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A Monumental Earthcache EarthCache

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Hidden : 04/05/2017
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Geocache Description:

This Earthcache is set in Manchester's Albert Square, dominated by the backdrop of the Grade I listed Manchester Town Hall building.

The GZ coordinates have you standing at the Albert Memorial.

Also in the Square are four Grade II listed monuments - statues of Victorian reformers James Fraser, John Bright, Oliver Heywood and William Gladstone.

Two of the statues are bronze whilst two are marble; all stand on granite pedastals.

Over thousands of millions of years the diverse Earth's rocks have been formed due to geological processes such as igneous activity, metamorphism and the formation of sediments. There are three main types of rock: sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic, all composed of various minerals. Sedimentary rocks are formed by the deposition of material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water. Igneous rocks are formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. Metamorphic rocks are formed from the transformation of existing rock types, typically due to intense variations in heat and pressure.

Igneous Rocks
Igneous rocks solidify from a hot, molten state. Some cool slowly deep underground and produce relatively large crysal plutonic rocks such as granite whilst others erupt from the surface and cool quickly producing extrusive (or volcanic) rocks such as lavas.

Granite is a tough, silica-rich, igneous rock displaying a coarse, granular structure. Mineral composition within usually gives it a red, pink, grey or white color with dark mineral grains visible throughout the rock. It is formed under great pressure from the slow crystallization of molten magma below the Earth's surface. Granite is composed mainly of quartz and feldspar with smaller amounts of mica, amphiboles and other minerals.

What to do ...
Please visit the four statues, examine the granite pedastals and answer the following questions :-
1. Describe the three primary materials that granite is composed of ?
2. In many of the vertical granite surfaces you will clearly see dark patches called heathens or xenoliths; describe how these differ from the rest of the granite and their typical size ?
3. Comparing the granite pedastals of the Gladstone and Heywood statues, describe the differences in the granite used ?
4. Where was the Gladstsone granite from (look for an inscription) ?
5. Describe the differences between the granites used for the Fraser pedastal (the upper/lower and middle are clearly different) ?
6. Out of the four statues, two have pedastals in which the granite is much lighter in colour - which ones and why ?
7. Why do you think granite is used for the pedastals ?

Once you have gathered the required information, please send me an email or message through my profile ; emails/messages should be sent before, or shortly after, logging a find otherwise your log could be deleted.

Whilst not a logging requirement, photos are always appreciated.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

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Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)