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Mike Rhea

I'm a professional Geologist with a passion for rocks, minerals, and everything related to Geology. I enjoy collecting and tumbling rocks with my daughter and traveling the world with my wife seeing geologic wonders. I have traveled all over the U.S. and the world exploring nature and checking out cool geology wherever I can find it. This site is devoted to sharing my love of geology with you - I hope you enjoy it!

Ohio Gold: Location Map, Panning, Prospecting, & More!

It comes as a surprise to many people that you can find gold in Ohio. Like most states, Ohio has seen a few small ‘gold rushes’, but gold has never been found here in large quantities. Still, there are quite a few areas that can be run and productive for recreational gold prospectors. If you …

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Fossils in Virginia: Best Sites (With Map!), Types, & Tips

Virginia is home to some of the best fossil collecting sites in the United States. Millions of years ago, Virginia was covered in a shallow sea that was teeming with life, leaving behind prolific fossil beds. Today, you can find the remains of those ancient life forms in locations all across the state, particularly in …

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Fossils in Ohio: Best Sites (With Map!), Types, & Tips

Ohio is one of the best states in the U.S. for fossil collecting. This often comes as a surprise to people who often associate fossils with desert digging or beaches, but Ohio is home to some of the most prolific fossil beds in the entire world. Millions of years ago, Ohio was covered in a …

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Schist: Identification, Characteristics, and More

Schist is one of the most common metamorphic rocks in the world. It comes in many varieties and can contain attractive gemstone inclusions, and therefore it’s a very popular rock with collectors. As common as schist is, there are a lot of misunderstandings about what it is. Because one schist specimen can look so different …

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Shale: Identification, Characteristics, and More

Shale is a rock that almost everyone is at least fairly familiar with. It is the most common sedimentary rock on Earth and it has a distinct appearance that often makes it easily recognizable. You often see it used for decorative purposes, and it has enormous economic value in the mining, construction, and oil and …

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Metamorphic Rocks: Pictures, Descriptions & Identification

Metamorphic rocks are some of the most varied and complex rocks found in nature. Because they can be formed from any other type of rock, there is almost no limit to their variety. Being able to properly identify a metamorphic rock can tell you a lot about its geologic history. There are many different types …

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Igneous Rocks: Pictures, Descriptions & Identification

Igneous rocks are some of the most interesting rocks found in nature, mostly because of the spectacular way in which they are formed. All igneous rocks are created from the cooling of magma or lava, but there are almost limitless varieties based on the minerals present in the source magma and the temperature and pressure …

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Sedimentary Rocks: Identification, Pictures & Descriptions

Sedimentary rocks are some of the most interesting and widespread rocks found in nature. When most people think of sedimentary rocks images of colorful sandstone layers in picturesque canyons come to mind, but there is a lot more to them than that. There are many different types of sedimentary rocks, and if you know what …

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How to Identify Your Rocks: Full Guide With Helpful Tools

One of the most common frustrations we have as rock collectors is identifying the cool rocks we find. It’s fun to discover a cool-looking rock and add it to your collection, but it can often be difficult to know exactly what it is you’ve found. I have found that there aren’t a lot of great …

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