in birds is the tendon that powers the upstroke. and the y were obviously not arboreal. this theory has little s upport from comparative biology as it requires the ability to climb trees and to glide. It has been argued that the lateral grooves and curvature of the claws are an arboreal specialisation. It should also be considered that large theropods such as A llosaurus and Tyrannosaurus have curved claws with deep lateral grooves. Overall. The Arboreal Theory The arboreal theory is more intuitive in that flight evolving from an arboreal g liding stage would seem to be relatively easy. can not maintain level flight and can not land safely. has features diagnostic of a perching ability (Padian et al. However. but these have also been compared to those of ground-dwelling birds. The first is that Archaeopteryx lacks evidence of a supracorac oideus system.atory stroke to create a suitable vortex wake. Neither capacity seems to be present in Archaeopteryx or in theropod din osaurs. 1998). 1998). The evidence for this is: its wing planform and size are like those of some modern weakly flying birds the flight feathers are well-developed the sternum was a strong site of origin for flight muscles its aerodynamic planform is unlike that of birds that only glide (Padian et al. 1998). palaeobotanical evidence shows an absence o f large trees anywhere near the Solnhofen lagoons in which Archaeopteryx is pres erved (Padian et al. and eventually flight from the grou nd up could have evolved. This idea requires no features not already known from fossils. Running and leaping may have been enhanced by ridge-gliding or jumping from small heights (Padian et al. Flight Capabilities of Archaeopteryx The general consensus is that Archaeopteryx was a weak flier. 1998). it is questionable whether Archaeopteryx can be compared with modern birds in this way (Padian et al. Running leaps were aided by wings outstretched for balance. Flight Improvements After Archaeopteryx Phylogenetic analysis has shown that many of the characteristics associated with the origin of flight were already present in non-avian theropod dinosaurs befor e birds evolved. extension of the time in the air. the wing s were expanded at the distal ends for increased stability. leaping and a few suc h strokes. The leaps were gradu ally extended by short flapping motions that elaborated the down and forward mot ion already present in the sister groups of the first birds. Feathers evolved in non-avian coelurosaurs whose forelimbs were too short to bear functional wings. However. of the early Cretaceou s. and flight feathers on the wings and long tail feathers. 1998). It has been suggested that advantage may have been taken of any ridge o r incline and so the model does have an element of the arboreal theory (Padian e t al.

These are summarised below: Prezygotic factors Geographical isolation: Forms are separated by land or water barriers that they are unable to cross. Prezygotic Barriers: One or more of these may be operating within a given popula tion at any time. t o limit or prevent gene flow between species. i. 1977). which operate after fertilisation leading to partial or complete fa ilure of crosses between the two forms. 1998).. populations are different species i f gene flow between them is prevented by biological differences. prezygotic factors. Belon g to the species. They may occur only partially. which operate before fertilisation can occur.e. Ecological isolation: The forms fail to meet because they live in different plac es within the same geographic region. Postzygotic factors Zygote dies: Zygotic mortality soon after fertilisation. but no transfer of male gametes takes p lace. F1 hybrids viable but have reduced fertility (hybrid sterility) Hybrid breakdown: Reduced viability or fertility in F2 (second generation) or ba ckcross (F1 crossed with parents) generations. for example. The factors leading to reproductive isolation can be divided into two categories . they are different species even if they are indistinguishable phenotypically. . but egg is not fertilised. F1 hybrids (first generation) have reduced viability (hybrid inviability).Introduction According to the biological species concept. If they are reprodu ctively isolated. If populations exchange genes they are conspecific. behavioural isolation can be complete or females may only show a sligh t preference for males of their own species (Dobzhansky et al. Temporal isolation: The forms are active at different seasons or times of day. Gametic incompatibility: Gamete transfer occurs. and postzygo tic factors. known as reprod uctive barriers. even if they differ greatly in morphology. The evolutionary functions of these mechanisms are the same. Behavioural isolation: The forms meet. but do not mate. Mechanical isolation: Copulation occurs. Therefore speciation arises from the evolution of biological bar riers to gene flow (Futuyma.