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Gear: Tools Geologists Dig

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Mouse over items in this photo to learn about equipment used by the Pliomax team.

Photos by Michael O’Leary

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The mission of the Pliomax team in the field is deceptively simple. Members identify rocks indicative of ancient beaches stranded inland. They break off samples and bag them for later analysis. The scientists measure the precise location of each find, including, most importantly, the elevation above present sea level.

To accomplish these tasks quickly, accurately, and safely, Pliomax researchers rely on an experience-proven toolkit. They carry hand tools for breaking apart stone, devices for measuring location and orientation, items for marking and recording finds, safety equipment and, of course, water and snacks.