Geology

A Career as a Geologist

Question:

Hello, I am currently a grade 12 student interested in studying Geology at University. I would like to know a few questions if you don’t mind, pertaining to a career as a geologist. I realize that many of these questions are very broad and generalized, but really any information that you can provide would be greatly appreciated. What are the typical job duties of Geologists? What are the working conditions like? and finally – What kind of salary can a BSc Geology graduate expect to start at? Thanks for your time.

Answer:

Please visit the following website:
http://www.earthsciencescanada.com/careers/

You will find all the answers to your questions.

- Ann Therriault

 


 

Meteorites

Question:

How do I identify a meteorite?

Answer:

Meteorites vary widely both in appearance and properties, and are consequently divided into three groups: stones or stony meteorites (known scientifically as aerolites), irons or iron meteorites (siderites), and stony-irons (siderolites). All usually contain metallic iron compounds, and the variation in iron content is a major basis for their classification.  Meteorites that have lain on or near the Earth’s surface for long periods after they fell may be rusted almost beyond recognition. Specimens generally possess a fusion crust, which is a dull black to brown colour, and is quite soft.  The crust is more prevalent on stones and stony-irons, and may be partially flaked off. Stones are the most common, and resemble some terrestrial rocks, but are denser.  They contain scattered grains of metallic iron; these are visible on broken or polished surfaces in a light gray matrix composed mainly of siliciate minerals. Irons and stony-irons are very heavy masses of metal with up to equal amounts of silicate minerals. They are strongly magnetic and often irregular in shape.

Question:

Who analyses meteorites in Canada?

Answer:

See:

Astromaterials Discipline Working Group and The Montréal Planetarium

 


 

Gemstones

Question:

What are gemstones?

Answer:

Gemstones are minerals and organic materials with special characteristics that make them desirable for jewellery and ornaments.  They grow through natural processes, unlike an increasing number of imitation or synthetic materials that are produced artificially. Gemstones are set apart from other minerals by their beauty, durability and rarity.  The most important of these characteristics is beauty, which is based on the gemstone’s colour, clarity, brilliance, pattern, and light-reflecting qualities.  The beauty and clarity of a gemstone may be enhanced by procedures such as heating, irradiation, oiling, dyeing, and laser drilling. Some gemstones, such as pearls or natural crystals like quartz, are formed perfectly by nature and require no cutting or polishing.  Others must be cut and polished to reveal their full beauty. To be used in jewellery, gemstones must also be durable, or in other words, sufficiently resistant to abrasion and breakage.

 


 

What is Geology?

Question:

What is geology?

Answer:

The Earth is constantly changing and presenting new challenges to society.  The history of these changes – and the processes which cause them – is geology.  Geology is a wide and varied field of study, incorporating such scientific disciplines as chemistry, physics, biology, and several branches of mathematics.

Despite the diversity of scientific disciplines, most geological research focuses on a single objective: understanding how the Earth works.  Gaining this knowledge is pivotal for future efforts to harmonize economic and social development through a healthy and safe environment.

 


 

Meteorites from Eastern Canada

Question:

In the National Meteorites and Tektites Collection in Ottawa, there are about 60 meteorites from Canada, are there any from Iles de la Madeleine?  What are the percentage of rocks from Eastern Canada (or Atlantic provinces)?

Answer:

No meteorites are known from les Iles de la Madeleine.  Only one meteorite comes from the Atlantic provinces, namely Benton, New Brunswick.  A small iron meteorite named Penouille was found on the shore in Gaspé-Est.

- Ann Therriault

 


 

Meteorites 2

Question:

What is considered as a meteorite?

Answer:

Extraterrestrial rocks that have arrived on earth from outside the atmosphere, from the surfaces of other planets, asteroids, moons or comets.

Question:

What can someone do if they think they have found a meteorite?

Answer:

It must be verified by an expert.  Usually a digital photo is the way this starts and then a piece may need to be examined.  Info on how to identify meteorites can be found on the following sites:

Astromaterials Discipline Working Group and Meteorites and Impacts Advisory Committee

- Ann Therriault

 


 

Pumping Oil

Question:

I am not sure if it is true but I heard that for every barrel of oil that they pump out of the ground they replace it with 3 barrels of water.  Is this true and if so then how does this effect the core of the earth in regards to stability because oil is thicker than water. Would this process also be a reason for the increased activity in volcanoes and earthquakes in the world as it is changing the earth’s original make-up?

Answer:

In today’s technology world, all oil or gas extraction requires the use of water to a greater or lesser extent.  For example, in conventional oil extraction, as they are drilling they grind up the rock to make a hole through which the oil and gas will flow out.  This rock material is removed from the hole as they drill by injecting water and mud to push the material out of the ground.  For certain unconventional oil production, they put steam down a drilled hole to heat up the rock and the oil to allow the oil to flow out.  The former is less dependent on water whereas the latter is very water-use dependent and can be as much as 10 barrels of water for each barrel of oil obtained.  Neither process actually uses water to replace the oil in the ground.

The core of the Earth is not affected by oil and gas extraction.  Nor does oil and gas extraction effect volcanic activity or other natural earth processes.

- Ann Therriault

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