Barite Rose: Our State Rock

Rose rocks, the reddish-brown sandy crystals of barite that resemble a rose in full bloom, are more abundant in Oklahoma than anywhere else in the world. They have been reported in small quantities in California, Kansas, and Egypt, but are in greatest concentration in the Permian Garber Sandstone in a narrow belt that extends 80 miles through the central part of Oklahoma between Pauls Valley and Guthrie. The most abundant and well-formed specimens are found in an area just east of Norman, near Noble, also known as the “Rose Rock Capital of the World”.

Barite Rose

Barite Rose

The rose-like appearance of the rock’s petal-shaped clusters is due to the intergrowth of crystals of barite (a mineral compound of barium sulfate) into a cluster of divergent blades. Barite was precipitated in interconnected voids in the rock, probably from barium-rich marine waters that covered the Permian Garber Sandstone during or shortly after its deposition about 250 million years ago. The rose-like concretions incorporated the iron-stained quartz sand grains and thus acquired the red color of the host Garber Sandstone.

The rosettes are harder and more durable than the surrounding host rock and weather into positive relief on outcrops. As further weathering occurs, they are separated from the rock and scattered through the residual sandy soil. Slow weathering and erosion of the host rock continually expose additional rosettes at the surface. Well-formed specimens are highly prized and have become a basic part of most mineral collections. The quality of the rosettes range from delicate and thin-petal forms to those that are somewhat rounded with poorly developed petals.

Most rose rocks are 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter and consist of 5 to 20 radiating plates. The largest known single rosette is 17 inches across, 10 inches high, and weighs 125 pounds. Clusters of rosettes 38 inches tall and weighing more than 1,000 pounds have been found.

The rose rock became the official state rock on April 8, 1968, when Governor Dewey F. Bartlett signed House Bill 1277. The rose rock, also called the “barite rose” or “sand- barite rosette,” then joined the state bird: scissor-tailed flycatcher; the state song: “Oklahoma;” the state wild flower: Indian blanket; the state tree: redbud; the state reptile: collared lizard or mountain boomer; the state animal: American buffalo; the state fish: white bass; the state grass: Indian grass; and the state flower: mistletoe: the state fossil: Saurophaganax Maximus (dinosaur); and state dinosaur: Acrocanthosaurus Atokensis, as official symbols of Oklahoma.

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Common Fossils in Oklahoma

Fossils are evidence of plants and animals that lived in past geologic times and are preserved today In stone. The ancient shallow seas that once covered much of Oklahoma teemed with animal life. Many of these marine organisms are preserved as fossils in the sedimentary rocks (rocks formed from the sediments of oceans and rivers) of Oklahoma. Some of the general forms are illustrated below. Read More

The Oklahoma State Fossil

April 14, 2000 the Oklahoma Legislature declared Saurophaganax Maximus to be the State Fossil of Oklahoma. This spectacular dinosaur, the “greatest king of reptile eaters”, once roamed this great land. It is only known from Oklahoma and has surpassed the “king of the dinosaurs”, Tyrannosaurus Rex , as the greatest predator of earth’s history.

Oklahoma State Fossil - Saurophaganax Maximus

Saurophaganax Maximus

Skeletal remains of this dinosaur were first found by University of Oklahoma fossil hunters in Cimarron County. In 1931 and 1932 paleontologist John Willis Stovall uncovered remains of a large theropod near Kenton in Cimarron County, Oklahoma in layers of the late Kimmeridgian (late Jurassic). It is still debated whether Saurophaganax Maximus is a member of the Allosaurus family. At nearly 50’ long, 17’ tall and estimated weight of 6 – 8 tons, this Jurassic giant lived 150 million years ago. A skeletal reconstruction of Saurophaganax Maximus can be viewed at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman, Oklahoma.

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Earthquake Oklahoma!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Seismic Activity

Seismic Activity

The 2011 Oklahoma earthquake was a 5.6 magnitude intraplate earthquake which occurred on November 5, 2011, at 10:53 pm CDT (03:53 UTC, November 6, 2011) in the U.S. state of Oklahoma.[1]According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), it was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Oklahoma. The previous record was a 5.5 magnitude earthquake that struck near the town of El Reno in 1952.[3] The quake’s epicenter was approximately 44 miles (71 km) east-northeast of Oklahoma City, near the town of Sparks and was felt in the neighboring states of Texas, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri and even as far away as Tennessee and Wisconsin.[4] The quake followed several minor quakes earlier in the day, including a 4.7 magnitude foreshock.[4][5][6] The quake had a maximum perceived intensity of VIII on the Mercalli intensity scale as detected in the town of Prague.[2] Numerous aftershocks were detected after the main quake, with a few registering at 4.0 magnitude.[4]

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Common Petroleum Products

Americans consume petroleum products at a rate of three and a half gallons of oil and over 250 cubic feet of natural gas a day for every man, woman and child, 365 days a year. But Petroleum isn’t used just for fuel. Petroleum feedstocks provide us with many jobs and over 6,000 different products. Most people are surprised to learn how many things petroleum is used for in daily life, as seen below.

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Oklahoma State Dinosaur Coloring Sheet

Oklahoma State Dinosaur Coloring Sheet

Oklahoma State Dinosaur Coloring Sheet

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