29 January, 2016

Open Access issue in Clay Minerals

Suvrat recently pointed out an open access collection of papers on carbonate sedimentology. Just a few days ago the Clay Minerals Journal of Fine Particle Science (short Clay Minerals) also published an open access issue with a collection of 12 papers from the 7th Mid-European Clay Conference, Dresden, Germany in 2014. The meeting was organized by the German-Austrian-Swiss Clay Group (DTTG). Currently the OA issue seems to be only accessible on ingenta (see link above) but not on GSW. In the editorial the editors summarize the great variability in clay science research from the importance of clays in geotechnical engineering, hydrocarbon production, CO2 and radioactive waste disposal and more classical fields of mineralogy, diagenesis and analytical methods.

From a quick skim through the table of contents, editorial and abstracts all papers appear to be a good read. Though from a purely personal perspective reflecting my own research interests in diagenetic processes, clay mineralogy, and industrial minerals, I find the following papers the most interesting - and I am looking forward to some good (I assume) reads over the weekend.
Wilkinson 2015 Does the nucleation of clay minerals control the rate of diagenesis in sandstones?

Warr & Ferreiro Mählmann 2015 Recommendations for Kübler Index standardization

Garcia-Valles et al. 2015 Kaolin from Acoculco (Puebla, Mexico) as raw material: Mineralogical and thermal characterization
Here is a link the full table of content.

09 January, 2016

Reynolds Cup 2016

Word spread to me that the deadline (January 22nd) for sending out samples for the Reynolds Cup 2016 of the Clay Minerals Society is nearing fast - and that there still are free positions to participate! The Reynolds Cup is a biannual round-robin for qualitative and quantitative phase identification in complex, artifically mixed samples resembling natural, usually clay-rich, rocks. Any analytical method is allowed to be used but the amount of samples is always very small. Although I have not yet partaken myelf, I have personally enjoyed presentations by various previous winners and participants of the Reynolds Cup. It is definitely a round-robin to test your skills to the fullest! The winners always organise and set-up the next Reynolds Cup. Rules on particiption are strict - so read carefully!

Die Beteiligung besonders aus Deutschland-Österreich-Schweiz soll wohl noch zu wünschen übrig lassen!

Here is the original announcement from December 10th, 2015:
REYNOLDS CUP ANNOUNCEMENT via claytalk announcement

Dear colleagues,
the 8th biennial Reynolds Cup competition for quantitative mineral analysis is now open. You can register your interest in participating the contest by sending an email to Reinhard Kleeberg . Information about the competition including guidelines and previous winners can be found at
http://www.clays.org/SOCIETY%20AWARDS/RCintro.html. The competition is free for all to enter, however, those that are not members of the CMS are encouraged (but not obliged) to become members (see http://www.clays.org/MEMBERSHIP/MemberRates.html for details).

Please use the following format when registering:
Subject: Please put "Reynolds Cup 2016 registration" in the subject line in your email request.

In the body of the email please put the following information:
Shipping address: (that works for DHL/Courier delivery, e.g. physical
address not Postal Box)
Phone number (for delivery):
Email address:

A total of approximately 90 sets of samples will be available for
distribution. Each set comprises three samples of approximately 4 g with
mineral mixtures commonly found in clay bearing rocks. All sets of
samples will be distributed in the order of registration. Samples are
expected to be shipped at January 22nd 2016 with the deadline for
submission of results by April 8th 2016. The top three contestants with
the most accurate results will be announced at the 53rd Annual meeting
of the Clay Minerals Society (June 5-8, 2016, Atlanta, Georgia).

Only the names of the top three contestants will be published. The names of the other participants will remain strictly confidential.

The competition is open to anyone interested in quantitative mineral analysis, with particular emphasis on clay mineralogy. Because of the popularity of the Reynolds Cup and the enormous amount of work put into its preparation, potential participants are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and only request samples if they are sure they can complete the analysis and return results to the organizers by the due date. Those who request samples and do not send in results or fail to return the samples unopened WELL BEFORE the due date will not be eligible to
participate in future Reynolds Cups.

A waiting list will be kept to offer returned samples to other potential participants.

To ensure an even wider exposure, we encourage you to forward this
announcement to your national mailing lists and mineralogy associations,
colleagues and friends who might be interested in participating.

We look forward to your participation!
Reinhard Kleeberg
Reynolds Cup 2016 organizer

Additional information:




06 January, 2016

Hello 2016

Hello 2016! I hope you all had a merry christmas and a blast of a new years eve! This is a rather personal start into 2016 post. The end of my doctoral thesis project is near. 2016 will see a lot of exciting, important, and life-changing challenges and opportunities. One way or another I will write a lot, finish my doctoral studies, defend my thesis, publish/submit two papers related to my thesis, find a lot of money, write a lot of job applications, finally find a job, move, find a place to live, start a paper on my pet research topic, find funding and support to turn my pet research topic into a real research topic, and while doing all of that I will try to stay a normal human being.

The year began successful: I did not make make a resolution! The first week of 2016 therefore was full with success. I began building/reseaching a literature database for another up-coming project (aka downloading 50+ papers), gave meaningful file names to existing literature collections (extensive use of the rename file function), actually read one paper (4-pagers count), installed Profex for Rietveld-refinement of XRD data (and since wonder how it calculates that chemical composition...), and looked into the manuscript and supervisor comments of my next paper (reading the "publication ready" parts does count).

I am looking forward to defending my doctoral thesis. I am also looking forward to getting out of the office and away from the computer again to do fieldwork. Regarding the blog I want to turn this into a more professional framework. It would be great to show more of what I actually do and work with - at least the parts that can be put online without worries. Having those papers out will be very good for that!