News Release 432

The "Missouri House of Rock," a popular destination

Volume 37-432 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Hylan Beydler
573-368-2118

ROLLA, MO, NOV. 16, 2009 — In recent field trips, the Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology, located in Rolla, was at the top of the list for the Mozarkite Society of Lincoln and an environmental geology class from Drury University, St. Robert.

About a dozen rock enthusiasts from the Mozarkite Society drove to Rolla from Sedalia, Cole Camp, Windsor and other towns in that region to tour the museum located at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Division of Geology and Land Survey. The museum is named for former state Geologist Ed Clark, who served the citizens of Missouri from 1944-1955.

The Mozarkite Society of Lincoln is a geology club that exists to promote awareness and appreciation for Missouri's official state rock, mozarkite. A type of chert native to the Benton County area, Mozarkite is a contraction of "Mo" (Missouri), "zark" (Ozarks) and "ite" (meaning rock). Mozarkite has won distinction because of its unique variation of colors and its ability to take a high polish. Typically, the colors are different hues of red, pink and purple with varying tints of gray, green and brown. It is admired by lapidarists throughout the nation.

Division deputy director Bill Duley led the museum tour where the group enjoyed seeing a number displays of polished and unpolished mozarkite stones and jewelry, including two especially nice polished specimens previously donated to the state geologist by society member, Linville Harms. The museum boasts a number of other impressive displays about rocks, minerals, fossils, earthquakes and geologic mapping. While in Rolla, the group also visited two local rock and mineral shops.

"We enjoyed the many interesting rock specimens, fossils and related displays, "said Jean Eckstein, a Society charter member. "One of our favorites had to be the "bone" pile outside where we got to dig for our own rock to take home. The petrified wood log was also fascinating!"

The same day, Dr. Maples and 10 of his environmental science students not only toured the museum, they took in a mini-course presented by division geologist Cheryl Seeger, about the geology revealed on Proffit Mountain, near Lesterville, a result of the Taum Sauk Reservoir failure in 2005.

Continuing their tour, the group accompanied Hairl Dayton across town to the division's McCracken Core Library and Research Center. Dayton, a technical assistant with the division, explained that library is a 21,000 square-foot facility containing more than 2.5 million linear feet of exploration rock cores that have been donated to the state. Core is cylinder-shaped segment of rock obtained by using a hollow-core drill. Most of the core is 1 3/8 inches in diameter and stored in 2-foot sections. Dayton catalogs and maintains the core for researchers in industry, government and academia.

"The department has a long history of providing geology expertise to Missouri. Core research and examination preserves geological data, leads to a better understanding of Missouri geology and hydrology, and yields data useful in solving environmental, industrial and engineering problems, "said Joe Gillman, state geologist and division director. "Core available for study comes from many sources such as highway department construction, and oil, gas and mineral exploration drilling in Missouri."

Maples said, "The day's events truly fit exactly the concept of this class. The class is A study of the interrelationship between humans and the physical environment, and focuses on natural resources, soils, hydrology, and water supplies, erosional processes, karst landscapes, land use planning, and geologic map interpretation."

McCracken is one of the largest such collections in the nation and is named in honor of geologists Earl and Mary McCracken, whose service to the geological survey spanned more than three decades. The division also offers publications such as fact sheets that provide information about land surveying and the state's geology. Books and other items such as rock sets and mozarkite are available for purchase online or by visiting the publications desk located at 111 Fairgrounds Road in Rolla. Additional information can be found online at dnr.mo.gov/geology/

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Editor: Photo is available at dnr.mo.gov/newsrel/images/daytoncore.jpg

Caption: Hairl Dayton, DNR, Division of Geology and Land Survey, describes rock cores housed at the department's Rock Core Library and Research Center in Rolla to Drury, St. Robert students.