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Andrew Alden

The 2012 Christmas Geo-Quiz

By December 25, 2012

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Welcome to the fifth annual Christmas Geology Quiz! This year I will let the quiz sit for a week, posting the answers on 31 December to give my newsletter subscribers a fighting chance. I'm going to keep comments open this year, trusting you not to post spoilers (please do that on Twitter instead) but monitoring things closely anyway. All right, start the quiz!

1. In what place might you find bacon? baguettes? blackjack? boudins?

2. Which mineral is named for a person: kainite, kernite, kornite, kyanite?

3. Which of these lakes is prone to erupting: Kivu, Loch Ness, Nyos, Vostok?

4. Which rock type can float on water: aerolite, pumice, reticulite, scoria?

5. On what plate is Copahue? Etna? Kilauea? Tolbachik?

6. On what plate is Madagascar? Malaysia? Maldives? Mauritania?

7. Quick, name the four agents of metamorphism.

8. Which of these does not belong: bolson, playa, salar, turlough?

9. Can ball clay form a clay ball? Can ball coal form a coal ball?

10. Which of each pair of geologic time periods is earlier: the Stenian or the Tonian? the Roadian or the Wordian? the Carnian or the Norian? the Danian or the Ypresian?

11. The state mineral of Kentucky does not contain minerals. Why is that?

12. The state gemstone of Florida is not found in Florida. Why is that?

13. Which of these qualifies as commercial granite: basalt, dolomite, greenstone, gneiss?

14. Which of these would professional geologists probably not do: fossicking, frolicking, rimrocking, rocklicking?

15. In which Australian state is the gemstone opal honored: Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia?

16. What word means all of these: a lamina, a sighting error, a subfacies, a zero-crossing?

17. Which does not belong: cat clay, cat coal, cat face, cat's-eye?

18. Does heavy oil have high gravity?

19. The distance of a teleseism is (a) a great-circle radian (b) far enough to distinguish surface and body waves (c) 1000 km (d) far enough for a first arrival from the mantle.

20. The largest earthquake this year in North America struck: Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, United States?

And here are the answers.


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