Exemplary STEM Education Focusing on the Geology and Culture of Niijima Islands in Japan with Cross-Cutting Concepts
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Tomohiro Takebayashi and Yoshisuke Kumano
Graduate School of Science and Technology, Shizuoka University, Japan
Museum of Natural and Environmental History, Shizuoka, Japan
Corresponding author: taketomo.geology@gmail.com  


In Earth and Space STEM education, students learn about the Earth's environment and history from rocks and minerals. East Asia and Southeast Asia have multiple plate subduction zones and volcanic islands and exhibit a different geology than in Europe and the US, which are on the continental crust. Societies in each country, e.g., livelihoods, cultures, industries, and the arts, thrive on the resources and energy of the Earth's crust, therefore, they are diverse. In this study, we focused on the geological structure of the Ring of Fire (RoF) and the geological culture of the region and explored STEM education that makes use of these characteristics. We used qualitative methods to develop teaching materials (field research on Niijima, mineral identifications, and questionnaires to children) and to try to make them practical in informal settings. Our research found the presence of several values; crystal-clear beta quartz (Mineralogy and Gemology), contrasting rocks occurrence of rhyolite and basalt on an island (Petrology), the island's unique culture (human-nature connection), technological and industrial development (Resource Engineering and the Arts [glasswork]), and a distinct sand, source rock and outcrop (Earth System Sciences [material cycles]), which have the potential to further develop earth system education and cross-cutting conceptual STEM education.

Key words: Earth and space STEM education, geology, rock crystal, quartz, Niijima Island, Earth system, cross-cutting concepts

          Thousands of islands are distributed in East Asia and Southeast Asia, and many countries have sandy beaches. The sands of the beach are part of the material cycle in the earth system and contain information on the regional geology, originating from the rocks (source rock) or organisms. When sands, source rocks, and outcrops are all collectively prepared as teaching materials, students can compare their common patterns, systematically combine their findings, and consider the energy and causes of the change from source rocks to sands. These ideas fit into the cross-cutting concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.

          Moreover, the countries of East Asia and Southeast Asia are part of the Plate Subduction Zone and the Ring of Fire (RoF), which are more active in tectonic activity (including volcanic activity) than their continental counterparts and exhibit unique geology. In fact, East Asia and Southeast Asia have diverse and beautiful natural environments and thrive with unique Asian cultures (e.g., industry and the arts). STEM education shares the concept of Earth system science education and advocates the importance of learning about the beauty of nature and the connection between people and nature.

          However, few previous studies of geology education have discussed the education of geology in the STEM field, which includes (1) STEM educational materials with clear samples of source rock and sand, (2) mineral diversity and its effects on the local culture (e.g., arts and industries), and (3) the development of specimens in pursuit of the aesthetic beauty of minerals (which supports “STEAM” education that includes the Arts). Therefore, this study considers the development of the cross-cutting concepts of STEM education and Earth system science education from Japanese geology.

          To develop an Earth and space STEM education that focuses on minerals in Japan, our first focus was on the unique geology of Japan. Japan has many volcanos and characteristically mass-produced “rock crystals” (Rock crystals are popular gemstones which means that they are made of transparent quartz that is visible to the naked eye [Frondel, C., 1962; Webster & Anderson, 1983]). The 23.64 km2 Niijima island, offshore from Tokyo, has sand beaches that are
composed of mostly rock crystal sand, which is rare in the world, and we focused on the mineralogical and geological characteristics of the area. The biggest attraction of the geology in Niijima is the rock crystal sandy beaches, and in the Habushiura sand beach, where the rock crystal contains more than 70% of the constituent minerals of the sand from the seaward to the landward side (Kitamura et al., 2003). Moreover, the island has industry and fine art, which take
advantage of the geology of the area and the mineral characteristics of the island, and these minerals attract attention in the field of construction and fine art all over the world. Therefore, the novelty of this study is to discuss Earth and space STEM Education from the perspective of both the mineralogy in pure science, and STEM education.

          The value of this study is that from a geological perspective, Earth system science, using the most familiar seaside sands, has been developed and thus focuses on the geology of Asian countries. We therefore aim to develop Earth and space STEM education unique to Asia. To not devise STEM education that focuses on the minerals of the area is wasting a great treasure. The results of a geological, cultural, and industrial survey of Niijima, Tokyo, found a high potential for use in STEM education.

Definition and Background

STEM education and Earth System Science Education

          The theoretical basis of this study is STEM education as outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in the United States (U.S.), which advocates three distinct and equally important dimensions to learning sciences in years K-12 (3D-Learning) (National Research Council [NRC], 2012). Japanese science education has the same structure as the NGSS’s Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), with Earth and Space Sciences independent. An instructional approach to Earth system education is proposed in Project 2061 (AAAS,1989). It removes the boundaries between the four domains of physics, chemistry, biology, and geology, and emphasizes the interconnections within the subjects. Earth system education has seven goals of understanding related to the Earth system as a planet. One of these goals is to learn about the Earth's natural beauty and natural continuous systems (Mayer and Kumano, 1999; Mayer, 2014). This idea of an Earth system is now carried over into STEM education. Since 2009, the U.S. federal government has increasingly promoted STEM education at the national level (Public Law 114–329 [Congressional Record, Vol. 162 (2016)]), which includes amendments to PL 114– 59 (Congressional Record Vol. 161. [2015]).

          Studies of STEM education have increased rapidly in Japan in recent years; with STEM education, which suited the culture and the context of Japan (e.g., with STEM education, which suited school education in Japan; with a comparative study of STEM of Japan and an overseas model (e.g., Kumano, 2014; Okumura and Kumano, 2016; Sakata and Kumano, [2018]). The Japanese Government has mentioned STEM and STEAM education at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) since 2019 (Matsubara, 2019; Tamura, 2019). In Japan, STEM education is just beginning to take root.

Rock-to-sand process and cross-cutting concepts (Science)

          The crosscutting concepts are (1) patterns; (2) cause and effect: mechanism and explanation; (3) scale, proportion, and quantity; (4) systems and system models; (5) energy and matter: flows, cycles, and conservation; (6) structure and function; and (7) stability and change (Duschl, 2012; NGSS, 2013). Systems concepts in STEM include ideas shared with Earth systems education that encourage students to learn about the connections and continuity of nature (e.g., the rock and water cycles), the beauty of nature, and the relationship between people and nature.

Geological Methods and Qualitative Case Study Methods (Informal)

Geological Sample Preparations

          The authors conducted a field geological survey and mineral identification using machines in preparation for STEM materials. We hypothesized that outcrops can indicate an earth system’s origin of rocks and minerals, and this geological preparation is intended to provide scientific evidence of the relationship between sand and source rocks. The rock composition of the island consists mostly of rhyolite, and the northern part of the island (Wakago area) is composed of basalt (Isshiki, 1987, Location and Geological map of Niijima island: Appendix A). First, the sampling locations were Habushiura beach, Wakago coast, and Ishiyama (each place is located outside the national park areas). Second, the minerals were identified and analyzed using the instruments noted in Figure 1. Detailed identification of the
outcrop minerals increases the confidence in the material. Detailed analytical data are in Appendix B.

Field Surveys of the Island (Culture, Industry, Art, Technology)

          We observed outcroppings near the anti-firestone mining site (industry) and building materials in the village (traditional culture), and we interviewed Osamu Noda, director of the Niijima Glass Art Center (culture and art).

Figure 1
The Process of Geological Sample Preparations. © 2020 by Tomohiro Takebayashi.

Comparison of Rock Crystal Sand and Siliciclastic Sand from Different Parts of Japan (Gemology, Earth System Education)
          We showed elementary school (ES) students (n = 22, grades 5–6) and junior high school (JHS) students (n = 19, grade 3 [international grade 9]) in Shizuoka prefecture white sand containing quartz and feldspar minerals obtained from all over Japan (Figure 2). After students observed the sands, we asked them which sand they considered most beautiful. The comparative sample was selected based on the following samples: (1) Sand containing the same type of mineral as Niijima (rock crystals contents different); (2) local sand (the prefecture where the children live); (3) white sand containing various kinds of minerals.

Figure 2
Various Sands Observed by Students with the Naked Eye and a Magnifying Glass. Photos © 2020
by Tomohiro Takebayashi.

Note: Identification of the sands in Figure 2: (a): β- (beta-) quartz sand from Ibaraki prefecture; (b) white sand of Nakatajima from Shizuoka prefecture (local); (c) Kikugahama beach sand from Shimane prefecture; (d) Koiji-ga-hama sand from Aichi prefecture; (e) the “singing-sand “from Tottori prefecture; and (f) and (f’) rock crystal sand from Niijima.

How Results Compare with STEM Integration and Cross-Cutting Concepts

          The potential for integration of geology in STEM education will be considered based on contemporary geological research methods and discussed considering the results of the geological survey. First, petrology and geology methods will be discussed by organizing them into S, T, E, and M (See Differences Between Traditional Geology Education and STEM Education [STEM Integration] on p. 84). Secondly, integration of geology with mathematics and engineering are discussed based on Nijman’s field research results (See Examples of Mathematical Analysis on p. 84 and Examples of Teaching Local Geology from an Engineering Perspective on p. 85). Thirdly, the results of this study are synthesized and discussed with the cross-cutting concepts (See Proposal for Class Lesson: The Relationship Between the Geology of Niijima Islands and the Cross-Cutting Concepts of STEM on p. 86).

Practice at Science Festival in Gotenba City (Case Study)

         In Japan, science festivals are held annually for students at science museums or civic halls in cities across the country (Practice Report in Japan: Inagaki, 2009), where a variety of educational institutions set up small science booths and offer hands-on science classes. In 2017, our research team participated in the Science Festival held in Gotemba City. We presented a booth-style exhibition of Niijima samples for 10–15 minutes. We used a post-exhibit questionnaire (lasting about two minutes—one sentence in free writing) asking “What did you learn for the first time?” to determine what the students were interested in and were able to learn. There were two tables in the exhibition booth, and the visitors took turns looking at sand and rock samples (Table 1). The visitors could learn the definitions of rocks, observe the sands and rocks to discover the relationship between them, learn about mineral resources, and learn
to recognize parts of the Earth’s system.

Table 1

The Program at the Science Festival in Gotenba 2017


Comparison of Outcrop Features

         The sandy beaches of the island are a contrasting color of black and white in the Habushiura and Wakago areas (Figure 3). In the Wakago area, there is a boundary between rhyolite and basalt. The rocks around the Ishiyama are rhyolite. The color of the sandy beach and the cliffs of the outcrops are very similar, thus offering observational clues for students to analyze and discuss the weathering process.

Figure 3

A View of the Sampling Areas

Note: (a) Habushiura; (b) Wakago; (c) Rhyolite-Basalt boundary (Wakago); (d): Ishiyama overlook. Images (e) and (f) are satellite images by Google-Earth, of (a) and (b), respectively. Photos a-d © 2020 by Tomohiro Takebayashi.

Relationships Between Sands and Rocks Based on Mineral Identification (Science)

          Rock crystal (identification: beta-quartz) sands of Habushiura beach and the rocks (rhyolite) of the Ishiyama area were found to be the same compositional minerals. The black grains of sand and outcrop rock (basalt) of the cliffs of the Wakago area were found to be the same composition minerals. As a result, we were able to estimate the source rocks of the sand from outcrop observations and instrumental analysis with high accuracy. The results of the detailed analysis are shown in Appendix B. Teachers can show students the comparison of source rocks and cliffs to sand.

Connecting Mineral Resources to the Culture of Niijima (Art, Technology, and Engineering)

          We found from our field work on Niijima island that the geology is integrated with the life and culture of the islanders. First, Niijima glass is made from regional rocks and minerals and is a light green color (Figure 4 a, b). The beauty of the products and the mine-value of Niijima's glass resources have been globally recognized. Since 1987, the International Glass Art Festival has been held annually to share Niijima’s glass materials with artists worldwide. Second, the fire-resistant rock (biotite rhyolite) known as Kouka-seki (Watanabe, 1914) is in demand domestically and overseas because of its strong fire-resistant and sound-absorbing properties (Figure 4 c). It has been used for the stone steps of shrines (Figure 4 d) and the walls of buildings in the village (the outside washroom of Maeda residence in Niijima has been registered as a cultural property of national importance [ACA 2004; No. 13-0171]). Human society (culture) exists within the earth system and has developed depending on the natural environment. We can study the geology (science) and then discuss how they are used (technology and engineering).

Figure 4

The Connection Between Mineral Resources and the Culture of Niijima

Note: (a) Niijima glass; (b) glasswork using Niijima's minerals; (c) stone steps that remain in the island's shrines; (d) Kouka-seki mine (entrance). The rock is still used as a building material. Photos © 2020 by Tomohiro Takebayashi.

Results of a Comparison of Aesthetics of Quartz Sands

          Twenty ES students (91%; n = 20/22) and 14 JHS students (74%; n = 14/19) chose the rock crystal sand of Niijima island as their preferred sand because they liked its transparency and its shiny property. As a result, this rock crystal was considered by most students in the study as a “beautiful” mineral.

Results of Questionnaires at the Science Festival (Gotemba City)

          We received 90 responses from students (ages 6-15 years old) to the question, "What did you learn for the first time?” Their responses can be roughly divided into the following: (1) the relevance of mineral resources to our lives (n = 34), (2) the structure of rocks and minerals (n = 29), (3) how sand is formed (n = 14), and (4) other impressions of polarization microscopy (including vague answers such as “I enjoyed it”; n = 13). The following responses from children
(younger than 10 years old) who had not completed geology in elementary science: “That rocks become sand” (age 8) and “That rocks become sand when they break” (age 9). Contents of Niijima glass and refractory bricks: “I never imagined that rocks and minerals were a resource for glass cups” (age 8); and “Minerals are useful in many places, and they are also used in traditional crafts” (age 15). The students’ artistic and aesthetic perspective was that “the rocks
and ores were so beautiful and clean" (age 9) and “The Earth is made of rocks. It was amazing because the rocks contained a beautiful material.” (age 12).


Using Easy to Understand Specimens to not Make Sands Process Misleading

          The source of the sands can be estimated from observation, since the outcrops (cliffs) and sand on the beach are the same color. In addition to this speculation, we have added scientific credibility by proving petrologically that the sand and source outcrops constituent minerals are the same (source rock estimation). Therefore, this material is assured of geological confidence and can represent a part of Earth system science. Information that clarifies the
relationship between outcrop, rock, and sand can support the discussion section below.

          Compared to outcrops of source rocks in Japan, where the source of supply is far from the sandy beaches making the composition more complex due to the inflow of rocks from upstream to downstream, the sandy beaches in Niijima have no contaminant problems. Additionally, beach nourishment has been completed in almost all prefectures with beaches in Japan (Goto et al., 2007). Therefore, nourished sandy beaches may make it difficult to hypothesize the source rocks. The process by which sand is formed from rocks is shown in

Figure 5

The Process of Sand Formation from Rock. © 2020 by Tomohiro Takebayashi.

Differences Between Traditional Geology Education and STEM Education (STEM Integration)

          What can children learn from integrating the geology of the Niijima island into STEM education? What is the difference between conventional geoscience education in Japan and STEM education? We will investigate Japan's current science education in Japan based on the Courses of Study (MEXT 2017a, b) and discuss the potential for expansion through the integration of STEM and geology. ES and JHS in Japan are compulsory education (Japanese
Constitution) and textbooks, teaching materials, and teaching plans are determined based on the Courses of Study by MEXT. Science education in Japan includes geology, and textbooks are often used in this domain. In ES, students learn about erosion, transport, and sedimentation by water, and in JHS, they observe rocks in the strata and memorize their names and characteristics. The Course of Study's geology domain of Science is written with the goal of understanding natural phenomena (S) and recommends the use of microscopes and loupes when examining the characteristics of rocks (T). However, there is no domain of engineering, and mathematics put in geoscience education in Japan, such as tying it to industry (E), focusing on crystal structures (M), discussing it numerically (M), or making samples to observe (T and E). The greatest value of this study is the inclusion of T, E, and M in the petrological method (See Proposal for Class Lesson: The Relationship Between the Geology of Niijima Islands and the Cross-Cutting Concepts of STEM on p. 86). In addition, the island itself lends itself to S (Asian Geology and Earth System), T and E (Glass craft and building material [including Art]), E (Industry), and M (beta-quartz crystal system).

Examples of Mathematical Analysis

          Mathematics includes geometry and algebra. All minerals have a crystalline structure and appear in regular shapes and angles. On the other hand, computer technology has been developed so that anyone with computer access and knowledge can perform complex calculations (e.g., measuring distances from satellite images, calculating material content from the number of pixels in an area, and calculating large numbers using Excel) (Figure 6).

Figure 6

Crystal Structure and Calculation of Sand Mineral Composition

Note: Scale bar = 1 cm. (a), (a’) are the sand from Habushiura and (b), (b’) are the sand from Wakago (red color indicates minerals). © 2020 by Tomohiro Takebayashi.

Evaluating the Attractiveness of Rock Crystal from Gemological and Mineralogical Perspectives (Earth System Science Education)

          The results of this study show that almost all students described the rock crystal on Niijima as “beautiful” because of its shiny, colorless, and transparent appearance, which shows that they were paying attention to the characteristics that are unique to rock crystal. The students found almost all of the rock crystals of Niijima to be more attractive than the sand containing few rock crystals (e.g., β-quartz sand from Ibaraki) and the sand composed of silicate minerals (e.g., sinking sand from Tottori).

Human Society and the Natural Sciences (Future Perspective)

          From an aesthetic perspective, rock crystal may be considered a work of art created by the Earth, and both adults and children find it beautiful. The art on Niijima island utilizes the regional mineral resources, and the island hosts the International Glass Art Festival annually to share the value of Niijima’s mineral resources and glasswork with artists across the world. Artists from around the world have recognized the value of Niijima's mineral resources and glasswork. There are two types of art on Niijima: natural art created by the Earth and art extracted using our technologies. It is a fusion of nature and human society and is part of the Earth system. The globally shared values are as follows: (1) Understanding the relationship between human society and the Earth (NRC, 2012; IESO, 2016), (2) feeling the beauty of the Earth’s nature (ESSC, 1988), (3) valuing children's sensibilities (STEAM vision), (4) inheriting
cultures and traditions (Global Slogan of ICOM 2019 Kyoto; Japan (Shizuoka) case: Takebayashi, 2020), and (5) educating children to think from a broader perspective (NGSS, 2013). Rock crystal sand has the potential to connect a variety of academic disciplines. There is a variety of ways to approach teaching, for example with perspectives on culture (History), glasswork (Art, Engineering, and Technology), minerals (Geology), and from local life (Social Sciences).

Examples of Teaching Local Geology from an Engineering Perspective

          The development of science and engineering with the advancement of technology has had consequences for human society and the natural environment (NGSS 2012). The following statement is included in the Course of Study for middle school in Japan: Students understand that a variety of materials are widely used in human lives and society, through observation and experimentation (MEXT 2017b). As a practical example, minerals have been used as ores for
human life. An example of engineering education is the case of a science teacher in Niijima, who asked the students to observe the rocks, and discuss how they can benefit human society, e.g., Kouka-seki has the features of lightness, fire-resistance, hard but easy to cut, and acid resistance (Sciences), which can be integrated into Engineering. On the other hand, glass art is a part of the island's culture. In East Asian and Southeast Asian countries and regions, rocks, minerals, and sands from volcanoes are used for industrial and traditional crafts. An example of a volcanic island, Ijen mountain (Indonesia) is a volcano with a world-famous blue flame caused by native sulfur (Science), and the sulfur is mined for a craft and mineral-resource industry. Therefore, regional class teachers can use innovative geological STEM education specific to a country or region by focusing on the geology and regional industries.

Student Learning (Gotenba Festival)

          In Japanese science education, geology begins in the fifth grade of ES (MEXT, 2017a, b). However, the results of the questionnaire showed that several children in grades lower than fifth grade learned that rocks are made up of grains and that sand is formed from rocks (Science). In other words, the samples we collected were easy to understand by observations, even for beginners. The students’ responses confirmed that some students had learned for the first time that stones are useful in our society, which a 15-year-old student described in the questionnaire in relation to traditional crafts. We were also able to highlight the use of minerals in society at our booth (Art, Technology, and Engineering).

Proposal for Class Lesson: The Relationship Between the Geology of Niijima Islands and the Cross-Cutting Concepts of STEM

          In Niijima, Rhyolite and rock crystal sand, and basalt and black sand are contrasting colors, and anyone can discover the structure and their common or different patterns of rocks and minerals. Scale allows us to consider the measures of space and time. For instance, from satellite images, outcrop photos, naked eye observations, and microscope images use a variety of spatial scales: cliff (km-m); rocks (m-cm); and minerals (mm-μm), and simultaneously we can imagine the geological time scale of the process of making sand from rocks. Energy is necessary to make sand from rock, and we can think of energy changes and effects, such as energy to carry materials, energy to break the materials, and potential energy (e.g., what would cause a rock to break?). A specimen with a clear sequence of material cycles can be adapted to the cross-cutting concepts. From another perspective, Niijima has an industry that utilizes drift rock and is deeply connected to nature and human society. Therefore, there is a system that
connects the relationship between the earth and people, and it has great promise to be a viable STEM teaching tool (Figure 7).

Figure 7

The Relationship Between the Geology of Niijima Islands and the Cross-Cutting Concepts of STEM. Graphic © 2020 by Tomohiro Takebayashi.


          As it is easy to identify the source rocks and cliffs in the sand of Niijima, it is therefore easy to understand the process of formation of sand from rocks (part of Earth’s material cycle), even for beginners. Niijima’s quartz sand is highly transparent, free of inclusion minerals, and colorless as a gemstone. The results of this study showed that the students found the rock crystal to be beautiful, and it stimulated their curiosity. The rock crystal sand on the beaches on
Niijima island is derived from Japanese volcanic activity (rhyolite) and forms in the Asian plate subduction zone (volcanic island). The rock crystal of Niijima is most likely beta quartz, a mineral produced at high temperatures. Rock crystal sands have a different formation process than stable crustal (continental) quartz. Therefore, the rock crystal sand beaches are the product of a unique geology, volcanic rhyolite in origin, from the Pacific Rim volcanic belt. On the other hand, traditional industries in Niijima utilize local rocks and minerals to make Kouka-seki and glass art. The islanders live by the benefits of nature. Therefore, by combining industry and art with geology, we can apply it to Earth System Education pass on Japan’s traditional culture to students.

          Technological advances have made it possible to perform complex numerical calculations on home computer software. For example, satellite technology, microscopy measurements, and image analysis are available with home computer specs. The development of computers and the Internet for the public to use has made science, technology, engineering, and mathematics accessible to citizens in ways that were once only available to specialized institutions. It is expected that future society will provide more opportunities for children to experience more specialized research (e.g., the Japanese case: Society 5.0 [Cabinet Office, 2016]).

          All Asian countries have unique and diverse geology and cultures. Earth and Space STEM education can thus be made specific to an area by focusing on the geology and culture of the area. The nature of planet Earth is diverse, and this natural diversity creates variations in the industries, technologies, and arts of each country. The aim of STEM education is to encourage children to design the future society. Therefore, it is important that future generations learn
about their country’s uniqueness to continue the arts, industries, and traditions that are specific to their country. This paper presents a new STEM frontier that focuses on the geology of Asia.

Tomohiro Takebayashi has a Master’s degree in science education and is now a Ph.D. student at the Graduate School of Science and Technology, Shizuoka University and a part-time lecturer in geology at University of Yamanashi. Mr. Takebayashi’s research is in earth and space science STEM education, focusing on rocks and minerals. He is also a committee member of Earth Science Week Japan.

Yoshisuke Kumano is a professor of science education at Shizuoka University where he teaches Curriculum Studies, Science Education Methods, Seminar in Science Education, and others. He had the honor to receive a full time Fulbright grant from 1989 to 1991 and 2012 for education research in the U.S. Dr. Kumano received his Ph.D. in science education from the University of Iowa in 1993. His research now focuses mainly on STEM education reforms for Japan, working with his Ph.D. students as well as students in other courses. He is the current President of the East Asian Association for Science Education (EASE).


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          London: Butterworths. 1006p.


          This study was completed with the help of many, including the following: Noda, O. (Director of the Niijima Glass Center); Prof. Emeritus Enjoji M. (Waseda Univ.); Prof. Kawamoto, T. (Shizuoka Univ.) /Raman analysis equipment: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) 16H04075; Dr. Ishikawa, M. (Shizuoka Univ., Hamamatsu Campus Instrument Center); Mr. Kato, R. (Shizuoka University); Mr. Sasak, H. (Shizuoka University); and Mr. Haruta, K. (Waseda University).

Appendix A

Location of Niijima: Traced by the authors from Google Maps, based on a modification by Isshiki (1987). The rocks on Niijima are grouped into rhyolite, basalt, and others (e.g., sedimentary). The island’s Habushiura Beach, Wakago, Ishiyama, and villages are designated outside of the national park. The study was done outside of the national park boundary.

Figure A

The Location and geological map of Niijima island. Locality map: Simple traced from Google map; Geological Map: Modified after Isshiki (1987).

Note: The area of Niijima Island is 23.64 km2

Appendix B

         In the Habushiura area, almost all rock crystals have a grain size of around 500 μm, are colorless, transparent, and have no inclusion minerals. Several grains have a unique crystalline structure of β-quartz (high temperature [about 573°C at one atmosphere of pressure]), hexagon without columnar surface (Swamy et al., 1994) (Figure B [a]). In addition, a possible biotite mineral was identified on the surface of the particles (Figure B [b]). The rhyolites from the outcrop near the beach are pumice and coarse-grained rhyolite. The pumice is composed of biotite and clear quartz (grain). Around Ishiyama are biotite rhyolite (pumice), clastic (sedimentary rock with pre-existing mineral fragments), and rock crystal. The rock structure is composed of glassy asbestos and quartz and biotite exist as phenocrysts (large crystals). Many quartz particles similar to those found in the Habushiura area were found in the clastic material.

          The black sand (single grain) and basalt in the Wakago area have very fine matrix minerals. Rock and sand were found to be very similar in mineral composition based on the distribution of chemical composition (EDX). Furthermore, their constituent minerals were numerically proven by Raman analysis to be of the same species (same wavelength) (Figure B [c]).

Figure B

Information about Sand Crystals Observed and Measured in the Study.

Note: (a) beta quartz and crystal system (scale bar = 1 mm); (b) Biotite on the surface of the quartz from Habushiura (scale bar = 0.01 mm), biotite pumice from near Ishiyama, and clastic rocks and quartz form Ishiyama (scale bar = 1 mm). (c) The information that can be obtained from the results of chemical composition mapping and Raman analysis. Data © 2020 by Tomohiro Takebayashi.

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