Hiatus!

Well hello again.  After an astonishing absence, I’m back.  My apologies–especially to Mr. Shoffner, who I think is the only person who reads these.  This is a very exciting time in research, especially in astronomy, so I had to get back on my game now.

My hiatus began when I was sent to Turkey on assignment with the US Geological Survey.  It was an amazing place (and the reason I got out of the habit of writing here), so I’ll give you the short version.

The US Geological Survey is a partner in the Department of Defense Task Force for Business Stability Operations in Afghanistan.  As part of this partnership, we were tasked with training the Afghanistan Geological Survey in the operation of their equipment and assistance in the interpretation of their collected data.  To this end, we met 8 of their geoscientists in Istanbul, Turkey.  The idea was that we would have a few days of classroom work, and then get on the party bus to Susehri (Sivas Province) and do some field work with Eurasian Minerals.  That was put on hold as our friends at FedEx finally delivered our equipment 11 days late.  But I digress.

Susehri, Turkey

The beautiful and friendly town of Susehri.

Ultimately we made it out to the field site, an achingly beautiful part of Turkey right on the North Anatolian Fault.  The field site was up in the mountains, a terrifying hour drive away.

The view from the field site near Golcuk, Sivas, Turkey.

The view from the field site near Golcuk, Sivas, Turkey.

While there, we performed a variety of geophysical surveys in order to attempt to define the subsurface geometry of a copper deposit in the area.  The terrain and complicated geological regime made this extremely difficult.

Mukhtar and the Geonics EM-47 transient electromagnetic instrument.

Mukhtar and the Geonics EM-47 transient electromagnetic instrument.

turkishfog

Some of the guys working down the hill as the fog rolls in.

That's a lot of equipment to haul around.  That's also a nice hat.

That’s a lot of equipment to haul around. That’s also a nice hat.

Driving towards the North Anatolian Fault.  It's not an easy place to work.

Driving towards the North Anatolian Fault. It’s not an easy place to work.

The copper outcrops were fabulous–spectacular quartz and malachite mineralisation.  Even a bit of silver ore sprinkled in.

Copper mineralisation.

Copper mineralisation.

The best part, however, was not the geophysics or even the beauty of the Anatolian Peninsula.  Rather it was the friendships forged in this time.  I often worry about them–living in Kabul isn’t the easiest, but I still regularly speak to two of the guys, and I hope to see them again.

(L to R) Bakshi, me, Shafiq.

(L to R) Mukhtar, me, Shafiq.

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About faradaysheadache

Research Geophysicist with the US Geological Survey.
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