Thursday, 17 June 2010

Friday My Town Shoot-out - Rocks Large and Small

This week's subject for the Friday My Town Shoot-out is Rocks large and small - chosen by ChefE.

Most of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland have a bedrock formed from Lewisian gneiss. These are the oldest rocks in Europe and amongst the oldest in the world, having been laid down in the Precambrian period, up to 3000 million years ago.

Gneiss (pronounced nice) is a common and widely distributed type of rock formed by high-grade regional metamorphic processes from pre-existing formations that were originally either igneous or sedimentary rocks.

The etymology of the word "gneiss" is disputed. Some sources say it comes from the Middle High German verb gneist (to spark; so called because the rock glitters) and the name has occurred in English at least since 1757. Other sources claim the root to be an old Saxon mining term that seems to have meant decayed, rotten, or possibly worthless material.

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  1. Interesting! Thanks for letting us tag along!

  2. I love seeing you with us this week. means you are feeling better ?
    in Brasil we also have gneiss - the faults in the granite contain gneiss... it weakens the granite and from time to time large chunks fall... well you can guess the rest of the story.

  3. Interesting rocks you have here!

  4. Good to see you getting back into the spirit of FSO, John. Like Ginger, I hope this means you are feeling better. Love your historic rocks, can imagine how lovely they would be to touch.

  5. The Gneiss is nice for a pet rock.

    What time is it when they have the world cup? When New Zealand played against Slovenia, it was 11.30. By mid night, I went to sleep. Then I was told they scored. They are very proud of this.

  6. Oh oh oh I loved this hubby is a mineralogist...what fun..thank you.
    We have very similar rock pebbles here..I love the stripey ones!!

  7. Love that gneiss, Scriptor, and the beautiful polished surface of the granite. Nice shootout!

  8. I love the smooth surface of the rock in your first photo and I really want to touch the ohter ones. I think they would soothe me.

    I am so glad you showed us the pronounciation of gneiss.

  9. this is very interesting SS. glad you are joining us now and again. I like the gneiss, oldest in the world shot. great post!!

  10. Nice post and very poignant this week. I had an interesting "conversation" on the island last week with someone proclaiming the world to be approx 6000 years old, being a good creationist and all. I tried to point out that we were standing on some of the oldest rock on earth and it certainly wasn't that young. Didn't manage to convince them that this was the case but I'm glad to see you've stated some (unprovable, apparently!) scientific data.

  11. That first image is stunning. Lovely FSO.

  12. Unique and beautiful rocks! I always find it amazing to see such old objects when at museums, just to be laying eyes on something that old is breath-taking to me!


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