If you are interested you can go and have a look at the other end of these Stamp sands at Big Traverse River Pier
. Look at either side of the Pier and ask yourself why the Army Corp of Engineers built this pier?
Stamp sands –
material produced as waste from mining for metals such as copper. The rock (ore) is smashed by a mechanical stamp, the metal falls to the bottom and the waste rock is usually gravel to sand sized.
a poisonous metal, that at one time was used to kill rats.
Copper ore –
rock that contains enough copper that it is economically worthwhile to mine and process it for its metal.
Longshore Drift –
the movement of sand and other small rock particles along a beach in a particular direction, often due to the prevailing wind direction or prevailing offshore current.
an artificial channel for conducting water, often fitted with a gate (sluice gate) at the upper end for regulating the flow. (http://dictionary.reference.com)
a thin mixture of an insoluble substance, such as cement, clay, or coal, with a liquid, such as water or oil. (http://dictionary.reference.com)
Mid-Ocean Ridge –
A place on the ocean floor, that extends for hundreds or thousands of miles, where lava is pushing through to the surface and pushes the ocean further apart. The lava cools and creates new rock, which is itself pushed away by newer lava and the process continues.
Alluvial fan –
a fan-shaped deposit formed by running water (and the affects of gravity), where its velocity is abruptly decreased, as at the mouth of a ravine or at the foot of a mountain or cliff.
Earth Science Literacy Principles Big Ideas:
What's the Big Idea? The Earth is constantly changing!
When you look down on the Earth from space, there are not many structures built by humans that can be seen. The Great Wall of China is one of them. However the human species is changing the planet, sometimes on purpose, but more often than not by accident and without thinking of the consequences. The Stamp sands at Gay, MI cannot be seen from outer space, but they can be seen by aerial photography. Also a great deal of the sands that were moved here by miners are not seen, but are just off of the Lake coast under the surface of the water! Have you noticed that almost nothing grows on this sand? Grass grows on sand dunes that are not covered in water every day. This does not happen on the Stamp sands. Why is this? The Stamp sands contain copper and arsenic and other trace heavy metals. They are poisonous.
There has been talk of using these Stamp sands to make roof tiles, which do not allow moss to grow on them. We use millions of roof tiles every year in the U.S., it is possible that these poisonous sands could become a useful resource at some time in the future. If this happens they will be scooped up and the sands will disappear over time, to be replaced by the natural sands on which they currently lie!
Common Earth Science Misconceptions
Misconception 1 –
the Coriolis Effect is demonstrated every time you flush your toilet.
Despite what you may have been told or shown by a teacher or other adult, the Coriolis Effect is too weak, to cause the spin of water to be clockwise or anticlockwise, when you flush your toilet or pull the plug on your sink full of water.
When you flush a toilet, the vortex of water will spin either way depending on how the water enters the bowl. You can test this by filling a sink full of water and using your hand, swirl the water clockwise, then pull the plug (observe the spin direction) and try it again by swirling the water anticlockwise the second time that you try this.
Misconception 2 –
the Earth used to change, but now it basically stays the same.
Well after you have experienced this EarthCache, you should be able to see that both humans and nature are continuously changing the way that the Earth is and looks. Just because you cannot see the hour hand on a clock move by staring at it, does not mean that it does not go round the dial at least once every 12 hours. Many of the processes that the Earth experiences on a daily basis are slow and steady (it is like watching grass grow) but that does not mean that they do not happen. Seeing is believing- right!? Do your fingernails grow? Are you sure? Can you see it happening if you watch your fingernails? Of course not! Yet the Atlantic Ocean is moving apart (getting wider every year) at the Mid-Ocean Ridge at about the same speed with which your fingernails grow (2-3 centimeters a year)!
The owner of this cache is a participant in the Michigan Teaching Excellence Program
(MITEP) through Michigan Technological University, which teams with science teachers to improve science teaching and learning.
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation award # 0831948
Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2011 from http://dictionary.reference.com
Stamp sands. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stamp_sand
[A satellite photo of the northern part of the Great Traverse Bay showing the gray colored beach areas covered in Stamp sands]. Retrieved 7/27/11 from: Google Earth
Gagnon, John (2010, August 18th
) Alumnus Teams with Tech to Reclaim Stamp Sand and Grow an Industry. Retrieved from http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2010/august/story30658.html
[Map of part of the Keweenaw Peninsula, showing the Grand Traverse Bay and Gay, MI]. Retrieved July 27, 2011 from www.googlemaps.com
Miller, Marli Bryant. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2011 from http://pages.uoregon.edu/millerm/fan.html
Schaetzl, Randall J., Darden, Joe T., and Brandt, Danita S. Michigan Geography and Geology
. New York: Pearson Custom Publishing; 1 edition (January 8, 2009).