Travertine Fossil Leaves in the Getty Center

April 16, 2019



Photographer: Dale Chadwick 
Summary Author: Dale Chadwick 

A good place to study mineralogy, petrology and even paleontology is the walls of structures built with stone, quarried from all over the world. People have been using limestone, granite, sandstone, basalt and other building stones for millennia. When stone is used for structures, it’s cut and polished, exposing the composition and history of its formation including layering, minerals, folding, evidence of exsolution, deposition of secondary minerals, or recombination to make new minerals.

At the top are fossil leaves in a wall at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California. The travertine used to build the walls and paving were quarried in Italy, from an area near Rome that’s been the source of building stone for centuries. This travertine is not old geologically, about 8,000 to 80,000 years old. Photo taken on March 29, 2019.

Contrast that with the stairs on the bottom at the Capital Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This is Precambrian gneiss from south central Pennsylvania which has been heated and folded and is of course very different from the original rock. Picture taken on April 13, 2019.

Photo Details: Camera: Samsung SM-G930U; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows); Exposure Time: 0.0031s (1/323); Aperture: ƒ/1.7; ISO equivalent: 40; Focal Length (35mm): 26.