Thursday, August 30, 2012
This is a picture of one of the fallen stalagmites (those are the rocks that form on the cave floor) we collected in Gunung Mulu National Park in Borneo. My hypothetical guess is that the lowest third (the piece on the far right) formed itself over 100,000 years ago.
For the next several days I will be doing a huge analysis -- everything from cutting open the rock and drilling out some powder samples to a final analysis of these samples on a multi-collector inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometer -- in order to find out if my guess of the age and growth-rate is anywhere near correct. And in order to share everything, I will be documenting every one of my scientific steps with experiment pictures and a helpful storyline. Let's see if we can all get some quality data together, and at the same time learn a little something about old rocks, caves, and climate! Yay! :)