One woman's quest for geological understanding!

Foraminifera under the microscope – A learning experience

  Today has been a day for joyful microscope experimentation! I recently received a Thin Section (TS) / Slide of Holocene Foraminifera from the Philippines (3357 feet).  Not my area of expertise at all, but very pretty.  And after years of seeing studies where foraminifera were used as proxies for climate change in geological history, and spending so much time incorporating these into my project course and personal research, it seemed a great idea to actually look at some under… Continue reading »

Photography down the microscope…

Soooo I started taking excellent photos…. and was about to label and upload photos and films I took through my polarizing microscope, when I realised I needed scale!  Rule #1!

So, I gave up on the maths – the slight zoom in my camera ruled out that – and invested in an “Advanced Calibration Slide”, which arrived yesterday.

Calibration Slide

It has five calibration patterns.

0.07mm, 0.15mm, 0.6mm and 1.5mm calibration dots.

X-Y Calibration ScaleX-Y calibration scale (In the circle in the picture of the slide above) with a smaller division of 0.01mm. The scale is 1mm long in both X and Y direction and is first divided into 0.1mm and them 0.01mm. At the centre, it has a 0.04mm square divided by 5 lines in both X and Y direction and providing much more choice for calibration.

Now let the fun begin on a large small scale!

“Adventures of a field geologist on Mars” – Herdman Symposium 2015

Curiosity Self-Portrait at ‘Mojave’ on Mount Sharp

I saw it announced and thought nothing more than “that sounds interesting”: We have all heard about the Curiosity Rover, which landed on Mars in 2012 and, since then,  has uncovered geologic evidence of an environment that may have supported microbial life early in the planet’s history.

I had NOT sat down to consider the time difference between Earth & Mars (A sidereal day on Mars lasts 24 hours 37 minutes and 22 seconds – ie that is the length of time for the planet to rotate once on its axis, compared to the 24 hours on Earth).  Nor had I considered that this time difference (obviously, in hindsight) meant that the lucky scientists working with the robot were on crazy shifts and that any decisions and work undertaken put them under considerable time pressure on a day-to-day basis.  Every move of the robot needs to be planned out in detail, and then run by the engineers (in terms of wear and tear of the robot, capabilities, etc.).

A chorus of oohs and aahs filled the auditorium as the first photos were presented.  Cross-Stratification / Cross-Bedding has NEVER been so exciting!  Evidence of water on Mars!  Simply mind-blowing!

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HERDMAN SYMPOSIUM: Geoscience Frontiers 2015 (21/2/15)

Today was another fantastic Herdman Symposium – one of the best yet, I feel!  Every single presentation was amazing, and, once again, I took something from each and every one!

Below are the abstracts and speaker information (as provided in the Herdman Syposium program): I will be writing about each one individually over the next few weeks – FAR too much information to pack into one post!  Apologies for the photo quality; my Canon 600D is firmly rooted on my microscope at the moment, so I resorted to using my mobile phone :s Hence some photos have been acquired elsewhere…

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Herdman Symposium coming soon!

It is that time of the year again – ROCK ON!

The Herdman Symposium: Geoscience Frontiers 2015 will take place on Saturday 21st February!

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My Microscope

I have been meaning to post this for some time, but this time last year, my family clubbed together to purchase this amazing microscope for me!


It is a polarising microscope with transmitted illumination, binocular viewing head, phototube and strain free infinity corrected flat field objectives.

This, and the 2013 Christmas gift of a Canon EOS600D from my brother (John) and his wife, have put me in a great position to enjoy geoscience in greater detail!

Getting to grips with the set up, settings and ins and outs of this new equipment (especially the new camera!) has taken some time, but I hope to document it all soon!

Given sufficient free time, I will be posting Thin Section videos / photos more frequently in my blog!

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BSc in GeoScience :) Daisy is a happy bunny!

I am proud to announce that I now have a BSc in GeoScience!

91% (Distinction!) on my Project Course!


It has been a while….

…. but then I have been working on my project course!  I handed in my work at the end of September and am not patiently waiting for my result!  Well, not so patiently, really….

Other than that, I am catching up on work and trying to get more in to facilitate a possible MPhil/PhD at Keele University   🙂

Soooo need to be researching again!  I am going to be lost without the OU library! And I missed focussed geological research and associated structure!

Off Topic: Fundraising

On the 24th September 2014 I will be chopping off my >27cm of hair and donating the hair and money raised to the Little Princess Trust, in loving memory of Helen Andrews, who lost her fight with cancer last year.

I HATE having short hair…. I am no good with styling products, and the most adventurous hair style I do is to put my  >27cm long hair in pig tails rather than my signature ponytail.  But I am doing this in loving memory of my friend Helen Andrews, who died of cancer on 27/8/13.

“I will be watching over you all so please keep me entertained”.

Well Helen, for the next year – or maybe 2 – you can laugh at my struggle with hair styling!
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“Tuning fork” graptolites

graptolites final

This is a slab of slate with many specimens of the “tuning fork” graptolites, Didymograptus murchisoni.

Graptolites are very imported index fossils in the zoneation of the British Ordovician.
These are from the Llanvin Series, Abereiddy Bay, Dyfed, South Wales.