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New Paper (and Poster): Isotopes and organics in the Early Cretaceous of Inner Mongolia

Though mostly overlooked by sedimentologists and climatologists coal provides highly detailed information on past climates and tectonics. In a recent paper* by myself and my colleagues (available Here) we take a look at a very thick (>40 m) coal of Early Cretaceous age in Inner Mongolia, near the borders with Russia and Mongolia. Using stable […]

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Two Geologists Walk into a Bar or Organic Proxies for Climate and Environmental Research – New Paper

Two geologists walk into a bar. The first orders a ‘Flaming Volcano’ (he’s a neo-tectonics/Quaternary guy). Without blinking an eye the bartender asks him what sort of rum he’d like. The second geologist orders a ‘Black Coal’ Stout (she is an organic petrologist). Everyone in the bar freezes then slowly slinks out the door …. […]

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Winner – Geoscience Society of New Zealand Photography Contest

There is a certain similarity between rocks and photography. I suppose it has to do with stopping time. When I look at an outcrop of sediment, whether it is from the Quaternary or the Cambrian, it is like a snapshot of time for me, frozen, and waiting for interpretation. When I take a photo, I […]

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Cipher is Ten

It was like jumping off the end of a pier into unknown depths with unknown dangers – but a quick calculation (in actuality lots of deep reflection) indicated that it was safe…-ish; nevertheless it was exhilarating. Thus, Cipher was born. In early September 2010 Cipher started trading and by late September we had our first […]

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How Many Holes Does It Take to Fill the Albert Hall?

It would not be untrue, though perhaps unwise, to say to a burly coal miner ‘your coal is full of holes’. Indeed, a fundamental property which makes coal such a special and unique material – and has implications for coal properties ranging from not just methane holding capacity but also activated carbon and liquefaction – […]

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Coming into Coal: Part 1

Sometimes I am asked how I became a coal geologist. My son has asked me several times; sometimes because he has forgotten, sometimes because he just wants to hear a good story from his Dad. More than seldom I get asked by random people; some curious how a scientist starts out (and stays) being a […]

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Field Work in the Senakin Peninsula: Part III – NEW PAPER

The fruits – as they say – had finally ripened and what fell off the tree? A paper of course*. A nice fat, juicy paper about those lovely Eocene-age volcanics that lie within the Senakin Peninsula. After a couple of decades wondering when someone would publish on the basalts and volcaniclastic sediments in Kalimantan Selatan […]

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Turn around and you’re… TEN? – Whoa!

No, not my son, Micah, but a paper. Well, not quite ten, but it was ten years this month that I was asked, and then accepted, to write a review paper on coalbed methane*.   It took about another two years until it was actually published** but the work began in May 2010. It took […]

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Field Work in the Senakin Peninsula: Part II- Finding Volcanics

The speedboat skipped from wave to wave effortlessly; Tanjung Dewa was on our left and then it was gone. A head of us I could see the Senakin Peninsula, its dark forests tangled with cloud. The chill morning air made me smile. My three colleagues, Mr Mike Friederich, Prof Hendra Amijaya and Dr Ferian Anggara, […]

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NEW PAPER: The plant biostratigraphy of the Cenozoic coal-bearing formations in Primorye, Russian Far East

The Russian Far East has magical connotations. Perhaps no other place on Earth is so well known; yet so little visited. Most Westerners will be (or should be) enthralled by the word Siberia. The furthest part of Siberia is the Far East. Though remote, it nevertheless has had a tremendous amount of geological studies applied […]

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