Karen Locke

Author's details

Name: Karen Locke
Date registered: December 9, 2012


Once a software engineer, briefly a manager, I gave up on that stuff to take a Masters in geology. Now I'm a jewelry maker. Oh, and I'm staff to two cats.

Latest posts

  1. The vagaries of the Eastern Sierra — July 13, 2013
  2. A Personal Post from Karen — April 29, 2013
  3. The Mystery Fault, Part 3 — April 14, 2013
  4. The Mystery Fault, Part 2 — April 10, 2013
  5. The Mystery Fault, Part 1 — April 7, 2013

Author's posts listings

Jul 13 2013

The vagaries of the Eastern Sierra

It’s no secret that Husband and I own property in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, about five miles south of the intersection of highways 108 and 395.  On our property,  cliffs of granite come close to or against the hwy 395 road; this is called the Devil’s Gate, for the muddy grief it gave travelers …

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Apr 29 2013

A Personal Post from Karen

I have a cousin by marriage — we’ll call her Mary for the sake of this post, not her real name.  She has lots of health issues, though the most dire one is bipolar disorder.  It keeps her from holding down any sort of job.  She’s married to a guy who has troubles of his …

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Apr 14 2013

The Mystery Fault, Part 3


In Part 2, we’ve established that the Silver Creek fault is, in fact, the southwestern boundary of the Evergreen basin.  But what’s it doing there, anyhow?  Back sometime around 10 to 15 million years ago, an early Hayward fault formed (an estimated 100 km (62 miles) south of where it is now) with a right …

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Apr 10 2013

The Mystery Fault, Part 2


In Part 1 I gave you the setting of the Silver Creek fault.  Here I’ll talk about how scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey figured out where the buried part of the fault runs. The earliest (I think) tool these scientists used to analyze the geology of the Santa Clara Valley was gravimetry.  Gravimeters, developed in the …

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Apr 07 2013

The Mystery Fault, Part 1


Sorry for the long hiatus, everyone, but life sort of caught up with me for a few months.  To attempt to make amends, I’ll tell you a geologic mystery story that was just solved — provisionally — a few years ago.  It regards a fault that crosses my home base, the Santa Clara Valley.  It’s …

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Jan 11 2013

My state’s official rock is a mineral!


I live in California.  Our official State Rock is serpentine.  The only problem with that is that serpentine is a mineral, not a rock.   Rock consisting mostly of serpentine is called serpentinite.  AAAAGGGGHHHH!  (Jumps up and down in frustration.)  Admittedly, where serpentinite occurs, it’s really, really, full of serpentine.  But still…mutter grumble grumble mutter.

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Jan 10 2013


Mike along the trail

UPDATE:  One commenter wanted to know what I do with obsidian beads.  So I’ve added a photo of one of my beaded necklaces at the end of the post.  It’ll be up for sale at http://www.etsy.com/shop/gemmyjoy in a week or two.  /UPDATE Rocks are my friends.  I especially like the ones I can pick up, …

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Dec 27 2012

Lava Butte, Oregon

Lava Butte from the lava trail

I last visited Newberry Crater, Oregon, and it’s flank cinder cone Lava Butte, in the summer of 2003.  Husband and I met up with his parents in a campground near Bend, and introduced them to volcanoes.  Newberry Crater is interesting to potter about — especially its Big Obsidian Flow — but it has such fascinating …

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Dec 24 2012

Holiday Gifts For You

"Sierra White" granodiorite

When I decided to go back to school to study geology, I really had to start at the beginning with the upper-division undergraduate courses, since my previous education had been in computer and software engineering.  The first class I took was Earth Materials, where I learned to recognize various rock types and incidentally fell in …

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Dec 18 2012

Space and Time to Heal

If I can figure out how to do it, I want to post a delightfully science-ific parody of the “Gangnam Style” video here: NASA Johnson Style Okay, that didn’t seem to work.  But do click on the link, and enjoy a few minutes of sciency silliness. Why?  Because I need time to think.  The first …

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