Monday, October 26, 2009

New Geoblog: Chiemgau Impact

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Robert has taken-up the task to author a new blog devoted primarily to the discussion of the controversial Chiemgau impact in historic time. The issue has created some debate within the geological community in the past due to contradictory evidence. Hence also the blog name: Chiemgau Impact? The blog was added to my German Geoblogosphere feed as one of the few German written blogs on geology.

Thanks to Ole and his blogging effort that alerted me to this new blog.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dispatches from the Field #4

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The Final Days

The last days of fieldwork were dedicated to sampling outcrops, measured sections and other outstanding features. In total I collected around 45 samples for thin sections and another 35 sections for geochemical investigations. The geochemical samples are, of course, the counter-parts to the respective samples for the thin-sections to allow direct comparison. Sampling required a lot of manual work with the hammer and chisle. Many locations have a very hard limestone that required intensive hammering, this way taking 4 samples could easily consume more than an hour until a largely unaltered sampled could be obtained. Also, an advise for anyone hammering away in quarries and outcrops, use a helmet! Mine proved to be a valuable addition to my equipment as it was hit two times by falling rock - that otherwise probably would have required a visit to the local hospital. Having survived sampling and last minute observations I headed to Northern Bavaria to drop-off the geochemical samples in the office of my financing company. They will hopefully be able to provide the results in a few weeks. Now I am heading home. Fieldwork is over!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Urgent call for Participation in the Geoblogosphere Survey 2009

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Lutz has alerted me that, dispite the wide-spread news about the Geoblogosphere Survey 2009 the participation be you, the bloggers, is very low! The Geoblogosphere encompassed more than 200 blogs but only around 50 have participated in this community effort. Please go to the Survey and fill out the short form. I could do it, and I am in the middle of a fieldwork campagne for my Master degree with horribly bad internet connection. It takes only a few minutes. It is available in several languages, as well!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dispatches from the Field #3

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The internet connection here has gotten really...a matter of chance...each day. So here is the summary of the last few days.

Day 8 to 12:

In the last days I managed to document all profiles in the useful outcrops. The weather has unfortunately worsened and the last three days got me soacking wet every time. I did manage to begin measuring the outcrops for dip, palaeoflow (not much to see sadly) and faults. The compass only arrived thursday, my supervisor had forgotton to bring it. Well, I do get to see every spot at least twice this way. Though it does not really lift my spirits. I found a tiny veinlet with pyrite, chalcopyrite and calcite in the quarry today. The next one and a half hours I spend looking for more and examing the really tiny crystals in more detail. I'm still an ore geology guy by heart I noticed, and how hard it was to leave them and get back to documenting the boring quarry with its very monotonous succession. I am very much looking forward to going home. I can feel that I am doing the 3rd or 4th choice kind of project. I want my ores...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

SedLog: A tool for drawing graphic logs.

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Today's work literally got drowned by continued rain. The unvoluntary idle time could not be filld entirely with continuing the map thus I spent some time surfing the digital waves, and behold, what did I find?! Something certainly not only useful for my thesis project, but just as well to anyone else out there needing to compile sedimentary graphic logs. I stumbled upon an article (SedLog: A shareware program for drawing graphic logs and log data manipulation) published just recently in Computers & Geosciences by Zervas et al. It appears to be great and easy to use tool that I downloaded. Runs fine on my Win XP. The tool has its own webpage here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Geoblogosphere Survey 2009

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Lutz has kindly asked me to to highlight the Geoblogosphere Survey 2009. Please go here to take the survey. I already did and it only takes a few minutes and is easy to answer! The survey is open for participation until 1st of November.

Dispatches from the Field #2

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Mapping complete and fighting with making a good profile

Day 5:

Today was a good day. Dispite sleeping-in late and getting lost on the road - it's really confusing to drive on these tiny French roads - I did what I wanted. The point making my day good was that I found a couple of locations with big calcite veins within 50 to 100 m of where I was expecting to find some clue for a big fault that I had been hypothesing upon the day before. Left and right side of the veins are off-set by at least a few meters. Great! There also is an old quarry that I discoverd today in which can be seen some nicely folded and layered limestone beds. The base of the formation of my interest - I think. It seems like the very old geologic map that I am basing my work on is correct in all its details. Tomorrow I will inspect the last two places of my field area. If there are no unexpected surprises here mapping will be done tomorrow and I can draw the working version of the map. Three days for 2 square km sounds pretty good. If all goes well tomorrow I might also begin with the first profile and selecting some preliminary and random samples. The only downside so far has been that the Mumienbank, a wonderful oncoid bed that would enable a rough stratigraphic positioning, seems to gone. Only some occasional float from the lower most part of the oncoid bed or the underlaying grainstones can be found here and there. To end the day with a positive expression: After taking a few dip measurements it will by a piece of cake to construct the Isoline Map! The morphology here delivers very good clues on where the hard limestones begin even when the lower contact is not exposed.

Day 6:


Today went well. Found another few spots with calcite veins just in the right location for fault lines. The morphology also screams "fault"! The entire area is mapped now and I think I found all useful outcrops as well. The evening was best, when putting everything onto the map and get confirmation that all veins, silified rock and similiar stuff is really where I suspected that it should be. Good!

Day 7:

A slow day. Wasn't really motivated. I managed to speak to the owner of the active quarry and I can come friday to pick-up the keys so I can access it on the coming weekend. I hope two days will be enough to make the profile, measure it and take enough samples. Aside of that I spent a very long time in an old quarry trying to make sense of it. The bedding is really a mess. Most of it is simply an extreme version of stylo-bedding in my opinion. I grouped these stylobeds into a "bed" when they were identical macroscopical. I got 12 beds this way in a 20m high quarry wall. Still, lazy, I hope the other places will go quicker than all day long.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dispatches from the Field #1

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After some internetless time I found some way to access it. The connection is horribly bad, so no pictures unless necesarry. Some stories about my Diplom degree fieldwork. 

Getting there and first impressions

Day 1:

Having spent the last two days packing everything that I might possible need I left home around lunch time. The traffic on the highways was a disaster and one construction site followed the other. I only arrived around 7pm at my half-way stop in Hessen. The pension was nothing special, actually the room was stinking terribly like cigarette smoke and it was awfully noisy. I don't think I slept more than 3 to 4 hours till the next morning. Luckily I did manage to get a nice Tagliatelle a la Pirata at a local restaurant. I didn't feel like eating in the pension.

Day 2:

Construction sites the 2nd day. Today also accompanied by traffic jams for a long way! Drinking awfully much Cola to fight my sleepiness I arrived in Bad Krozingen, a nice thermal bath, around 5pm. Here I spent the night in a, this time, very nice pension. Too bad I had no time for vacation!

Day 3:

Not entirely rested I met the quarry manager and the chief geologist of the company I am doing my thesis at. After an organisational meeting and talking about how to drive we took-off and drove some 90km south-west to the southern most end of Alsace. On the road we found out that the French don't understand the same under "Fast Food" as we do. The Kebab took forever. But it gave us time to talk. After having arrived on the site of interest we took a short hike to the next outcrop, a former quarry, and discussed some of the work that would be ahead of me. I took a short walk after that to see some more of my work area and then drove to my room. It's very nice by the way. Sadly, very bad WLAN internet and only three TV channels - all French! The shopping tour in the local supermarket also made me realise that I am very out of place here with my virtually non-existing French language skills. Feels very embarassing when I can't even ask what they are selling at the meat, cheese or fish stand. Very exhausted I fall to sleep in my bed later on. Finally a really good night!

Day 4:

I drove to an active quarry to ask the owner for permission to access it to do my stuff there. He ain't there. Need to come back on Monday. Good the guy at the door also spoke Alsatian dialect - something inbetween French and Swiss-German. Then I drove horribly long till I found a parking place for todays checking-out of the field. The hill is very steep! Impossible to walk lines. Will just follow the forest tracks and check if the geologic map from....very, very old...matches reality somehow, as agreed with my supervisor. Then I will pick sites for profiling and sampling. Today I already found two or three potential sites. One is small and the other a German bunker from WW 1 that has been built into an artificially extended cave. Carrying the flashlight and helmet all day came in very handy. First impression: Very confused. Too much vegetation. Worse than in the Amazonas. Sigh. Did I mention this hill is a huge, overturned fold that has consecutively been faulted, up- and down-lifted? It has, well better said had, a stone age fort on top. Together with the WW 1 bunker all kinds of imaginable rocks now all lay happily united and scattered all over the hill. The steep slopes do the rest to spread float to every possible and impossible corner. Did I volunteer for this????