Wednesday, October 20, 2010

GeoFest 2010 October 22-24

The Indiana State Museum's annual GeoFest event takes place this weekend (October 22-24, 2010) in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A great place explore geology, mineralogy, and paleontology to placate your inner scientist.  Also a good place to find unique gifts for the upcoming holidays.

Dates & Times
October 22, 2010 (Friday) 9 AM - 5 PM EST
October 23, 2010 (Saturday) 9 AM - 5 PM EST
October 24, 2010 (Sunday) 11 AM - 4 PM EST

Indiana State Museum
650 West Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204


A number of geology organizations will be present to explain their missions and help with specimen identification: Indiana 4-H, 500 Earth Science Club, Indiana Society of Paleontology, Indiana Geological Survey, Lost River Conservation Association, Indiana Academy of Science, and Friends of Mineralogy.  In addition, 21 dealers will be selling a variety of items including jewelry, cut stones, fossils and raw crystals from around the world.

An interactive display will allow visitors to mix, pour, and mold concrete presented by IMI (Irving Materials, Inc.) Sonja Cowles will help attendees create concrete paper weights using rocks, sand, cement, and water.

On Saturday, Oct. 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., glass artist Sallie Gurth of Fuego Loco
Studio will lead an informal jewelry-making workshop. Using beads provided or
purchased from exhibitors, visitors can learn to create necklaces, bracelets or earrings. Cost for the workshop starts at $10.

While at the museum do not forget to check out their great geological exhibits.  Meteorites, minerals, rocks, and fossils are on display.

Barringer Meteorite Crater in Arizona

 Dolomite & Calcite
Harrison County, Indiana

 Yellow Fluorite
Allen County, Indiana

Crinoid Calyx
Mississippian Period
Crawfordsville, Indiana

Learn more at  Indiana State Museum web site.

Smithsonian's "The Tree" Fossil

This fossil has to be one of the largest types found in Kentucky (excluding the Paleozoic coral/sponge/bryozoan reef colonies).  The plant fossil section of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History has a display of a Callixylon tree trunk fossil dated to 348 million years old (Late/Upper Devonian Period).  It was found in the New Albany Shale of Kentucky.  The tree did not grow in Kentucky though but probably floated in from the New York or Pennsylvania area then sank into the muck.

As the following pictures show this fossil protrudes into the floor and extends through the ceiling.  The display notes the trees reached heights of 30 meters (100 ft).  Modern conifers and cycads descend from this ancient progymnosperm plant fossil.

UPDATE: (2020-10-18): The collector was W.F. Pate and its catalog number is USNM P 33956. The Smithsonian on-line database has a link to this large fossil at: