Thin section, Mt. Carmel, Israel

by Joe Zink April. 14, 2018 698 views

Mt Carmel in Israel is not a single mountain. In fact, the name refers to a range of coastal mountains that runs from the Mediterranean Sea for roughly 40 miles toward the south east.

Archeologists have studied the area in detail since the early 1930’s. It’s an important study site since there is evidence of a number of caves and rock shelters that may have been inhabited for nearly 600,000 years! Carmel plays an important part in a number of different religion’s history, being mentioned in the Bible numerous times, and the site upon which was founded a Catholic religious order (the Carmelites) in the 12th century.

There is a southern mountain pass through the Mt Carmel Range that almost everyone that has read the Bible would recognize…Tel Megiddo, translated into Greek as Armageddon.

Geologically, this mountain range is one of Israel’s most complicated areas. The rock tends to be carbonate and sedimentary, indicating that the area was once part of a sea floor. Depths of that early sea are estimated to be nearly 65 meters in the southern areas of the range and may have been deeper toward the north. There are some areas that show signs of isolated volcanic activity in the deep past.

It’s also an earthquake prone area due to a number of tectonic faults that cross the range, but most of them tend to be quite small. Given the tectonic plate boundary and fault lines that cross the range, scientists are keeping close track of the stresses that build in the area due to continuing plate motion, currently estimated at 5mm per year.

In this thin section slide, at minimum magnification (~4x), the rock shows patterns that are obviously caused by sedimentation. Although there are some crystals embedded in the sample, most of the rocks features appear to be fragments of larger rocks that were crushed together by earthquakes over aeons as the sedimentary rocks were formed.

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Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 2 years, 7 months ago

Even history add heavy weight on this area ...

2 years, 7 months ago Edited
Joe Zink Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 2 years, 7 months ago

One thing I found fascinating is that the caves may have been inhabited by Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals SIDE BY SIDE !!! I know the current theory is that they never interbred, but I also know some people who seem quite a bit more Neanderthal than pure chance would have it. grinning
It seems like an amazing place, and you are absolutely correct about the history that surrounds it.

2 years, 7 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue Replied to Joe Zink 2 years, 7 months ago

Oh YES, we are carrying Neandertal genes - and some people visible more than others. wink joy

2 years, 7 months ago Edited
Joe Zink Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 2 years, 7 months ago

OK, so H. Sapiens guy gets back to the cave after a hard day of hunting and gathering, and over by the pole where they hang the meat after a successful hunt, there's a hot Neanderthal girl kinda dancing around the pole. Long hair all the way down her back...not alot on top of her head, but all the way down her back...
Later when she bends over to add wood to the fire...wait, when was beer invented?
smile

2 years, 7 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 2 years, 7 months ago

Another intersting read. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I am curious as to where you get your slides and how sure are you as to their authenticity?

2 years, 7 months ago Edited
Joe Zink Replied to Camellia Staab 2 years, 7 months ago

Hi, Camellia!
I've been getting the thin section slides from 3 different sources.
 http://www.geologysuperstore.com/  (Located in England, these folks are awesome to deal with)
http://meteorlab.com/   (Director Russ Kempton, who I communicate with, has been a pleasure to work with and lets me know when he has something especially interesting)
and the third source is a geologist I know in Colorado.
The information for the posts comes from web sources. I try to find 4 or 5 different sources and correlate the information into a simplified story.
Authenticity ? To be honest, I haven't asked for samples of the same rock from two different sources to compare , that would probably be the safe approach.  I'm frankly relying on the integrity of the folks I deal with to send the samples I ask for.
 As far as the stories that I include, I had thought about that quite a bit, since I don't want to mislead anyone or make false statements. I can only hope that I'm getting it right, and getting the base information from multiple websites seemed like a reasonable way to do that.

2 years, 7 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Joe Zink 2 years, 7 months ago

Joe, don't get me wrong my questions earlier were totally based on curiosity and nothing else. I am enjoying reading your stories and looking at the photos of the magnifications. This is not something I would go reading about or pursuing so I am quite thrilled to read your blog and learn something new.  You are a good storyteller hence it's a fun read :)

2 years, 7 months ago Edited
Joe Zink Replied to Camellia Staab 2 years, 7 months ago

You started me thinking about how I could verify the rock types...and then, it hit me, double polarizing ! If I can show that the rocks contain the right type of minerals for the specific area, I can match by type...Stay tuned for that experiment...

2 years, 7 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Joe Zink 2 years, 7 months ago

grinning+1

2 years, 7 months ago Edited
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