It’s Minerals Day — October 12

It’s Earth Science Week (October 12-16)

Starting in 1998, this is a week American Geosciences Institute has organized as a way to bring national and international attention to understanding and appreciating for the Earth sciences. And Earth science appreciation is something the Department of Conservation supports year round.

This year’s Earth Science Week celebrates “Earth Materials in Our Lives,” which emphasizes how Earth’s materials impact humans — and the ways human activity impacts these materials — in the 21st century.

We’re kicking off our celebration of Earth Science Week with Minerals Day.

Here’s one of the projects the Department of Conservation has been working on:

Monday, October 12: MINERALS DAY

Last week, our California Geological Survey geologists did some mapping in the New York Mountains (Mojave National Preserve.)

California Geological Survey geologist Erica Key records a rock outcrop in this hillside formation to help with 3-D mapping.

CGS geologists mapped areas with carbonatites which are a known source of rare earth elements used in electronics and green technologies (everything from cell phones to windmills, electric cars, etc.).

California Geological Survey geologist David Reioux uses a special app on his cell phone to enter geologic information into CGS’ database from the field.

They are preparing geologic maps to support the USGS’ Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (EMRI).

The goal of Earth MRI is to improve knowledge of the geologic framework of the United States.

USGS then uses this knowledge to identify areas that may contain undiscovered critical mineral resources.

China has a near monopoly on both mining and processing those minerals, which is why the U.S. is pushing to find domestic sources. Improving our domestic mineral supply decreases the nation’s reliance on foreign sources of minerals that are fundamental to our security and economy.

California Geological Survey geologist David Reioux uses a hand lens to identify a rock.

Learn more about the California Geological Survey’s Minerals Program here:

Stay tuned for more themed days for Earth Science Week!


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