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With a Grain of Salt: Art in Rocks

WVU Downtown Campus Library 1020
May 9-July 31, 2019
Artist Talk, May 13, 4pm Room 1020

During the Permian Period, ~270 million years ago, acidic, salty lakes and groundwaters existed in Kansas. Remnants of these extreme environments have been preserved as rocks and include red muds, blue gypsum, and clear halite, along with entrapped microcapsules of Permian water, atmosphere, and microorganisms. Photographs of these rocks serve as both scientific evidence and aesthetic objects. All photographs by Kathleen Benison.

Kathleen Benison is Professor of Geology in the Department of Geology and Geography at West Virginia University. She uses sedimentary geology, geochemistry, and geomicrobiology to study the deposition and diagenesis of continental evaporites and red beds. Her active research projects include modern acid saline lake systems in Western Australia and Chile, their Permian analog deposits in the U.S. midcontinent, and similar systems on Mars.