21 June, 2009

What's your daily writing pensum?

For all those of you who have to write papers, reports, thesis or your PhD. You may know I am currently writing my Diploma Mapping Report. The maps are done and with my supervisor (who liked them very much) since early June. Since then I should have been writing the report. But I didn't have much progress. Gladly I am still out of problems reach concerning my supervisors and I would like to keep it that way.

I want to set myself some strict goals, i.e. a numer of words or pages I must write every day no matter how stupid it looks like. This is mainly to get some content down and would probably be a good morale boost to see that there is something, even if quality may, yet, be lacking.

So I am curious about how you do it:

How do you get yourself to write that paper or report that you really don't feel like writing?

What is the average span of words or pages a day that you consider good?

I believe the trouble is that it is the first time I am working completely alone. Before I always had at least one fellow student or friend as co-worker. Telling your friend that you will be done with chapter X by monday makes quite a difference for writing. No one wants to disappoint his friends, right?

Also I was unlucky in terms of writing location. I didn't manage to get a room at university to work in. We simply don't have enough for every student. The library came to mind but offers too much distraction both in terms of other people looking for books and in the form of said interesting books. Additionally I don't feel like carrying all my books, papers, samples and notebook to it every day.

There is no other location at my university that I could use. So I am stuck in my own, small room at home.

What is your advice?

16 June, 2009

Geology Rocks! A true rock song!

Thanks to cottontree from the Geoversum geology forum for posting a link to this incredible rock music video! Geology Rocks! :-)

Geology Rocks Video on Youtube

15 June, 2009

Accretionary Wedge #17 is up!!!

The Accretionary Wedge #17: Let's do a Time Warp is up on Outside the Interzone from Lockwood! In this geologic web carneval we will be actively travelling though time to investigate some of the most intriguing events of Earth, otherworldly and pre-univers history. It promised to be an exiting trip with a reasonable chance I suppose to meet Jurassic critters (don't feed them!) and other strange forms of life and more importantly - rocks! So now head over to Lockwood before there are no more free seats! There are plenty of participants!

13 June, 2009

The Accretionary Wedge #17: The Time Warp!

One of the main problems in ore geology just like in most other subdivisions of geology is that we always and only see the final result. We are never there watching it from start to end. A very displeasing obstacle to really understand what happened.

But now - thanks to Lockwoord from Outside the Interzone - I have the tool I need to solve what bothers me: A Time Warp generated by the lastest edition of the Accretionary Wedge!

There are plenty of places, events and processes that would be fantastic to watch with my own eyes as they unfold. I'd really love to see if Snowball Earth really was a snowball or sample the very first living cell to probably roam the oceans. Also a small detour to early Mars while it was still warm and wet and friendly to life would sound like a great destination.

But actually I want to go elsewhere. I want to watch an ore deposit form. I want to see it from start to end. To narrow it down I want to be there while the Silesian Mississippi Valley Type district forms. This is not only the largest MVT Pb-Zn district of the planet with 730 Mt of ore but also there is evidence that the largest district of its kind was formed in an increadibly short amount of time! In the hypogenic karst cavities of the Silesian deposits you can find speleothems (see image) growing up and downwards. The point is they don't grow vertically up and down - they show indication of growing into the direction of fluid flow! You heard it right. These dripstones are made from Galenit, Spalerite and other ore minerals growing inside a pipe that the hydrothermal fluid must have been rushing through. There are estimates that the entire ore district formed in less than 50.000 years with some investigators arguing the time of formation could be as little as 5.000 years or less. Certain parts must have literally formed in the course of days and hours with giant streams of hydrothermal metal-rich fluids moving through the cracks and fissures of the host-rocks.

Sulfide speleothem from the Olkuze mine
(Source: Scanned from Conference handout SEG workshop on the Geology of Pb-Zn Ore Deposits, Lima, Peru, 2008. Image from chapters of David Leach)

That would be so cool. To sit right in those caves in a dry spot and literally watch galenite and sphalerite stalacties and stalagmites grow over night.

Not to forget I also want to take a look above ground. You may know there is a relationship between the palaeogeographic position, the palaeoclimate, mountain building processes and the formation of large carbonate-hosted MVT deposits. A hydrological test with tracers would be cool. Seeing where does the water really come from. What is the real flowpath? How are the precipating ores replacing the surrounding carbonates? I want to see and feel it first hand on.

Thats why I want a time warp.

12 June, 2009

200th Post!

Woohohohooo!!! This is the 200th post since I began blogging one and a half years ago! Time moves so fast, doesn't it? I should have planed this ahead to have a fascinating celebration post ready - as you can see I didn't. Shame on me....

However, instead I can tell you that I am planing to continue blogging for at least another 200 posts (thats probably sometime around the new year of 2010/11).

Also I've been pondering for a while to make major re-construction of my entire blog. I would like to write more focused and more in depth on what really interests me. Additionally I want to move to a more professional look. I don't quite like the options blogger provides. For now all of this is still brewing in my head while I am working on my diploma mapping report and searching a cool diploma thesis topic.

Last but not least I like to thank all the loyal and active followers of my blog. Your thoughts are always a great enrichment of this blog. Thank you!

P.S. I'm on Twitter now but I didn't quite figure out what I am supposed to do there, yet.

11 June, 2009

Another blog: Ancient Shore

Yesterday while surfing the web I came across this nice to read blog by Graham Young called Ancient Shore. Graham is writing from Canada, it's geology and his impressions - usually always somehow connected to the sea-side and the shore. I like the narrative writing style of his. Check it out!

10 June, 2009

Cool samples from fieldwork #04

This samples that I took during fieldwork is an ideal example of the Humphriesi-Oolite from the Middle Jurassic. The Bajocian Humphriesi-Oolite is an iron-ooid rich sandy limestone with ooids of up to 2 mm in diameter. According to the available literature it has been mined as an iron ore in the Dark Ages but lost its significance since then. Sadly there is not a single outcrop of this in my entire mapping area. This sample is one of the few good pieces (mostly it looks more like a boring marl with few ooids) of float that can be encountered occasionally. It can be confused with the Aalenian Murchisonae-Oolite which, however, has much smaller oolites and is sparry, marly and can often be found as small plates, unlike the Humphriesi-Oolite.

Iron-oolite with red-brown ooids of up to 2 mm

This sample is cool because the ooids are so wonderfully preserved and can be easily observed even without a magnifying glas!

09 June, 2009


Lutz from the Geoberg.de-Blog reminded me that there still are some treasures in Germany to be found. Even if they are not as luxurious as the media may be believing. I'm not even half as excited but it sure sounds interesting. Although it is not big news to those working or researching on ore deposits in Germany and especially the Ore Mountains around Freiberg I suppose. Apparently the news has leaked out again that precious metals like Gold can actually be found in the Ore Mountains. Such a nice story for the newspapers...