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Unusual objects found in rock wall North Hero Vermont


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In the first picture is a section of this large wall probably 20 foot sq. Notice the circular areas imbedded in the wall. The following pictures are rocks were found near this wall. Some were rusted and some that were not. They did not attract to a magnet. One has a unusual oval shape and was not rusted but looks like a fossil. The last three pictures are the same rock. As you can see from the picture they appear to have fallen from the wall. If you look at my previous post you will notice another specimen looking like a chunk of coral which was found nearby. Lake Champlain has a history of being a ancient ocean millions of years ago. Thanks

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Edited by ltpaulbtv
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I would love to see that in person. Wish I had something more profound to offer other than "that's cool". By the way, was this area a old glacier path? Ice movement is the only thing I can think of seeing that has caused this.

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Yes glaciers moved through this area. Lake Champlain is about 168 miles long 12 miles wide and about 400 feet deep. Back in the 1930's. someone actually found the remnants of a fossilized whale some where close to the lake.

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post-25539-0-62595100-1357229458_thumb.jHey Adam, and ah, Paul is yer name? First off, yer pics could be a good bit better, or should be anyways, and then ah, is there any way to find out more precisely the geologic age of yer 20 sq. ft. rock formation? If it's only 1-5 million yrs. old it's probably limestone formed during the pleistocene epoch. If it's one of the many species of banded gneiss, it would be age dated back to 550 million-1 billion yrs. old or pre-cambrian, but really can't tell much from yer (not-so-good-photo). With all that bein said and then lookin at yer previous post and pics, I don't think you have fossilized corals, more I think you have fossilized stromatolites! (Which, imo, are much more cool). Check out these examples.post-25539-0-12778300-1357229453.jpgpost-25539-0-09598000-1357229454_thumb.jpost-25539-0-14306800-1357229455_thumb.jpost-25539-0-06999400-1357229456_thumb.jpost-25539-0-78178600-1357229456_thumb.jpost-25539-0-73044100-1357229457.jpgpost-25539-0-62595100-1357229458_thumb.j Edited by rockhunter1620
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Thanks for all the good information. Yea I was quick withe the shutter on the camera and the light was really not what it should have been. After looking at the pictures and reading about the stromatolites I believe you hit the nail on the head. I did a little searching on geological finds here in Vermont and haven't found any information about the stromatolites. I'll do some more research and see what I can find. I'll get some better pictures and post them to. Thanks!

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Those are hematite concretions. Sandstone and limestone are the host rock. Google "Martian Blueberries" for an interesting read. On earth they are called "Moqui Marbles", "Kansas Pop-Rocks", "Klerpsdorf Spheres" and a whole bunch of other magical and mystical names.

Here are some I found in Glorieta sandstone and underlying limestone. I have collected several pounds of these and some will take a finish. Here in Santa Fe there is a market for these as they are supposed to be healing stones and magical and all that...

Sometimes they are solid and sometimes they are "layered" and have sandy or rotten cores.

I bet this is exactly what they are. The ones that are round are considered "female" and the obloid or flattened ones like you have are considered "males". Most have "equators" on them and since they tend to cluster together like grapes many will show an "eye" where they were joined together at one point.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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Here is one weathering out of limestone.

And it wound up being a twin when I cut it out!

The matrix of the stone will be hematite holding the silica minerals together. For some reason hematite replaced the less soluble minerals in spheres and obloid shapes. There is much contention on how and why they form. They are studying them intensely now because the rover found them all over the surface of Mars. And there is a spot right on the Arizona/New Mexico border where they are all over the ground and have rolled down into the canyons.

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Hey Rockhunter, Adam, Paul, et al;

I have no idea what a stromatolite may be, but from the looks of the one polished specimen in Rockhunter’s pictures they seem to be silica replacements. Agatized fossils. I also understand that things can be replaced by iron oxide. Maybe a stromatolite is both ways?

The wall photo is useless to me, and the first weathered object looks like it could be something else entirely. But the symmetrical obloid with the ring at the equator is a dead ringer for a hematite concretion. I will dig a few oblods out that have “equators” on them and photograph them. They are exact in every way except your specimen is a little flatter at the “poles”. Color, texture, shape and symmetry all seem to be exact (as far as I can tell from the photos).

If a stromatolite can be a hematite replacement as well then I suppose we are talking shades of gray here. Many concretions are formed around a fossil or replace the original material. And although my “Moqui Marbles” were not formed around a fossil many obloid concretions are. They are rather common and what is at the center of them is a crap shoot. Sort of like a box of chocolates.

What would a stromatolite look like inside? Would it be agatized? Would cutting the specimen differentiate it from a obloid hematite sphere? I can certainly snap a few shots of a polished surface through the middle of one if that may help identify it.

Also it seems that a hematite concretion is generally symmetrical and a stromatolite specimen would be less likely to be obloidal or spherical with a single equator in the middle most of the time. If you collected a few specimens and they all seem to be rather balanced and symmetrical it may offer some evidence toward concretions. If they were more irregular and “plant like” rather than “geometrically formed” like a crystal then it may indicate a stromatolite?

Another thought… In the same strata that I find the Moqui Marbles there are also other hematite concretions as well as a huge bed of fossil mollusks three feet thick. They seem to travel together. And I know that there are some very spectacular hematite spheres and “button” concretions that come from back east. As common as these things are it would not surprise me a bit if you found hematite spheres and obloids in with your stromatolites. It may very well be that they formed at the same time and/or in the same environment.

Let’s poke at this one a bit. I bet we can all learn something from this discussion!

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Here are some better quality pictures. Thanks everyone for your posts.

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Hey Haderly!

That is kinda what I am getting at... Two different things there. Both are formed in the same sort of shallow water environment I believe.

There is no doubt that the disk with the ring is a hematite obloid. It is a classic one in every way. And a great photo by the way! There is no doubt that the other one is not. Probably a stromatolite.

It sounds like they form in much the same way and in the same environment. The article did not really say if the stromatolite was hematite. It looks like they are silica replacements. A simple window in that obloid would yield red cuttings I betcha. And a similar window in that bumpy one would turn out a whole lot different. At least that is where my money is at!

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Thanks doc! Now that I know what they are I'll be going back when the snow melts to find more. Every year I do a talk to first graders about the stones I have collected. I don't go to much in detail, but they love the stories and the colors of the different specimens I show them. These would be nice to talk about coming from Vermont.

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Hey, if you find another one of those cool hematite disks I would love to have one. I will send you a nice spherical concretion from the Sangre De Christo mountains in New Mexico in trade for it and pay the shipping. I just love those darn things and have many different types. If you discover you have a spare one some day just let me know. I might even throw in a small nugget or two for the little rockhound in your photo. Keep it in mind the next time you go to that area.

Good luck my friend!

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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Hi doc:

I sure will! I'll let you know if I find any more. I'm hoping to go sometime this winter, but it probably won't be until spring. Unless Mother Nature melts some of this snow. I'll keep in touch one way or another.

Take care

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