The Geology Division

Turning Points



The marvelous findings of Lopez and his group heralded the Geology Division's first major recorded accomplishment. On account of these findings, a cooperative project among geologists from the National Museum and from Iowa State University was initiated for the purpose of defining the Pleistocene terrestrial sequence in Cagayan Valley basin and documenting the in situ situation of artifacts and Pleistocene fauna. Yet another amazingly significant discovery was made: an in situ elephant skull with two complete upper molars.

Inspired by the apparent success of its first scientific venture, the Iowa State University inked another project with the Museum not long after the first project was completed. This time, the research was concerned with the paleomagnetic polarity to date the pyroclastic deposits of Cagayan Valley.

The Cagayan Valley discoveries, on the other hand, added a new dimension to Philippine geological history. The discoveries were first exhibited at the Old Congress Building in the late years of the 70s. A follow-up exhibit was shown in Bolinao, Pangasinan after a few years, this time in dioramas, but most of the exhibited specimens were rocks and minerals and about 30% were fossils. Another geological exhibit was put up in Cagayan Branch Museum, highlighting mammalian fossils, rocks, minerals and other geological information about Cagayan.

These successive exhibitions paved the way for the staging of more geologic exhibits in various parts of the country. The most well-received of these shows was the Fort Pilar Branch Museum geological exhibition, a general geology exhibit of rocks, minerals and fossils of the Philippines in the Pre-Tertiary Period, the Tertiary Period and the Pleistocene Period. The exhibit also depicted the evolution of the Philippines beneath the sea along the southern margin of Mainland China.

Even the Mt. Pinatubo eruption did not escape the interest of geologists, as an exhibit was set up in the Old Congress Building where numerous photographs taken before, during, and after the eruption were presented for public viewing. Another exhibit on volcanoes was additionally set up in Cagsawa Branch Museum, consisting of eight luggage-type showcases that featured the different rocks and minerals found in the Philippines.

Lastly, the findings of Pleistocene sediments in the previous decades had led to the intensiiication of collection efforts in other areas of the country, such as in Iloilo, La Union, Pangasinan, Aklan and Ilocos Sur, where generous yields were obtained, as well as in Quezon, Palawan where deposits of the late Quaternary were found.

This page was last modified Monday, February 10, 2014
National Museum of the Philippines
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