April 20, 2009

My Third Field Trip Part 1

After I had spent twelve great days on field mapping, it was time to say goodbye. Most of the students and the two academics went back home but eight students including me went just to the next five day geological field trip to Witzenhausen, Hesse, Germany. Whereas Adorf is in the northwest of Hesse some 50 kilometers to the west of Kassel, Witzenhausen is quite on the other side of Kassel in the northeast of Hesse close to the border to Thuringia.

Größere Kartenansicht

We even had one free day until the arrival of the other 21 students (So, all in all, we were 29 students.) and the three academics who came from Berlin to this so-called sedimentary-stratigraphic field trip. We spent this day on relaxing, playing poker and drying sausages...indeed...twelve days of field mapping made us become a bit...let's call it 'more like geologists'.

This geological field trip is famous for its accomodation - an old castle. 'Jugendburg Ludwigstein' once was a real castle. Since the 1920s it has been renovated und administrated by the 'German Youth Movement Wandervogel'. However, most doors and ceilings are so low that many of us and especially me banged our heads many many times.

After we had welcomed the others the next day, we got a two day introduction into the local geology and stratigraphy. Our task for this field trip was to create three stratigraphic profiles of local outcrops including their depositional environments and geological history. During those two introduction days, the academics showed us twelve very different outcrops of whom we had to choose one for our first profile on which we worked in groups of two or three. I teamed up with two very good geology students in my grade and we decided to work on a carbonate outcrop with a lot of marlstone and several tempestite layers on a former continental shelf. I will show you photos of some of the outcrops in the next part. Stay tuned!

April 17, 2009

My First Field Mapping Part 4

I've found some more photos I want to share with you.

That's the 'Martenbergklippe' northeast of Adorf. It was a gubbin quarry some decades ago but today it's a natural monument and a great example of sedimentation on a subaquatic volcano.

Those photos show my two 'geophysical comrades-in-arms' when we were walking through a snow storm over a field to the next hill.

April 15, 2009

My First Field Mapping Part 3

I promised to shower you with photos and I keep my promises.

That's our accomodation in Adorf - guesthouse 'Zur Linde'. It actually was quite nice. I even had a TV in my room, but several times dinner's dessert was horrible.

That's the biggest outcrop we visited during the whole field trip. It's diasbase, very impressive but unfortunately not in our mapping area.

That's our 'mapping area Jolly Jumper'. We nearly met him every day in front of his stable in Benkhausen.

Poor one. It was freaking cold and wet that day.

The day before all the snow came it rained cats and dogs. We took shelter in a cowhouse. They were very interested in us but some of them looked really neglected and distraught.

1000 Visitors - A BIG Thanks

Today, the counter at the bottom of my blog hitted the 1000 visitor mark. I would like to thank all of my readers for your support and I hope that you stick to my blog in future.

April 14, 2009

My First Field Mapping Part 2

In the second part of the report on my first field mapping, I want to show you some photos of our mapping area.

Most hills are afforested, whereas the valleys are mainly farmed. The small village in the photo is Benkhausen (162 residents) which was right in the center of our mapping area and the only place where we met some people from time to time.

Unfortunately, most of our mapping area and especially the south looked like this. You don't find (m)any real outcrops there. So, we mainly mapped with the help of rocks under the rootage of old trees that had tumbled down.

This was the only really big outcrop in our mapping area. It actually is a very nice place with a neat barbecue area just in front of the outcrop. The rocks in the center of the photo are siliceous limestones.

The weather was rainy and cold nearly all the time but to see a snow front coming to you is even worse. It's a really strange and frightening feeling.

A photo often says more than a thousand words. It was cold, wet and definitely time to get back to our accomodation.

Mapping in a 'winter wonderland' was very exhausting because the slopes became even more slippery and more difficult to cope with. However, it was very beautiful when we ignored our work.

April 13, 2009

My First Field Mapping Part 1

For my first field mapping, I went with 22 other students and two academics to a small village called Adorf which is part of the borough Diemelsee, Hesse, Germany. In the run-up to the field trip, I was not sure about what to expect but several other students told me that field mapping had been their best field trip ever. So, I was eager to find out on my own.

This field trip was scheduled for twelve days. After the day of arrival, we got an overview of the region's geology and stratigraphy. Then we were devided into groups of three students. Each group got a mapping area of around three up to four square kilometers. This actually was quite a 'surprise' because our academics had told us that we had to map an area of about two square kilometers. However, we didn't feel like it was too much area in the given time frame.

I teamed up with the two other geophysicists in our grade and we complemented one another well enough to be one of the two groups that completed their maps two days before the end of the field trip. At the beginning, we had some problems to name the rocks and to relate them to one of the given mapping units, but thanks to the help of the academics, who accompanied us twice, we soon got better and our daily mapping routine became more efficient.

The countryside around Adorf is part of a rural German region called Sauerland which is the north-easternmost part of the Rhenish Massif (Rheinisches Schiefergebirge). This means that we mainly mapped sedimentary rocks of the Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous: shales, siliceous limestones and cherts et cetera. The strata are folded with a strike which goes ENE (70°). The hills are anticlines and the valleys are synclines which is pretty easy to map after you have found out.

Größere Kartenansicht

April 11, 2009

Back in Civilization

I'm finally back in Berlin, back in 'real' civilization. Berlin still appears a bit too noisy to me but that's only because Northern Hesse is just so rural and calm. So, it took me quite some time to find a moment to take care of my blog again.

However, I've got a lot to write about. On my two field trips I've gained a lot of experience I want to share with you. All in all, I took more than 320 photos of the landscape, our group of academics and students, the two accomodations and of course of the geology and several interesting close-ups. In the next days, I'm going to show you some of them.

Moreover, I prepare a blog entry about a FU Berlin short course on "organic petrology and geochemistry of petroleum source rocks - principles, methods and applications" I took part in with The Lost Geologist this week.