A mining camp that had been inactive for almost 150 years has been rediscovered in the California mother lode, which was previously hidden in the woods and covered by under-story. Back in 1999, John and Cathy, along with a trusted companion Ken, stumbled upon a prime opportunity to unveil the hidden layers. The historical site, which was shrouded in mystery, is gradually revealing fascinating and unexpected discoveries. It has been 25 years since the discovery, and we are now documenting the story. Our observations are summarized in a quote that we are excited to share with you: "Could the early history of California be written in all its details, it would form a volume of romance, startling as it would be interesting, and it would again demonstrate the fact that truth is stranger than fiction." This quote was published in The Placer Argus, a weekly newspaper that was in circulation from 1872 to 1898 in Auburn, California.
The Old Rock Adventure was established in 1999 to explore Earth Science and inspire awe. After some time had passed, Geologists suggested that we participate in Citizen Science programs. Citizen Science refers to projects where volunteers collaborate with scientists to provide answers to real-world questions. As amateur scientists, we work with professionals from different fields of expertise to identify research questions, collect, analyze, and interpret data, make discoveries, develop applications and technologies, and solve intricate problems. Our contribution to Citizen Science programs (Level 4) involves identifying research questions and providing answers. What discoveries have been made at the Irish mining camp, and how has the Old Rock Adventure contributed to Citizen Science programs?
John and Catherine French - 1998
Local Outdoor Discovery School - 2018
Below are photos from one of our interactive outreach programs.
A group of students is exploring and learning at a STEM Educational Science Camp. Many earth scientists have eagerly shared the big rock, which has been recognized as a "Friendship Rock." To analyze the geological occurrence within the fault line, we have decided to use a cost-effective USB microscope provided by "Plugable". This explorer even used their camera as a microscope to thoroughly examine the area.
Magnification is between 2x and about 60x with the field of view less than 1 inch. The hydro-thermal environment allowed for the deposition (and or alteration) of almost any mineral to be captured in quartz (Silicon dioxide-SiO2).
Cobalt fluoride (CoF2), Manganese(Mn)
Tourmaline (B), Chromium (Cr)
Antimony - Stibnite (Sb₂S₃)
Blue Papagoite : Calcium copper aluminium silicate hydroxide. ( CaCuAlSi2O6(OH)3 )
Platinum(Pt) Cube on Titanium (Ti) Wire.
Lanthanum (La) on Rutile wire with assorted other minerals yet to be identified.
We know this is a strike-slip fault, but how many miles deep into the crust does it go?
- One mile
- Six miles
- One hundred miles