30 November, 2008

Field impressions #2

Thursday I spent all day with another Geologist practising how to quickly document a quarry. With some practise the documentation process for resource evaluation (overburden, thickness of useable rock, petrography, etc.) can take no more than 5 to 10 minutes. It can be quite fun to drive around all day and visit old quarries here and there. Before lunchtime we had one stop with a magnificent view across the Rhine Valley with the Vosges mountains at the horizon. I would like to share it.

The view west from close to the Tuniberg

29 November, 2008

Geopetal structure

During my first real field day I came across some very nice sedimentary structures that looked just like in the textbook. Unfortunately I forgot to take ma camera to the field. However, I could take home this nice example of geopetal structure within limestone.

(Click image to enlarge)

It can be nicely observed how the complete shell was infilled at the bottom with mud during deposition and subsequently calcite crystals formed after deposition or diagenesis. It is a wonderful example of how to tell palaeo-up from down especially in tilted sediments. The complete preservation of the shell leads me to assume that it was deposited either in-situ or without much transport. Long transport or strong wave and current action would have seperated the two shell parts.

22 November, 2008

Field impressions

To my great surprise the owners of the little vacation flat that I am renting during my mapping work provided me with internet access! I am very happy about it. It will make staying in touch with family and friends much easier and also gives me the chance to share a few, first field impressions with you. The real work will begin monday when I have an organisational meeting with my local supervisor. Thuesday should then be the first official day at field work. Anyhow, today I took a drive around and through my mapping area to gather first impressions and to orientate myself. The weather is very bad and it had some rain and snow showers even in the valleys. Some of the hills are completely white right now. The weather forecasts look good though and starting thuesday temperatures and weather should improve.

Closing in on the southern end of my mapping area

At the southern most tip I found this unused quarry.

Just a few km down the road: The wine in front still belongs to my area. The village and what's behind gladly not.

On the road back to town I passed through this fairy tale forrest.

As you can see conditions aren't really perfect but I think it'll do. Once the weather improves and once I have access to the drill core documents work should be easier. The few random pieces I picked-up today already contained a few fossils and oncolites/pellets/oolites which proved to be a bit hard to tell apart because they are so tiny. Perhaps I can demonstrate a few fotos of those in the coming weeks.

19 November, 2008


I'm leaving for field work tomorrow morning and will be absent until christmas - unless I find internet access. The Southern Upper Rhine Graben between Freiburg and Basel will be my hunting ground. Check out some previous posts for more details. To prevent spam I activated the comment moderation. If your comments should not show-up then I didn't have a chance to access the internet.

18 November, 2008

Sequence Stratigraphy and Industrial Mineral Exploration - The Hauptrogenstein

As announced in the introduction I will now post a very condensed summary of the Hauptrogenstein:

Studying the Hauptrogenstein in NW-Switzerland Gonzalez identified three shallowing-upward successions within the Hauptrogenstein-Formation and the underlying Rothenfluh Beds (Blagdeni Beds in SW-Germany).

The Rothenfluh/Blagdeni Beds consist of marls, interbedded mud- to wackestones and limestone nodules. They can contain a quartz content of up to 25%. The finegrained limestone beds become more frequent towards the hanging-wall and increasingly more bioclastic with intercalations of thin beds of ooid grainstones. This tendency increases into the Lower Acuminata Beds (Pentacrinus beds in SW-Germany) and the Lower Oolitic Series. The development to a high-energy shallow-marine environment continues with the appearance of thick layers of oblique and cross-stratified ooidal grainstones. In the top the oncolite rich "Mumienbank" is capped by an ommission surface. The Upper Oolitic Series essential follows the same composition with the Homomya Marls at the base, oolitic grainstones of the Upper Hauptrogenstein s. str. and Movelier Beds at the top forming the transition to the third shallowing-up succession composed of marls at the base and Ferrigineus-Oolith at the top.

Shallowing-up successions within the Hauptrogenstein-Formation (Gonzalez, 1996)

There is a trend of each sucession to become thinner with the Lower Oolitic Series the most massive and the iron-rich Ferrigineus-Oolith the thinnest (see Fig.). The water energy is increasing towards the top of each succession into a shoal or tidal-channel environment as supported by (bioclastic) oolitic grainstones.

You will see why this is important in the following parts of this mini-series...

  1. Ramon Gonzalez (1996): Response of shallow-marine carbonate facies to third-order and high-frequency sea-level fluctuations: Hauptrogenstein Formation, northern Switzerland, Sedimentary Geology, 102

14 November, 2008

Sequence Stratigraphy and Industrial Mineral Exploration - Introduction

While searching the literature for detailed information for my mapping project I came across two articles relating to sequence stratigraphy and mineral exploration. Both articles share the common theme of sequence stratigraphy: One focuses on the development of the Hauptrogenstein-Formation and the other focuses on how sequence stratigraphy can be use as a tool in the exploration for industrial minerals.

Gonzalez discussed in 1996 the response of shallow-marine carbonate facies of the Hauptrogenstein-Formation (N-Switzerland) to third-order and high-frequency sea-level fluctuations. Dynamic stratigraphy as a tool for economic mineral exploration was discussed by Pawellek and Aigner in 2004 using ultra-pure Upper Jurassic limestones as an example.

There will be no complete discussion of the articles I mention in this post but for anyone interested I will post the references at the end of the posts. I have to admit that I never considered sequence stratigraphy like it appeared to me only a short while ago after discovering both articles.

Looking ahead I will try to use the method described by Pawellek and Aigner on the Hauptrogenstein-Formation from Northern Switzerland. They showed what facies out of a sequence stratigraphic context are most prospective for ultra-pure limestones exploration. The Hauptrogenstein extends northerly into SW-Germany. The other articles provides sufficent information for my very relaxed hypotising and if I can identify ultra-pure limestones by their facies.

To not get distracted too much from my actuall work I have decided to turn this into a short series of 3 to 5 posts. This way I can write short contributions whenever my work allows. After todays introduction I will discuss next how the Hauptrogenstein responded to sea-level fluctuations.

  1. Thomas Pawellek and Thomas Aigner (2004): Dynamic Stratigraphy as a tool in economic mineral exploration: ultra-pure limestones (Upper Jurassic, SW Germany), Marine and Petroleum Geology, 21
  2. Ramon Gonzalez (1996): Response of shallow-marine carbonate facies to third-order and high-frequency sea-level fluctuations: Hauptrogenstein Formation, northern Switzerland, Sedimentary Geology, 102
P.S. I do not know how frequent I have time to make thoughtfull contributions to this mini-series inbetween my work so please do not hold your breath till part 2!

11 November, 2008

The Hauptrogenstein-Formation

I recently noticed a number of visitors coming from Wikipedia. There are several posts on the Hauptrogenstein on my blog. Please click on the tags Carbonate Sedimentology and Germany to find most of them.

The majority of rocks and formations within my mapping area are from the Middle Jurassic. During the Bajocian (Middle Jurassic) a shallow-marine carbonate platform - the Burgundy Platform - stretched from France towards the SE and prograded slowly into modern Germany and Switzerland. It represents the so called Celtic facies realm that grades into the Swabian facies realm E of Strasbourg and Bern. In Germany this transition is not preserved. The platform carbonates are composed of the oolitic complex of the Hauptrogenstein-Formation and the uppermost Ostreenkalk-Formation.


While the W is mostly dominated by the deposition of marls the E is dominated by N-S trending oolitic barries and tidal areas. Back barrier facies belts developed W of these. Off-barrier deposition is again characterised by marls and intercalated strom deposits. A good map says more than a 1000 words though:

Paleogeographic reconstruction of the late Bajocian (from Gonzales & Wetzel, 1996)

Three facies belt can be distinguished in the geological record. A shallow-marine, high-energy oolitic barrier system controlled by tidal currents. A backbarrier with calmer water and deposition of micrites, oncolites and patch reefes and a off-barrier dominated by marls and tempestites.

In SW-Germany, in the S edge of my own field area, the interfingering of marls at the bottom, oolitic sands in the middle and backbarrier patch reefes can be very nicely observed in several profiles also indicating the slow progradation of the different facies over time and the growth of the platform towards the NE and SE.


  1. Ramon Gonzales & Andreas Wetzel (1996): Stratigraphy and paleogeography of the Hauptrogenstein and Klingau Formations (middle Bajocian to late Bathonian), northern Switzerland, Eclogea. geol. Helv. 89/1
  2. Martin Ernst (1991): Lithostratigraphische und fazielle Untersuchungen des Hauptrogensteins (Bajocium) im SE-Oberrheingraben, Jber. Mitt. oberrhein. geol. Ver., N.F. 73

07 November, 2008

If I could paint like this...

Below is a small painting my girlfriend made for me so I can remember our stay at the Black Sea this summer (that beach was so nice, sun, warmth, ocean and even nice rocks!). She did that all by herself. I have it on foto. I am so jealouse and proud of her at once. I wish I could paint like that.

Her painting

The foto

I think it is so great to be able to paint so well like that. She surely has to teach me!

06 November, 2008

Geology bookmarks 5

Today I want to share the last batch of geology related bookmarks with you. Today's version is about a lot of mining companies that I came across during the last years of studying. If you are looking for jobs perhaps some of these sites may be of help.

Mining and Georesource Companies
  1. Acadian Gold
  2. Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited - Home
  3. Almaden Minerals Ltd.
  5. AngloAmerican - Home
  6. AngloGold Ashanti Gold Mining and Marketing
  7. Antofagasta PLC
  8. Atacama Minerals Ltd.
  9. Aurelian Resources Inc.
  10. Australian Mining-Exploration Companies - Profiles
  11. Barrick Gold Corporation
  12. BHP Billiton Home
  13. BHR Ingenieur GmbH
  14. Blackstone Ventures Inc.
  15. Boliden
  16. Buenaventura
  17. Cambridge Mineral Resources plc - Home
  18. Cardero Resources Corp.
  20. Coeur
  21. Companhia Vale do Rio Doce
  22. Consorcio Minero Horizonte
  23. Cross Lake Minerals Ltd.
  24. Deutsche Rohstoff AG
  25. Diamonds North Resources Ltd.
  26. DMT GmbH Startseite
  27. DSK - Deutsche Steinkohle AG
  28. Electra Gold Ltd.
  29. Exmin Resources Inc.
  30. FAB German International Consulting Group
  31. Far West Mining Ltd.
  32. Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.
  34. Gold Fields the complete gold company
  35. Harmony
  36. Hochschild Mining Plc.
  37. Holcombe Coughlin & Associates downloads
  38. http--www.cusac.com-
  39. http--www.queenston.ca-
  40. HydrocarbonAssets
  42. Iberian Resources
  43. Imperial Metals Corporation
  44. Inco Limited -
  45. Industrias Peñoles
  46. International KRL Resources Corp.
  47. K+S Gruppe
  49. Kennecott Utah Copper
  50. Kenrich-Eskay Mining Corporation
  51. Kinbauri Gold Corp. acquisition, exploration, development
  52. Kingsgate Consolidated Limited - Other resources associated with gold mines, mining, precious metal and mineral resources and r
  53. Lake Shore Gold Corp.
  54. Lundin Mining Corporation
  55. M I L P O
  56. Mariana Resources
  57. Mining Companies Mining Stock Lists
  58. MinMet Plc.
  59. Miranda Gold Corp.
  60. MSA Geoservices
  61. Nautilus Minerals Inc
  62. Newcrest Mining Limited
  63. Newmont Mining Corporation
  64. North American Palladium Ltd.
  65. Northern Lion Gold Corporation
  66. Northgate Minerals Corporation
  67. Ormonde Mining plc
  68. Pan African Mining Corporation
  69. Platinum Group Metals Ltd.
  70. Primary Metals Inc.
  71. Redcorp Ventures Ltd. -
  72. Redfern Resources Ltd.
  73. Resource World TV
  74. Rio Cristal Zinc - Home
  75. Rio Narcea Gold Mines Ltd.
  76. Rupert Resources Ltd.
  77. RWE Rheinbraun
  78. Sanu Resources Ltd.
  79. SCC
  80. Shear Minerals Ltd.
  81. SIMSA
  82. SiQued-Geostrategies
  83. Solid Resources Ltd.
  84. SQM - HOME
  85. St. Elias Mines - Homepage
  86. Stillwater Mining Corp
  87. SÜDSALZ GmbH
  88. Teck Cominco Limited
  89. The Silver Institute
  90. Thompson Creek Metals Company
  91. Uruguay Mineral Exploration Inc.
  92. Votorantim
  93. Western Keltic Mines Inc.
  94. Wirtschaftsverband Erdöl- und Erdgasgewinnung e.V.
  95. Yale Resources

05 November, 2008

Geology bookmarks 4

While WoGE #154 is still waiting for the first replies (btw, I added volcanista's Magmalicious Blog to my Blogroll) I can continue with sharing my geology related bookmarks. Today I have a list of institutions and associations of geology and various state surveys.

Geological Institutions and Associations
  1. AAG - Association of Applied Geochemists
  2. AMEBC - Association for Mineral Exploration BC
  3. Arbeitskreis Bergbaufolgen
  4. AWI - Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung
  5. BCGS - British Columbia Geological Survey
  6. BDG - Berufsverband Deutscher Geowissenschaftler e.V.
  7. BGR - Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe
  8. BSM - Berlin School of Mines
  9. CIMP - International Commission of the Palaeozoic Microflora
  10. DGG - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften
  11. DINAMIGE - Direccion Nacional de Mineria y Geologia Uruguay
  12. DMG - Deutsche Mineralogische Gesellschaft
  13. GAG - Grubenarchäologischen Gesellschaft
  14. GGA - Institut für Geowissenschaftliche Gemeinschaftsaufgaben
  15. Geology Newsfeed
  16. Geothermal Networks
  17. GOLDSHEET Mining Directory
  18. GSC - Geological Survey of Canada
  19. GSN - Geologic Society of Nevada
  20. GV - Geologische Vereinigung e. V.
  21. IAS - International Association of Sedimentologists
  22. IGME - Instituto Geológico y Minero de España
  23. InfoGEO.de
  25. Inkaba yeAfrika - www.inkaba.org
  26. LGRB - Landesamt für Geologie, Rohstoffe und Bergbau von Baden-Württemberg
  27. MABC - Mining Association of British Columbia
  28. Ministerio de Energía y Minas - Perú
  29. NBMG - Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
  30. SEG - Society of Economic Geologists
  31. SGA - Society of Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits
  32. SGR - Societatea Geologica a Romaniei
  33. UBC/MDRU - Mineral Deposit Research Unit
  34. UGS - Utah Geological Survey

03 November, 2008

WoGE #154

After a long time I have scored another win on the Where on Google Earth challenge and solved WoGE #153 (Jan Mayen volcanic island) hosted by volcanista on her Magmalicious Blog.

I will invoke the Schott Rule here because I want people who have not yet won a WoGE to get a chance. This means all those who have already won must wait one hour for each of their wins.

If you can identify the location of WoGE #154 please reply in the comments stating the exact location or coordinates and also some information about the geologic significance of this location. Simple stating the location without geology I will let not let count! If you are correct you get to host and select WoGE #155. If you do not have a blog you may designate someone to host it for you.

Here it is:

Good luck!

Posting time was 11:54PM CET (Central European Time) - that is UTC+1

02 November, 2008

Geology bookmarks 2

Here is the second batch of geology related bookmarks I want to share with you. These focus on mineral deposits, sedimentology and volcanology. There are more to come in the next days for Palaeontology, Geological Associations, Journals I often consult and a long list of mining companies if you want.
Mineral Deposits
  1. Epithermal Gold for Explorationists by G. Corbett
  2. Gemmological Association of Australia
  3. Gemstones Australia.com, Gem Stone, Gem Stone Bead, Gem Stone Jewelry, Precious Gem Stone, gemstonesaustralia.com
  4. Geoscience - Gemstones - Australian gemstones
  5. Geschichte des Bergbaus am Kandel
  6. Greenland Mineral Occurrence Map
  7. Metallogenic Mineral Provinces and World Class Ore Deposits in Europe
  8. Mineral Deposits of Canada
  9. Minerals Statistics and Information from the USGS
  10. MINEX News Greenland
  11. Mining in Zambia - geological terrain map
  12. Near-shore oolitic marine ironstones- Schmiedefeld (D)- Gebersreuth (D)-Wittmannsgereuth (D)-Töpen (D)-Bruck(D)-Unterneuhütten
  13. Non-Sulfide Zinc Deposits - SGA News 15
  14. Oil Sands Discovery Centre
  15. Preliminary Compilation of Descriptive Geoenvironmental Mineral Deposit Models
  16. Skarn Web Page
  17. Treasure Tales State Index
  19. Vein Deposits
  1. Depositional Sedimentary Environments Lab
  2. NSF Workshop on Community Sedimentary Model for Carbonate Systems
  3. Sedimentary Environments Chart
  1. Caribbean Volcanoes
  2. Smithsonian Institution - Global Volcanism Program Worldwide Holocene Volcano and Eruption Information
  3. Volcanic Materials Identification

News on dimension stones

Geoberg has another post on newly found Geoblogs on his Geoberg-Blog. Among others there is the Naturstein Newslog - a newsblog of the German Naturstein Magazine on dimension stones in Germany. I decided to add their news section to my feed of German Geoblogs to increase its variety.

Geology bookmarks 1

I've been thinking of sharing my geology related bookmarks for a while. Finally I figured out how to copy & paste the links and names easily. Below you will find around 50 to 60 links to various geology sites taken from my "general geology" bookmarks. I will share other bookmarks later which may include sites of similiar topical range, however, most of my bookmarks are arranged by creative chaos which should also ensure that there is something for everybody. Don't spend too much time reading - some of those website are simply excellent and also all of these sites are completely free access and very educational!
  1. A Geologist's Lifetime Field List
  2. All About Glaciers
  3. An Online Guide to Sequence Stratigraphy
  4. Bedrock Geology - Field Locations - Maine Geological Survey
  5. Bowen's Reaction Series-Igneous Rock Forming Minerals
  6. Caribbean Research at UTIG
  7. Chemische Sedimente Gliederung
  8. CO2SINK
  9. Earth Science World - Gateway to the Geosciences
  10. Earth Scientist's Periodic Table
  11. EarthRef.org -- Home Page
  12. eMik - Das virtuelle Polarisationsmikroskop
  13. Geochemistry - Geological Sciences 455 Home Page
  14. Geologic History of the Moon
  15. Geologic Web Sites of L.S. Fichter
  16. Geologische Karten von Skandinavien - Schweden, Finnland
  17. Geology Central
  19. GeoMapApp
  20. Geoscience Australia
  21. Geotope im Regierungsbezirk Freiburg
  22. Geotope in Baden-Württemberg
  23. Global Seismic Monitor
  24. Guide to the Permian Reef Geology Trail - Texas Bureau of Economic Geology
  25. Historical Geology Lab Manual - Georgia Perimeter College - Pamela Gore
  26. Igneous Geochemistry
  27. Igneous Rocks
  28. Igneous Rocks Home Page
  29. Jahrestagung 2007 - Afrikagruppe deutscher Geowissenschaftler Programm
  30. Jurassic of Russia
  31. Karstquellen in Deutschland
  32. Keck Earth Sciences and Mining Research Information Center
  33. Landsat.org Home Page
  34. Lithostratigraphisches Lexikon
  35. Magmatic Differentiation
  36. Mantel Plumes
  37. Mineral and Ore Deposits, Links for Mineralogists
  38. Minerals under the Microscope Earth Sciences University of Bristol
  39. Molluscn Glossary
  40. Nevada Geology
  41. Palaeos
  42. Paläo-Geologische Zeitskala - Wikipedia
  43. Paleogeography through time
  44. Permian Reef Complex Guadalupe Mountains
  45. Permian Reefs and Carbonate Complexes
  46. Petrograph
  47. Quivira Coalition: Field Guides
  48. Scotese Paleomaps
  49. Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
  51. Strukturgeologie
  52. The Iberian Pyrite Belt physical volcanology
  53. Theory of the Earth - Books by Caltech Authors
  54. UIUC Geology Library--Selective Bibliography; Coral Reefs of the Netherlands Antilles
  55. USC Sequence Stratigraphy Web
P.S: I tried to only post working links but if there should still be dead links please let me know and I clean-up the list.

Update: Added numbering and removed a dead link