The tilting layers in this shot make up one limb of the Waterpocket Fold, the dominant feature of Capitol Reef National Park. They are sandstones, less erodabe than the surrounding landscape, and stick upward through the surrounding sediment. The whole park is nearly 100 kilometers long but only about 10 kilometers wide as it tracks the exposed limb of this ancient fold.

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Nickel Sulfate Hexahydrate. AKA, the most toxic and carcinogenic crystals I’ve ever grown. Extreme caution and care was utilized when synthesizing these. I’ve had them growing for nearly two months and didn’t even think it would work until I checked the solution last night and found Some incredibly large monoclinic crystals growing underneath the scorpion and on the bottom of the container. These crystals will not be for sale on my shop for the foreseeable future, but they’re incredibly rewarding and exciting to synthesize.
#tylerthrasher #crystallized #scorpion #alchemy #chemistry #tulsa

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Monoclines and Natural Resources

A monocline is a structural feature that occurs when a reverse fault beneath the surface thrusts sediments up without breaking them. This forms a fold above the fault that has gently dipping limbs in one direction and steeply dipping limbs in the opposite direction. These features can be on a very small scale in the subsurface or can be kilometres long like the one shown in the picture of the Billefjord monocline in Svalbard, Norway.

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I meant to post these a while back. They’re from the day trip I took with my mother’s friends up along the northeastern coast of Taiwan.

The northern coast of Taiwan is rocky. Monocline formations like these (at the 北關海潮公園 - Beiguan Tidal Park)are pretty much what you get. You have to go to the south for sandy beaches.

The formations are colloquially known as 豆腐岩, or tofu rocks; the rectangular segments look like sliced 豆腐 sliding apart.

I see it, but they mostly remind me of the coast of western Ireland.

Nature’s lime sorbet.

This lovely ball of prehnite on epidote was born in the metamorphic alteration of mafic volcanic rocks. These hydrated calcium aluminium iron silicates often occur together in low grade metamorphic rocks. The prehnite-pumpellyite facies, named after our ice cream like suspect is associated with hydrothermal circulation in basalts at mid ocean spreading ridges and represents the transition in between zeolite and greenshist conditions of 250-350 degrees Celcius and 2 to 7 kilobars of pressure. The mineral assemblage in metamorphic rocks always depends on a combination of pressure/temperature conditions and the chemical composition of the starting matter (known as the protolith).

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Raspberry prisms.

These beautiful crystals are Erythrite, a secondary mineral made by watery alteration and oxidation of cobalt arsenic minerals. It is a hydrated cobalt arsenate, incorporating water in its structure, and crystallises in the monoclinic crystal system. It is also known as cobalt bloom, often occuring as a coating on the minerals it is produced from. Well formed prisms are rare, since it usually occurs as crusts. It forms a solid solution with nickel arsenate, with cobalt and nickel fitting into the crystal structure interchangeably. Cobalt imparts strong colours to minerals, depending on how it fits into the crystal, and is most often found in deep blue glasses.

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Sugar and salt are crystals which have different atomic arrangements. The atoms in a sugar molecule (C6H12O6) bond in a monoclinic structure resulting in a sugar grain which has a hexagonal prism shape (as seen in this picture). Salt is an ionic compound made from sodium and chloride. The sodium and chloride bond in a cubic structure, previously we saw that this results in the salt grain having a cubic shape.

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Moonstone is arguably the most well known variety from the giants of the mineral world, the feldspar group. This particular stone can belong to a number of different feldspar branches, like the orthoclase (notably adularia) and oligocase species. In this case, their chemical formula could either be (Na,Ca)Al1-2Si3-2O8  or KAlSi3O8. Along with that, the gem usually has a monoclinic crystal structure and a hardness of 6 - 6 ½. Moonstone is famous for its optical phenomena known as adularescence or the shiller effect. This effect is light interference caused by layered deposits of differing materials. As light enters the stone, it is refracted and scattered, producing an attractive play of both color and light. For moonstone, it is caused by thin layering of orthoclase and albite. They are found grown in feldspar-rich pegamitites. Feldspars generally form during the final stage of granitic magmatic activity, as it’s filled with magma and water and a long cooling time. Moonstone takes an extra step, forming with potassium at low temperatures. The popular and most desired moonstones have a transparent, pearly appearance with a blue sheen. However, moonstone can come in other colors like white, green, gray, peach, blue, brown, and yellow. Because feldspars are so common, moonstone can be found all over the world. The most notable moonstone mines are found in Sri Lanka and India. This gem stands as a semi-precious gemstone as it was used for jewelry for thousands of years. Moonstone was at its peak of popularity during the “Art Nouveau” period ( 1890-1914). It was made famous by French Master-Goldsmith, René Lalique, who often decorated his jewelry and contemporaries with this gemstone.

Fun Facts:

  • The stone’s pretty generic name simply came from its adularescence, as many associated it with moonlight or the faces of the moon. According to GIA, adularescent moonstone was once called “adularia.” It was a name taken from the town of Mt. Adularia, in the Adula Mountains of Switzerland, one of the first historical moonstone mines.
  • Moonstone is an alternate birthstone for June, sharing the month with Pearl and Alexandrite. It is also used to celebrate thirteenth wedding anniversaries.
  • According to, Antiperthite and anorthoclase sometimes show a schiller effect similar to moonstone. Because of this, these minerals are sometimes lumped together with true moonstones due to a lack of a less generic name.
  • Moonstones are usually cut into cabochons or with a plane surface. While faceted moonstones have become more common in modern times, it’s very tricky because the layers are so thin, there’s the risk of losing the stone’s adularescence.
  • This stone has an extensive amount of lore attached to it as well as metaphysical properties. Generally, moonstones represent fertility, feminine energies, hope, intuition, dreams, emotions, love, and new beginnings. Also known as the traveler’s stone, moonstone is said to provide protection for travelers, especially at night and upon water. According to Hindu belief, was formed from moonbeams and that if you held one in your mouth on a full moon, you could see into the future. India revered it as a sacred stone and thought to bring good fortune and the Romans associated the stone with the moon. In the Middle Ages and Antiquity times, it was believed the cosmos was reflected in the stone. One final lore is that moonstone was often given as a gift to lovers, believing to arouse passion and tender thoughts. It was also believed to be able to foretell the future of the couple.


Other Gem Info Posts: Feldspar | Lapis Lazuli | Aquamarine | Tourmaline