Roger Weller, geology instructor
email@example.com copyright 2010-R.Weller
Colemanite is Ca2B6O11.5H2O
Colemanite is a hydrous calcium borate. The water content of the colemanite
provides the basis for an interesting story. A prospector in the Death Valley area
of California decided to make a campfire to cook his supper. He gathered up rocks
to surround the campfire and then proceeded to cook his supper. As the fire
started to warm up the rocks, which turned out to be colemanite, the rocks started
exploding and the prospector ran for cover. The supper was filled with rock
fragments and was ruined. The culprit was the water content of colemanite which
converted to steam as the rocks were baked.
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Just credit photo to R.Weller/Cochise College.