Thursday, November 17, 2011

Deep-sea rock display at Arizona Capitol

The latest addition to the mall in front of the Arizona Territorial Capitol is a large block of hypabyssal basalt from the Pacific, that was donated to State Senator John Nelson, along with a suite of other exotic rocks dredged up by the Deep Sea Drilling Program. Sen. Nelson was intrigued about the origin of the rocks and how they related to rocks in Arizona.

He consulted with the Arizona Rock Products Association and with us at AZGS. We identified the rocks and pointed out where similar types occur around the state. The senator thought these associations offer a new perspective on the geologic history of Arizona that will be of interest especially to the many school children who visit the State Capitol.

ARPA generously donated the pedestal shown at right, along with a display case now on the 3rd floor of the Senate offices, which showcases the other ocean specimens, along with brief notes that AZGS assisted with, comparing them to Arizona rocks.

And where to find hypabyssal basalts in Arizona? Look in the Jerome region.


  1. It is great to see geology on display at the State Capitol. Arizona's geologic heritage deserves all of the recognition it can get. Thanks for posting this.

  2. Anonymous1:52 PM

    Hmmmm...Senator Nelson was the deciding vote to change the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum into the Centennial Museum, except that now the museum has been completely gutted and there is not enough money to do much with construction on the new museum. The Arizona Historical Society is sending some of the best specimens to other museums and will dismantle the outside equipment when it can. If they ever do anything with the shell of the building that now exists there will be only a few mineral specimens and not the best the museum once displayed. I would not say that Senator Nelson is a friend to mineral museums in this state.