Saturday, April 14, 2012

An award! :-)

As hinted in my last post there was some big news in the pipeline. I wanted to wait until I had the official documents and confirmation. A few months ago I applied for the 2012 Graduate Student Fellowship of the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG).

Now I received the official confirmation that I have been awarded a Graduate Student Fellowship intended to support my graduate studies part of my recently started Ph.D. project! The award comes in the forms of a financial allowance for my research. Considering the still unsecure financing of my Ph.D this will allow me to produce some hands-on data for at least one publication. I am already having some ideas in terms of stable isotopes and SEM imaging. :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

More big news coming soon...

A few days ago I have been giving the head-ups on some fantastic news related to my Ph.D. project. It's a bit too soon to reveal what it is until I received all the details. Let's just say I love economic geology and the open-minded people doing it. :-)

SEG Student Chapter Munich

Many of you are probably wondering why it is so impressively quiet on my blog. Well, I'm not only busy being a teaching assistant and advancing my Ph.D. project (writing grant proposals, writing my firs paper, etc. pp) but also active promoting economic geology here in Munich.

Together with a couple of like-minded bachelor and master students we have founded a Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) Student Chapter: the SEG Student Chapter Munich! The 2nd only in all of Germany. The website if of course still rather blank. In construction as you may figure.

We're pretty busy getting the baby to walk on its own, organizing our first field trips and seminars with invited speakers, and letting other students know about our existance. So there goes my time...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten! Feliz Navidad!

Allen ein fröhliches und besinnliches Weihnachtsfest!

A Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, enjoy the free days!

Feliz Navidad a todos mis amigos en todo el mundo y especialmente en sudamerica y Peru!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Papers that I am reading

I'm reading plenty of papers these days about carbonate concretions, dolomite formation in terrestrial environments and paleosols. Here's of a collection of the papers that I personally find most interesting and informative. There is currently a lot of cool stuff happening regarding dolomite formation in low-temperature environments. These articles are on the cutting-edge in my opinion. Of course it is but a tiny collection...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The joy of research

The joy of research. During the last couple of weeks I have been compiling data from the literature into a big table in order to identify specific factors for mineral formation in the environments that I am investigating. It has been a cool task that was greatly advanced by my recent and on-going cold that has me stuck at home doing not much useful but reading papers and typing Mg/Ca ratios, pH, salinities and many other factor into that table. Today I read 3 whole papers which I included into the table and I have been reading 3 others for general understanding of the problem at hand. It hit me today while cross-reading through those other papers. It was just a single sentence but...there is no similiarity or single governing factor to solve what I am trying to do. A break-through of understanding the problem. There is more than one road to Rome. What a feeling to breach through and advance the personal knowledge of understanding, and what disappointment to realize that I can compile and analyze as many papers, data and experiments as I like, and yet - dispite it being  fun and informative  - will not solve the problem in the way we (my supervisor and I) thought. What a weird feeling to score such a victory and still notice that it will not help. Back to the start. I need a new idea. Still feels kind of cool.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stuff I should know: ichnofossils, palaeosols, calcretes, and the dolomite problem.

I'm an economic geologist and sedimentologist by training. I search valuble minerals. But guess what keeps my mind going around and around? Issues that, at first hand, have nothing to do with mineral wealth. Today, another day in another open pit mine, and I am longing to be an expert in trace fossils (ichnofossils), soil science and palaeosols, calcretes and palustrine carbonates, diagenetic concretions, and the dolomite problem. And you ask, do they have something to do with mineral exploration and resources?

Well - yes. They do. 

Am especially puzzled by the over-whelming amount of what I interprete to be trace fossils of some kind. Though I am no palaeontologist, especially no ichnologist (is that the right word even?). I should take some palaeontologist and soils scientist to the mines. They'd be amazed. Well, I am. 


P.S. If you can recommend some superb trace fossils for dummies articles or books focusing on fluvial-limnic-lacustrine-palustrine-something depositional environments - let me know.

Friday, August 19, 2011

White bentonite - most delicious rock on earth!

The last post demonstrated how we use big machines to dig deeper for science. Let me introduce one of the fruits that we could reap because of it: white bentonite. It is the lower most bentonite bed in the region. Roughly 2 - 5 cm thick and very, very pure montmorillonite. If it would be thicker and if it would not be coverered by 40 cm of sandy dirt it would be a real treasure. Mine workers are known to eat it when having problems with their stomach, i.e. pyrosis. A table spoon of white bentonite and it will pass after some minutes. The best way to describe its physical appearance is white chocolate. It's nearly in-distuigishable visually. We've been literally eating our way upwards in this pit. White bentonite has no taste but a pleasent consistency in the mouth - just like chocolate. It shows a conchoidal fracture and has a waxy feel.

Cream-white bentonite. Yummy!

P.S. Please bear with me for the superficial postings. Being a PhD and a teaching assistant eats all my time and most of the creativity. Writing high-quality post is unfortunately a time-consuming task. I don't have much time.