Under a microscope

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She can now have a look at them under a microscope, seeing “bizarre shapes that any idiot can recognize,” and assign them variously to the Anisian, Ladinian, Cayugan, Osagean, Llandoverian, Ashgillian, or any other among tens of dozens of subdivisions of Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, Permian, and Triassic time. While recording ages, she could not ignore colors, and the question of their possible significance returned to her mind. In the Appalachians generally, formations thickened eastward. The farther east you went, the deeper the rock had once been buried-the greater the heat had once been. Heat appeared to her to have affected the color of the conodonts in the same manner that it affects the color of butter-turning it from yellow to light brown to darker brown to black-and-ruined smoking in the pan. Oh, she thought. You could use those things as thermometers. They might help in mapping flexplek huren eindhoven metamorphic rock. The process by which heat and pressure change one kind of rock into another is divided into grades of intensity. Maybe conodont colors, plotted on a map, could demonstrate the shadings of the grades. At work, she began saying to people, “Show me a conodont and I’ll tell you where in the Appalachians it came from.” With amazing accuracy she repeatedly passed the test. She imagined that color had been controlled by carbon fixing. In the presence of heat, she thought, the amount of carbon
Book 2: In Suspect Terrain in a given conodont would have remained constant while the amounts of hydrogen and oxygen declined, which is what happens in heated butter. No one seemed to agree with her. One way to test her idea might have been to scan for individual elements with an electron probe, but this was i967 and electron probes in those days could not pick up light elements like hydrogen and oxygen. She sought other avenues of proof-with other types of equipment that no one has at home. The. Geological Survey had a question for her, however. They said, “Who needs to know this anyway?” The flexplek huren haarlem Survey had been established to serve the public. “O.K., to hell with it,” Anita told herself. Half a dozen years went by. With the oil embargo of i973, the Survey felt a need to do everything possible to effect an increase in the nation’s energy resources. Its Branch of Oil & Gas Resources was expanded fifteenfold.

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