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Offline Bass

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« Reply #25 on: 20/08/2010 02:00:39 »
You will eventually need knowledge of chemistry to complete your task- so studying atoms and elements is not a waste of time.  Thab being said, I agree with you- most of the principles of geology don't require a thorough knowledge of chemistry.

After all, not many cavemen owned ferraris.
 

Offline strongfoundation1

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« Reply #26 on: 20/08/2010 02:10:57 »
@bass - Well, like I said, I'm reading "Understanding Earth" right.  I'm on page 61.  I am reading this text exactly as a caveman.  I am taking notes on things that I read that I feel I should know and I am also writing down questions that I will ask about here when I finish reading the entire text.  I only asked about atoms right now because when I first read about them earlier in the text, I didn't know what they were talking about so I skipped it.  However it keeps coming up, so that's why I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't skipping crucial information that would influence how well I understand the rest of the book.  So, yeah, I'll skip it for now since I don't have the foundational knowledge to comprehend it.

But I did make a thread in the Chemistry forum here inquiring about your specific advise for me to obtain the best chemistry textbook that teaches the basics of iron.  The chemists there don't seem to understand what I'm referring to.  Maybe you could stop by there and provide some clarification.  I'm going to continue reading "Understanding Earth" but if you feel that I should not continue reading the text until I have the proper textbook for attaining a good chemical understanding of iron then just let me know.  Otherwise, I'll get back to my reading. :)
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=33502.0;topicseen
 

Offline strongfoundation1

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« Reply #27 on: 22/08/2010 11:46:34 »
Update: 8/22/10

Quote from: bass
1.  An understanding of basic geologic processes
I assume you are referring to igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphisized rocks.  More on this later.
Quote from: bass
4. Knowledge of the geologic time scale.
I really donít understand how knowledge of the geologic time scale bears any direct relevance on locating iron ore.  I am now on page 186 and I just finished reading the chapter regarding the geologic time scale.  I didnít see anything that would help me to find iron ore in the wild...  Hereís a quote directly from the book:

Why is the geologic time scale important to geology?
The geologic time scale enables us to reconstruct the chronology of events that have shaped the planet. The time scale hasbeen instrumental in validating and studying plate tectonics and in estimating the rates of geologic processes too slow to be monitored directly, such as the opening of an ocean over millions to hundreds of millions of years. The development of the time scale revealed that Earth is much older than any-one had imagined and that it has undergone almost constant change throughout its history. The creation of the geologic time scale paralleled the development of paleontology and the theory of evolution, one of the most revolutionary and powerful ideas in science.

Seems like a lot of explaining of about current geologic themes but nothing useful to locating iron ore.  Thatís what this entire book seems like.  Over 600 pages of defintions.  Nothing that teaches readers how to find any specific minerals or anything like that...  I find myself just flipping through the pages.  But Iím going to stick with it until the last page nonetheless. *bored*  [xx(]
 

Offline frethack

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« Reply #28 on: 22/08/2010 19:25:26 »
There are a good many courses before you hit mineralogy, and even then, its more about identifying minerals rather than their field associations and locations.  It usually isnt until you get to your upper division classes that you are able to take specialized courses in mining geology and such, but the intro courses are very necessary to fully understanding the concepts in upper division work.  Stick with it, but understand that it may take a few "boring" books before you get to anything that you may consider remotely useful.
 

Offline strongfoundation1

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« Reply #29 on: 23/08/2010 05:39:06 »
There are a good many courses before you hit mineralogy, and even then, its more about identifying minerals rather than their field associations and locations.
Yeah, I'm probably going to simply scan through those books about identifying materials.  Well, at least the ones that don't pertain to my goals.  In that respect, it's the same thing I do when I study plants.  I only focus on the plants that I want to grow to eat.  I don't worry about flowers or other plants that are of no use to me as far as I know.

Well, I finished reading "Understanding Earth" last night. *gags*  What a waste of time!  But anyway, moving on.  Now I'm reading "Geochemistry: Pathways and Processes" which is next on my list.  More later.
 

Offline strongfoundation1

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« Reply #30 on: 23/08/2010 11:14:01 »
Well, I'm done with the Geochemistry textbook.  Way above my head and nothing useful.  I'm just going to go ahead and start reading the two texts that you recommended, Bass, about economic geology.  This prerequisite knowledge business is getting me nowhere fast.  Plus it is very disheartening.

In the beginning of Geochemistry text, there was a part that caught my eye and I notated it in my notes.  Here's the quote:

Students exposed to a new discipline should expect to spend some time assimilating its vocabulary and theoretical underpinnings. It isnít long, though, before most students begin to ask, ďHow can I use it?Ē Geologists,commonly being rather practical people, reach this point perhaps earlier than most scientists.

I am feeling this very strongly right now.  I need some specific instructions/teachings, all this theory is killing me slowly...  On yet another note though, omg, I am so glad I'm doing this on my own.  I would probably split my wrists if I had chosen a major based on something like this only to end up in the situation that I'm currently in. 
 

Offline Bass

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« Reply #31 on: 23/08/2010 16:02:30 »
I agree with frethack- you need to assimilate the basics before you can fully understand more specialized fields.  Probably 95%+ of commercial iron deposits are Precambrian- and were formed in unique geochemical conditions.  Obviously, if you want to find iron ore, you need to know what Precambrian means and how to identify Precambrian rocks.  There are also "oolitic" iron deposits (example Silurian rocks in New York).

So keep with it.
 

Offline frethack

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« Reply #32 on: 23/08/2010 17:40:30 »
Oolitic iron deposits?  Are they actual hematite/magnetite spherules or stored in a carbonate like siderite?
 

Offline Bass

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« Reply #33 on: 23/08/2010 18:19:27 »
There is evidence both for replacement of carbonate and for primary deposition of hematite oolites.
 

Offline Mazurka

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« Reply #34 on: 24/08/2010 08:50:49 »
I agree with frethack- you need to assimilate the basics before you can fully understand more specialized fields.  Probably 95%+ of commercial iron deposits are Precambrian- and were formed in unique geochemical conditions.  Obviously, if you want to find iron ore, you need to know what Precambrian means and how to identify Precambrian rocks.  There are also "oolitic" iron deposits (example Silurian rocks in New York).

So keep with it.

Guess it depends on where you are - nearly all of the iron ore that has been minned in the UK originated from Carboniferous ironstones, except for West Cumbria where heamatitie formed from metasomatic processes in the Permian...
 

Offline strongfoundation1

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« Reply #35 on: 24/08/2010 12:43:58 »
I was reading page 19 in the ďAn Introduction to Economic Geology and Its Environmental ImpactĒ text and it listed the six principal steps for the exploration of an orebody.  They are mineral exploration, feasibility study, mine development, mining, mineral processing, smelting, refining, marketing.  Of these, the steps that concern me are exploration, mining, processing, smelting, refining. 

Now, I was thinking about this and the response that bass wrote below:
Obviously, if you want to find iron ore, you need to know what Precambrian means and how to identify Precambrian rocks.

I also found some other sites during my continual search for specific info to assist me.  One such site is listed below:
http://www.geologynet.com/index1.htm [nofollow] 

I got to thinking about the exploration section, which is the section I am currently on, of course.  I think that all I need to do is to be able to identify the rocks/minerals that Iím searching for.  You mentioned being able to identify Precambrian rocks.  I was thinking about my tried and true ďstranded out in the middle of nowhere nudeĒ example.  If I woke up in the wild and I was in a location where 10-15 different minerals were readily available, how would I find them.  They would be directly in front of me.  I would just need the ďprior life experienceĒ to be able to discern what rocks were what.  Thatís it.  At this stage, Iím not worried about advanced, modern methods of finding minerals/rocks.  Iím more focused on primitive methods since that is what would save my butt if I was stranded out all alone.  As always, please correct if Iím wrong.  Thatís one thought, I was thinking about.

If Iím correct above, then that means that my approach here is totally wrong.  I think I have the solution.  I know Iím an idiot at this but hear me out.  I think that what I need to be doing is field work.  Plain and simple.  For every mineral that I want to explore for, I should be getting high res pics of it online and then, if possible, actually going out and actually physically touching the materials.  e.g. going to a mineral/rock museum, etc.  Basically this equates to becoming comfortable enough with the rocks/minerals so if I ever do find myself stranded in the wild alone and I need to go through the important steps I mentioned above -> exploration, mining, processing, smelting, refining   ; then at least, Iíll have the exploration part out of the way.  This is because in that situation, if I see any of the rocks/minerals that I have come to know very well then I will recognize it.  That takes care of the exploration part.  Iíll get to the next step, mining, later after I confirm my thoughts in this post.

I was also thinking about what Geezer PMed to me regarding considering the methods in how mankind developed various civilizations and that information guiding my path of study.  What I propose above is what had to have happened.  If we go back in time then there is no textbooks explaining this or that.  It was trial and error and men wondering around exploring the landscape taking notes.  I thought of another EXACT parallel analogy.  Plants!  The exact same thing Iím doing is like trying to learn about plants.  I can either learn about plants from the viewpoint of if Iím in a all alone situation then Iíll know that a certain type plant will be found in a certain type of environment based off our information amassed thus far in our evolutionary progression.  OR  I can just learn to identify plants, just like I just learn to identify rocks/minerals.  If I encounter one that I havenít seen before, then do like itís always been done.  Trial and error. 

So, for iron.  My self-prescribed advice (feel free to critique this) is to find out what iron-containing rocks are located closest to where I am and notate it.  Obtain pictures of the rocks isolated and also some pictures of what the rocks look like in their natural habitat.  Next, try to actually obtain samples of the rocks in order to physically touch, feel them. (optional)  Thatís it.  The above process would be what entails the exploration process.  For now, if I want to find out where an rock/mineral is found then I look it up in a database type document/site.  Memorizing this info would aid me in relocating the rock if my unfortunate example scenario occurred.

You all will have to please excuse my continuous questions and thinking out loud.  I am speaking/treating this as if we were in a classroom environment and you all (the experts) are the professors.  All my teachers in high school loved when we asked plenty of questions so itís a habit.  Probably not a problem here but Iím just saying. 
http://www.geologynet.com/dbases.htm [nofollow]
« Last Edit: 24/08/2010 12:51:27 by strongfoundation1 »
 

Offline Bass

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« Reply #36 on: 24/08/2010 22:27:25 »
SF- I never discourage anyone from working in the field.  You'll learn far more by going out and beating rocks than you ever will in textbooks.
And by all means, go look at/feel/taste rocks and mineral specimens (well, maybe don't taste all of the them).  Remember, in the field, that weathered specimens will look different than fresh specimens- especially iron minerals- so don't be too disappointed if field rocks look different than pictures or museum specimens.
For your field search, I would suggest you start with your state geological survey.  Most have listings of active and old mines and can be sorted by mineral produced.  Make sure you get owner's permission before entering private land.  Also, be careful around old mine workings- don't enter tunnels or shafts!
Pay attention not only to the "ore" minerals, but also to the rocks surrounding the minerals (host rocks) and to how the minerals occur.  Are they in veins? Are they stratabound (that is are they contained in one or more strata)? Crystal size? Orientation of the vein/minerals (which is important when you mine)?  Is it rich enough to process easily?  If low-grade, it will require more work to process the minerals.
Don't forget rock shops- they can often be a treasure trove of local information.  Buy a couple of low-priced samples of more common minerals- it will help you with future identity.  If there is a geology or rock/gem club in your area- join!
Get out and look at rocks- and when you get tired of that- get out and look at some more rocks.
 

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« Reply #36 on: 24/08/2010 22:27:25 »

 

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