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Dynamic Geology and Rocks
Since November 29, 2008, the Natural History Museum of Latvia has been home to a new interactive exhibition “Dynamic Geology and Rocks”. The exhibition has been created to not only provide information, but also to allow the visitor to experience new sensations – to hear the sounds of a volcano, to feel the power of an earthquake, to observe the stars in the sky.
The earth’s crust and surface are never completely at rest. Although extremely slowly and invisibly, its separate parts in relation to each other are constantly going up and down, and are moving horizontally as well as in other directions. The movement of the lithospheric plates causes the global circulation of the lithosphere and formation of the planetary relief of the earth’s surface: continents, ocean beds, mid-oceanic ranges, reef systems and mega relief. In the tectonic model you can observe what happens when lithospheric plates move horizontally.
A volcano is a geological formation in which the volcano channel links the source of magma with the Earth’s surface. Volcanoes are divided into several types by the way they erupt. You can view all types of volcanoes by pressing the respective buttons on the control panel. Currently there are about 4000 active and dormant volcanoes in the world. By pressing the respective buttons on the panel, you can find out the location of the largest volcanoes in the world. Below the panel in the showcase you can see volcanic rocks.
Earthquakes are movements of the Earth’s crust caused by a sudden release of accumulated seismic energy. Although Latvia is situated in a seismically inactive area, earthquakes can be felt here on occasion. Powerful earthquakes are a very rare occurrence. .If you answer the questions about earthquakes and then step on the vibro-floor, you will experience a simulated earthquake.
Rocks are mineral compounds of definite composition and structure formed by geological processes which exist as independent geological bodies in the Earth’s crust. Based on the processes that formed them, rocks are divided into three groups: igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, metamorphic rocks. On display are characteristic rocks of all three groups.
In the star map on the ceiling you can see celestial bodies which are visible without additional equipment. If you look at the star map you will see Mars, which is red and glows brightly at night, the brightest star – Sirius, one of the most famous constellations – Orion and several other Pleiades.
Meteorites are the small objects of the Solar System that fall onto the Earth or another celestial body from space. Meteorites are considered to be disintegrated parts of asteroids. Meteorites range in size from a few millimeters to several meters, but their mass ranges from several grams to even tens of tons. Based on the chemical characteristics of meteorites, they are divided into three main groups: iron meteorites, stony-iron meteorites, stony meteorites. On display are meteorites of all three groups.
During the reconstruction of the Geology exhibitions „The geology of Latvia” and „Minerology”, we invite you to view our temporary exhibition.