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Geology/Can you identify?



I have rock that neither the Univ of MN, the MN Geological Society nor the MN Science Museum could identify. I was wondering if you could. It would be greatly appreciated. The attached pictures are of a small slice of a 50 pound boulder.  Thanks again.

Hi Richard,
It is always difficult to identify specimens from pictures alone. At first glance your mystery rock looks like it is inundated with dark colored concretions. But this is about all I can glean from your pictures.
If I could get an actual small sample of your mystery rock, I could offer you a in depth analysis, especially if I could destroy the sample using a variety of analytical procedure.
Here at Metropolitan State University of Denver we provide free mineral (rock) analysis for industry and community as an outreach. I assign a client and the associated sample(s) to a student in my mineralogy course. Under my supervision, they have one semester to identify / analyze the sample and prepare a detailed report as their class project with all analytical results and interpretations to be mailed to the client. This might be a good option for you, and it would be absolutely free. You just would have to wait until Dec. / Jan. for your analytical report.
If you are interested, time is of essence since I am about to assign the clients to students for the Fall 2016 semester. You would need to mail your sample ASAP. Here is the link for the mailing procedures and the analytical request:
If you are going to take this opportunity, please email me and let me know that your sample is coming, so I can hold a student slot for you. My email:


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Uwe Richard Kackstaetter, Ph.D. (Dr.K)


I can answer questions concerning minerals, mineralogy, gems, metals, groundwater, national and international geoscience field trips and anything that has to do with geology. As a public service and part as training for new geoscientists, our university department provides detailed FREE mineral identification for individuals with available non-destructive and destructive analytical procedures and a several page report. Please contact me for details or go to for details..


I am a professor of applied geology and mineralogy with many hours of field experience. Furthermore, I enjoy recreational gold prospecting and mineral collecting. As a professor I am engaged in research concerning minerals, their identification and their occurrence. I am currently developing inexpensive, accurate mineral identification procedures to be used by experts and lay people alike.

Member of the GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America) as well as the Association of Environmental Geochemists. Member of the GSA (Geologic Society of America) Member of the AIPG (American Institute of Professional Geologists)

Here is a small sampling: Mineral-rock handbook: Rapid-easy mineral-rock determination : written for anyone interested in minerals and rocks - Proctor, Peterson, and Kackstaetter;Macmillan Pub. Co. (New York and Toronto and New York) Physical Geology Laboratory e-Manual with 20 Lab Exercises [now available for FREE]: Colorado Front Range Self-Guided Geology Field Trips [FREE download] Kackstaetter, U.R. (2014): A Rapid, Inexpensive and Portable Field and Laboratory Method to Accurately Determine the Specific Gravity of Rocks and Minerals. The Professional Geologist, Vol. 51, No.2, AIPG. Kackstaetter, U.R. (2014): SEDMIN - Microsoft Excel (TM) spreadsheet for calculating fine-grained sedimentary rock mineralogy from bulk geochemical analysis. Cent. Eur. J. Geosci. DOI: 10.2478/s13533-012-0170-3

Ph.D. in Applied Geology and Mineralogy. I am actively teaching courses in mineralogy, igneous & metamorphic petrology, applied volcanology and a variety of national and international field courses with mineral collecting opportunities. Background in precious metal exploration and groundwater (hydrogeology).

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