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Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel
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jjstar




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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 09:22    Post subject: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

So I found this pretty nifty specimen yesterday in Israel near Jerusalem.

Width approximately 6 inches
Height approximately 3 inches
Weight - approximately 400 grams

What is it?



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Dale Hallmark




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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 09:48    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

Vesicular basalt
Dale
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 10:07    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

The overall texture doesn't seem to match. Either the surfaces and edges are too smooth or too rough. This stone is more similar to those of lunar origins.
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 10:15    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

jjstar wrote:
The overall texture doesn't seem to match. Either the surfaces and edges are too smooth or too rough. This stone is more similar to those of lunar origins.


It definitely looks like vesicular basalt. It's extremely unlikely that it's a moon rock or anything from space. Just because it's been smoothed by erosion doesn't mean that it's not basalt. I live in an area where there are pieces of basalt that are nearly identical to your specimen found in stream beds with carnelian and jasper. They've eroded out of what was once a very high mountain range and have been smoothed over the years by water. Given the rounded edges of your specimen, I'd say that it has been weathered and rounded by water as well.
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 10:17    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

Basalt, just like the beach worn material I see in Scotland
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 10:24    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

I've seen the photos of the water smoothed vesticular basalts online and they all have sheens of one degree or another. This has no sheen, hence the hypothesis that it may in fact be mare basalt.
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 10:34    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

I have stuff in my flower bed looks like this that I picked up in or near streams near the lava flows in Easter new Mexico. No sheens on it.

Dale

jjstar wrote:
I've seen the photos of the water smoothed vesticular basalts online and they all have sheens of one degree or another. This has no sheen, hence the hypothesis that it may in fact be mare basalt.
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 10:41    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

Got a photo to compare?
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 10:41    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

PS
This material is available here in smaller chunks but very large quantity. It is used for Xeriscaping and is available in red or black. If it has lots and lots of bubble holes it is called Scoria.

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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 10:47    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

It will be after work today but i will take a picture.
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 11:02    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

Just to reiterate on the weight - it's 400 gram for a 6"x3" stone. I believe scoria is a relatively light rock?

Looking forward to photo, thank you.
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 11:28    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

Yes it is very lite due to the gas bubbles but not as lite as pumice.
Vesicular basalt is much heavier than either

Dale


jjstar wrote:
Just to reiterate on the weight - it's 400 gram for a 6"x3" stone. I believe scoria is a relatively light rock?

Looking forward to photo, thank you.
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 12:00    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

Can you provide a more precise location than Jerusalem? There are many Mesozoic and Cenozoic volcanic intrusives in central and southern Israel. Basalt is exceedingly common here on Earth, and the odds that this particular basalt came from the Moon and landed in Isreal (amongst the more mundane basalts) are slim. It's the kind of story I would expect to hear from an... ahem, enterprising merchant. As much as you want this to be an extraterrestrial rock, Occam's razor will in this case prove useful.
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 12:11    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

Location found - Samaria near Shiloh.
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 12:14    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

jjstar wrote:
I've seen the photos of the water smoothed vesticular basalts online and they all have sheens of one degree or another. This has no sheen, hence the hypothesis that it may in fact be mare basalt.


Horses, not zebras.
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 12:34    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

Ok, great. Have a look at the attached image. You can see the reddish units mapped near Samira? These are basaltic units- see the stratigraphic columns for specific names.
This is a perfectly reasonable explanation for your basalt, in my opinion.



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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 13:28    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

On my way to a Rotary meeting at lunch I stopped by the house and unfortunately my wife was watering the lawn, wetting the rocks and that makes them shiny. Yes there are more weeds and grass than flowers but I still call it a flower bed.

These three are 3-5 kilograms each and the one in the upper right is the one I was remembering.

Dale



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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 14:27    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

To me, clearly basalt. Can find tonnes of this material in Canary Islands beaches.

Please see: El Hierro and La Palma Islands (Canary Islands)



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Lanzarote, Las Palmas Province, Canary Islands, Spain
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 22:46    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

uh. That's not SAMARIA - it's Samira - wherever that is. It's not the same region. Shilo is 45 km north of Jerusalem.
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PostPosted: Jun 14, 2017 22:49    Post subject: Re: Looks Like Basalt - But Could it Be Something ELSE? - Location: Israel  

From what I can see they seem denser, far less fissures. Pocked, yes but no splayed fissures which is the predominant feature of the stone in question. Appreciate the effort though. Nice garden.
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