Colorful Plume Agate
Leland D Howard
Photograph - Fine Art Nature And Landsscape Photography
These extraordinary and colorful patterns were discovered in rare Idaho gem stones. The official name for the stone itself is agate, which as a mineral variety is not all that rare, but incredible mineral assemblages and depositional textures like these are very rare and unique. In fact preliminary investigations by geologists indicate a one of kind discovery, unmatched anywhere on earth in texture, form and color. Specialized equipment is used to cut the stone into slabs thereby revealing astonishingly intricate shape and form. These remarkable designs were created in the Alder Creek Eruptive Center of the Challis Volcanics. Intrusive magma served as a heat source that created a convective (rising) mineral bearing solution that interacted with the surrounding rock. Temperature, pressure and chemically controlled reactions between the mineral bearing solutions and the surrounding rock wall resulted in the deposits that eventually hardened within open spaces or cracks in an epithermal (hot springs like) system. Temperature and pressure variations created a wide variety of texture and form that can at times resemble impressionistic landscape paintings. An exquisite example of art in nature.
April 29th, 2014
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