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Tools & Technology: Pick & Shovel

Pick & Shovel
Photo by Chris Linder, WHOI

Pick & Shovel
Sometimes the tools used in field work aren't so high-tech. At Mt. Morning, we'll be digging trenches in the lava rubble so that we can make observations of the rock beneath the surface. A pick and shovel – and a strong back – are all the tools we'll need for this part of the project.

Rocks on the surface are exposed to the scouring wind, to sunshine and dry air, and to snowfall. Rocks beneath the surface are sheltered from those forces, but they're still shaped by ice crystals and temperature changes. As the ice shrinks and expands over many years, it can sort the rock particles based on their size or shape. By documenting the natural assortment of rocks in pits we dig, the geologists can learn about these processes.


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