20 May, 2011

PhD - Teaching - Bentonite

Finally things are close to developing a routine at my new university, job and research institution. The last three weeks were almost exclusively consumed by bureaucrazy, organisational issues, orientating in a new city, moving in and unpacking (still in progress), and and and. Since May 2nd I assist in teaching 2nd semester students the basics of geological map recognition, interpretation and use which turned out to be more fun than expected. Also I am going to supervise a little the microscopes of the Chair of Engineering Geology and once I get some time I will be learning how to do X-ray diffraction measurements.

Yesterday was an important day because I - finally - managed to delineate my planed PhD topic and mailed the dean my official application to be put on the list of PhD students of the university. As I meet all criteria this should only be a formality and I expect to officially be a PhD by next week!

My PhD research will be focusing on the formation mechanisms of bentonites, comparing different types of bentonites from different deposits. I am curious to learn how it all works and am quite glad to be have found a topic within the scope of economic geology and industrial minerals that I consider to gain significantly in importance in the decade. Naturally I hope to also extend my knowledge here and work/research on some other issues.

If any of you should have access or contacts to bentonite (or related like hectorite, etc.) deposits, beds or miners/explorer I would be happy to hear from you. Unfortunately I cannot offer much other than my lasting gratitude and proper acknowledgements. Though I might make this into another post with more details...


Mike said...

Do you really want samples from different regions? I'm not too far from Lincoln California. Where there is a large deposit. There is also a band of consolidated ash on the east shore of Jenkinson Lake in Eldorado County California between Placerville and South Lake Tahoe.

Lost Geologist said...

Well, yes, that is my idea. Admittedly not entirely thought through, yet, but I would like to collect bentonite samples - and other features associated with them, like concretions of any kind - from different localities.

It's like mineral collecting but instead of doing it just for the beauty or interest I might use some samples with reasonable background information for some tests.

If you could help with that it would be very cool though please wait a little while until my idea if a bit more thought through.

Can you recommend some literature on the Lincoln deposit and ash at Jenkinson? At the moment I am starting to read and focus on Wyoming/Montana and Germany. Are you a geologist?

Laura said...

I'll be in northwestern Wyoming studying the Eocene Willwood Formation this summer if you'd like me to grab you some samples there.
If you Georef "Willwood Formation" and "bentonite," quite a few relevant papers come up.

daVe said...

My dad opreated a Bentonite mine in Northen of China. If you are interested in the sample, I could ship it to u.

Lost Geologist said...

Laura & Dave: That sounds great! Perhaps you can contact me by email? Check-out my about section to find it.

Please exuse my slow reply. I am somewhat burried in work and still moving in and unpacking my boxes here. :)