28 April, 2008

Episode 2 is up over at good Schist

I just saw it and wanted to share it with you so no one misses out on this: The podclast - episode 2 has just come up on good schist featuring Chris, Ron and Dave talking about plagiarism, earth day and other issues. Enjoy!

Blogs from A to T

After my recent posts about open access peer-reviewed Geojournals received a lot of attention compared to the usual I have it is time for another round of blogs to add to my Geoblogroll. The first blog that caught my attention this weekend is from southern Sweden, called Antimonite. Also I decided to add Arizona Geology which somehow escaped my attention over the course of the last months. Don't know how. The Triloblog is all focused on your favorite paleozoic fossils. Last but not least the Echinoblog is all about long dead and still living Echinodermata.

27 April, 2008

Open access journals 2nd edition

Thursday I already pointed you to free access peer-reviewed Geoscience Journals and shared a few of my favorites with you. Today I like to point you to the Directory of open access journals (DOAJ). The DOAJ has compiled a huge catalogue of open access science journals of all disciplines that allow you free online access to their content. Of course they also have an big Earth and Environmental Science section that under the sub-section of Geology links to 57 open access Geology Journals. The entire thing is being run by the Lund University Library Head Office and additionally receiving funds from various other institutions. A thank you to Ole who reminded me of this wonderful directory on thursday.

25 April, 2008

Weekend Field Foto - Plage du Poul; Central Brittany

Another implementation of the weekend field foto series. Here I like to show you what beautiful sights are given to us outdoor folks when taking a few minutes to relax and just enjoy the beauty of nature and a wonderful, warm late summer's day. This is the view from atop the Plage du Poul on the Presqu'ile de Crozon in Central Brittany. It originates from the same field trip as the foto featuring me standing in front of rock of the Rozan Formation. Parts of the Rozan Formation can be seen on the right hand side of the foto. Those two islands are largely composed of volcanic rocks and schists. The Plage du Poul itself is composed of three different kinds of rocks. From east to west the white Amorican Sandstone (textbook like quarz sandstone), a very narrow exposure of the Postolonnec Schist and the Kermeur Sandstone which is a bit more varied than the Amorican Sandstone. Amorican Sandstone and Postolonnec Schist are seperated by an approximately 1 m wide fault that can easily be found standing in the beach and looking up the bay.

All of these formations are part of a/one/several(?) large synclines. The same formations can be found again on the Western coast of the Presqui'le de Crozon and in the North. I think. Maybe someone can revitalise my memory here. ;)

P.S. Those people are friend of mine (white hat) and me (dark hat).

24 April, 2008

Free access peer-reviewed Geojournals

I have a number of free access peer-reviewed Geojournals among my bookmarks. I thought it might be a nice idea to share my favorites that I check for updates frequently. My personal list is not that long but if you want to search for more I can really recommend this website called Geoscience e-Journals administrated by Bruno Granier, University of Brest, France.

Some of the favorites I bookmarked to easily find back are the Boletin de la Sociedad Geologica Mexicana and the Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geologicas. Both of them show a wealth of information about Mexican geology and adjenct areas. The entire span of geology is covered from hydrogeology, geomorphology, a bit of the history of geology and mineral deposits. I hope you guys and girls know some basic Spanish, however, the occasional articles is also available on English.

Although not exactly a peer-reviewed Journal like claimed in the title but also a wonderful read when it comes to current ocean sciences is E-Magazine of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

What I like a lot is Geologica Belgica that naturally puts a strong emphasis on Belgian geology, neighbouring countries and former colonial areas in Central Africa (Congo). General geology of all kinds is covered, of course the mineral deposits part was what caught my attention at first.

Sometimes I also pay a visit to Palaeontologia Electronica when I feel like looking at some interesting fossils.

Last but not least the Journal of Geosciences by the Czech Geological Society is also a great read when you are interested in finding out about the Bohemian Massive and other areas of Central Eastern Europe.

If there is nothing of interest among those I recommend checking out the Portal of the Geoscience e-Journals I already mentioned at the top. They feature 44 free-access electronically available Geojournals that are indeed worth the visit.

UPDATED due to request from Bruno Granier. He also suggested an alternative server that I like to mention, too: http://paleopolis.rediris.es/geosciences that is hosted by palaeopolis in Spain.

UPDATE 2: I added the link to the portal to my Favorite Links on the sidebar so it is easy to find back once this post disappears from the frontpage.

23 April, 2008

More Blogs

I've been surving the web a little today to relax from studying for a palaeontology exam. I found (well, I already knew them) a few sites and decided to add them to my long list of Blogs. As I don't have a lot of time (need to get back to studying) here is the list of "new" ones:

18 April, 2008

Weekend Field Foto - A Peruvian VMS Prospect

This weekend's field foto is actually 3 field fotos. A single one just won't do with what I am trying to illustrate. In the end of 2005 I spent 3 months doing my pre-professionals practise in a major Peruvian Mining Company. The majority of the time I spent accompanying Geologists to a VMS prospect in Northern Peru only 25km away from the coast. The climate can be described as arid and almost desert-like. Agriculture was only possible with intensive irrigation. The water melons were really good though! Anyways. Here is the first of 3 fotos:

What you see above is a good overview of the exploration prospect. We needed one day to climb that mountain the fotos is shot from and had to walk half a day through the desert at 40 degrees C without any water. Not very pleasent! Anways. Two gossaneous zones we discovered are marked. The left hand one is the bigger and most significant one. The rocks are mainly andesitic Basalts, Pillow Lavas and calcareous Black Shale metamorphosed underlain by the Peruvian Coastal Batholith that is also exposed at the tip of the right hand ridge. Except for the Batholith that is of Cretacious-Teriary age all rocks belong more or less to the Casma Group/Formation that is of Upper Cretacious age. The mountain we stand on is likely a Dacite belonging to the Calipuy Group that surpringsingly has been mapped as a Granite in the Geological Map we had from the 1960ties. The rocks of the Casma Formation are all metamorphosed and Greenschist Facies affiliated. The next foto...

...illustrates the contact between the actuall Gossan and the overlieing bleached and silified Andesites. You can see a very sharp contact between Gossan and Andesites. As you can see informal mining was going on by "mineros informales" who were mainly after the tiny gold content of the Gossan. They dug quite deep into the Gossan that we did not dare to enter. Also they used the most primitive kind of mercury extraction you can imagine. We had to call the police and have them removed to avoid contamination of the ground and drinking water. Local farmers told us it was 3 guys armed with guns. Gladly, they were not at the scene the day we visited this spot that is actually a 2nd prospect 10km south of the one I present here but likely belongs to the same cluster of VMS deposits and shares many characteristics. It is concealed by the mountain in the top foto. The last foto...

...is back in the left gossaneous zone of the first fotograph. Here also was a pit about 30 to 40m wide and 5m deep dug by "mineros informales" who were after the little gold it contained. Mining here had been given-up some years ago. You can see the beautiful color-play of the gossaneous zone. White is Kaolonite (Dickite), orange is Limonite, red Hematite and black/grey mostly Manganese weathering traces. We took around 390 - 400kg of samples in this pit for further analysis. We managed to break one shock absorber of the car and the rear axis was severly bending through. I guess the 7 farmers (+ the 4 of us) we gave a ride together with the samples and equipment was a bit too much for our pick-up. The road was...well...Silver Fox has a real Super Highway gravel road in Nevada compared to his. The info I have is all back from early 2006. I don't know if the project was advancing beyond the geophysics and explorational drill phase. When I left we were still a little uncertain but I think it is safe to say that this would most likely be classified as a Kuroko Type VMS deposit with Lead, Zinc and Copper. I could go into much more detail but I think that would expand the scope of this post beyond the entertaining level. Hope you enjoyed!

17 April, 2008

"abgetaucht" - a special exhibition

Thuesday I paid a visit to the latest special exhibition in the Museum of Natural History of Berlin. It is an exhibition celebrating the International Year of the Reef - IYOR 2008 and features both recent and fossil examples of reefs through-out time. Of course it re-ignited my dream of hanging out in the Caribbean next to some nice reefs, carbonate plattforms and especially nice and sunny beaches cornered by wind-blown ooid dune fields. Anyways. Though a bit small it is a well rounded show to go and see if you happen to be in Berlin (Exhibition time April 8th - September 30th 2008). If you don't like reefs you can focus on the re-worked Dinosaur skelletons in the lobby or the mineral collection. Below you can see some fotos I made...


15 April, 2008

The podclast!!!

As you may have read on Highly Allochtonous or on good Schist directly the first Geoblogosphere podclast has gone on air. Chris Town and Ron Schott discuss the latest eruptions on Kilauea, pros and cons of peer-reviewed blogging and the job chances for graduates these days. It is definitly worth to listen in! Go check it out!

14 April, 2008

Geoblogroll additions

It is some for another round of newly discovered Geoblogs. It is so that I discovered another two German Geoblogs called The Limonit Blog by Limonit who did a lot of Blogrolling lately and Proreg News by Michael Hahn who concentrates on the Neckertal-Odenwald region in Germany. Also I discovered Uncommon Vistas providing the perspective of a travelling geologist from Mongolia last but not least I found the Chronicles of the Angry Geologist!

The solution: Amber

In my last addition to my weekend fun series I presented a orange, slightly translucent little "rock". It was correctly recognised and described by EffJot as amber! Due to weathering effects the surface of the amber is covered with cracks and fractures and developed a surface incrustraction that has likely been abraded by transport and subsequent re-sedimentation. The specimen you see here is of Eocene age and was found by a friend of mine in a small gravel pit in northern Germany close to the Baltic Sea. I am sorry Silver Fox but what you interpret as breccia texture is likely nothing more than the weathering cracks and surface features of the hardening resin. There are no visible inclusions in this specimen except some tiny air bubbles (I wonder if it's worth examining those). The origin of amber is, to make it short, fossilised tree resin that hardened under exposure to air and was then deposited in sediment and re-sedimented. The German name for amber "Bernstein" is likely derived from the lower German word "börnen" which means something like "to burn". This is closely linked to the fact that amber can easily be burned.

There is only one major and active amber mine to my knowledge. It is located in the area of the former Königsberg, now part of the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The open pit is called Primorskoye in Jantarni and the amber is part of the so called "Blue Earth" that holds a considerable content of Glauconite that is respondsible for its color and name. They are also of Eocene age. Of course amber can be found in many parts of the world. A lot of you likely remember if from Jurassic Park!

A good source that gives a great overview to Baltic amber is: Baltischer Bernstein by Ulf Erichson and Dr. Wolfgang Weitschat published by the Deutsches Bernsteinmuseum Ribnitz-Damgarten. That little book is also my source here.

12 April, 2008

Weekend fun!!!

Another rock to guess and telediagnose! This one should be easy - I think - but I like it a lot. It's the gift of a friend. I hope foto quality is well enough. It is slightly brighter in reality. It is about 2 cm in diameter. Tell me in short words what it is, how it forms and one place where to find it.

Enjoy and have fun!

Good Chitinozoa and bad thesis

Today was quite an up and down with good and bad news. First I received a mail from the head of production of the GEOMIN - Erzgebirgische Kalkwerke GmbH who read my seminar paper that I mailed him last week. You may recall my previous posts about possible Chitinozoa from Phyllites of the Erzgebirge in Germany. Apparently, as he wrote me, I proved an until now dismissed theory by a gentleman called Mahlzahn from 1965 correct. Back then no one believed these claims and the idea was put to the archives. Looks like I brought it back to life after 43 years! I don't even know if Mr. Mahlzahn still lives after so many years. Now the GEOMIN geologist will discuss this with the head of paleontology of the local university in Freiberg (my previous uni before going to Berlin). This is taking a nice direction. I am developing a tiny hope that maybe this could be something to publish.

The down side today was that I received another email from a contact in Peru from the company I was planing to do my thesis paper at. I am very interested in those Mississippi Valley Type deposites but apparently the big bosses do not like the idea of having a student around after all. I cannot and will not discuss the details but, again, I need to re-orientate myself and find a new thesis project. It's quite a disappointment (and very annoying) but my contact there is not to blame. I only have around 2 months left (maybe 3 if I stretch it) to find one now. Sigh!

11 April, 2008

Weekend Field Foto No. 2

Today's weekend field foto features the field camp I was at roughly 3 years ago during my industrial practise in the Peruvian High Andes. That was a very interesting experience so high in the mountains! The camp was roughly at 5300 m above sealevel. It really pushed me to my limits. Altitude sickness had struck me very hard and I was feeling like I am going to die for 8 days. The crew was exploring for high/low sulphidation epithermal Au-Ag silver veins in the volcanics of Central/Southern Peru. Unfortunately after 8 days the mine doctor of the near-by Mina Arcata ordered me to return to Lima at once after my left foot and leg began feeling numb due to the aforementioned altitude sickness.

Anyways. You can still see some left-over snow in the white spots; you can also recognise a big vein/dike in the background. The mapping was quite advanced and they soon began drilling. Dispite the problems it was really worth testing my limits to the extreme.

07 April, 2008

Education and Development Aid

At the end of last year I surprisingly received an Email from my future thesis supervisor. He asked if I would like to be one of the founding members of the Berlin School of Mines e.V., an NGO focused on combining our knowledge of geology and mineral deposits with education and development aid. I agreed to come to our first meeting and we officially founded with our presence and signatures this new organisation. So I am a student member; we are still tiny and in the process of aquiring funds but we already have some upcoming projects in Africa. The water situation in Zambia, see previous post, is also among our agenda, however, projects relating to active mining will also be on our agenda with the main aim to teach and improve the knowledge of locals about geology, environment and the consequences for health and nature. Sadly in many places mining is still an overly dirty business with excessive contamination of ground, water and air. We hope we can remedy at least a tiny part of that. In the future we also hope to extend our involvment to countries facing severe desertification and other, often human caused, problems. I got to admit at first I was sceptical but the more and more I learn about what can be done, and the more I see how easy it (African Angel - not related to us but I saw it on TV) can be sometimes to help, the more I grow fond of the idea to be part of this. I am convinced that among all aspects education is the main key. My little contribution... :-)

05 April, 2008

Weekend Field Foto No. 1

I decided to start sharing more of my field fotos that are mostly derived from university field trips or my Internships at various companies. Today I will show you a foto that a friend of mine took 3 years ago during a mapping exercise in France. We were mapping on the Presqu'ile de Crozon in Brittany. If you need help finding it on a map look south of Brest on the opposite side of the bay. This was definitly my best university field trip ever! Great teacher, good people to work with, lovely, varied and challenging geology combined with a wonderfully warm late summer and fantastic French food located directly on the sea-side! Our mapping area extended for about 9 to 10km right along the cliffs of the coastline. Fantastic! Anyways, enought talking. Here is the first weekend field foto:

In the foto above you can see me wondering about those nice looking rocks in front of me that belong to the lower Paleozoic Rozan Formation of mostly volcanic origin. The Rozan Formation also includes a few limestone horizons in the hanging wall section and silified deep water shales in the footwall that are cross-cut by sills and dikes. The foto features tuff with volcanic bombs of varying sizes. Enjoy.

Two more

Actually I set my mind to find a huge amount of fascinating new Geoblogs today to fill my German Geoblogosphere feed with but alas I only found two that I considered both Geo enough and interesting to read (if you understand German). So I am adding Hinterm Mond gleich links by Planetologist Ludmilla and Tiefes Leben by Palaeontologist Björn. I'm still abit disappointed to only having found these two... :(

03 April, 2008

German Geoblogosphere

Tonight I created a feed (I guess that's what it is called) with only German Geoblogs that I know showing in it. This is on purpose because there are plenty of sites featuring great feeds for the English speaking Geoblogosphere. I hope this will ease finding them for people from outside of the German speaking community. So far I included 5 Geoblogs including my own. Should I discover more I will naturally add them, too. I hope this works as intended it doesn't seem to show in chronological order, yet, but instead in the order I added them. Perhaps this will solve itself once these are updated.

UPDATE: Uhmm...isn't it suppossed to automaticly update when a new post comes? Someone is very confused here...

UPDATE 2: Hmm...still working on it. Theory seemed easier than reality...

01 April, 2008

Existence of Petrophaga lorioti affirmed!

Until now the cause of massive weathering of historic buildings could not be explained to full satisfaction. The theory of the existance of Petrophaga lorioti has long been discussed in German speaking scientific communities of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. First theories were postulated by Loriot in 1976 but largly belittled by fellow countrymen. The first eye witness account came from microbiologist Wolfgang E. Krumbein from Vienna. He reported seeing 30 to 40 little red beasts buzzing over the algaes (Zaun, 2001). It was followed in 2007 by mysterious sightings in Dresden and burrowing tupes inside the sandstones of famous buildings (Müller, 2007). Now the University of Dresden has examined samples from the castle of Moritzburg and came to sensational findings! Appearence is slightly different from the original drawings of Loriot by the existance can be confirmed!

To honor the first by Loriot it has been given the scienfitic name of Anoplura lithoklasia loriotensis. The remains of some could be found and microfotographs were taken. Here is one of them:

Also it has been reported by Dr. Florian Seiffert from the Stonelouse Centre of Northrhine Westphalia that a new sub-specias has been discovered in German University Libaries! It has been given the provisional name of Petrophaga lorioti bibliotheca. Especially the library of the FH Trier has been severly hit with a count of 12,345,678,999 louse! Frankfurt is not doing much better with 11,111,111,111 louse found and counted!

  • Loriot (1976): Die Steinlaus. Parodie auf den Frankfurter Zoologen Dr. Bernhard Grzimek. - Fernsehsendung, ARD
  • Müller, A.: Mysteriöse Grabgänge zerstören Elbsandstein. - Sächsische Zeitung, Dresden 21.06.2007
  • Zaun, H. (2001): Vom Fernsehstar zum Biofilm. Loriots „Steinlaus“ existiert tatsächlich.
  • Ullrich, B. (2007): Sensationelle Entdeckung - Steinlaus endlich gefunden, TU Dresden, Inst. f. Geotechnik
April Fool!

Geoblogs next round

Christe at the cape is moving to Africa where things are not the same, Hypocentre is in charge of the Hypo-theses while the Volcanism Blog focuses on your explosive friends. Last but not least the Wayfarer Scientista is currently in transition to unknown dimensions. Enjoy!