My Geology Note-blog

A chronicle of my PhD journey and other geology writings

Category: Geology Videos

Day in the life of a PhD student: as told through PhD comics

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…

To do my bit to slow climate change caused by anthropogenic carbon dioxide I have been cycling to the department on dry days. However, you have to get there early otherwise:


Then it’s off to the office:


In answer to the above: the X-ray imaging lab, not something I’m going to share on the internet, Engineering (2nd supervisor), Geography (1st supervisor), Tephra Group, Geography dept., I don’t take classes, geology and yeah, I’m all over the place.

In the corner of the office exists something not too dis-similar to this, only with more outdoor coats thrown into the mix:


After checking emails and doing some reading it’s off to the lab. When I get there I like to check on the fish tank:


(This is incorrect, we actually don’t have any fish left, they died so now all we have are shrimp, hermit crabs and water snails).

Recently I’ve been getting trained up on the X-ray tomography:


In truth it’s been fun learning how to use the equipment, it certainly teaches you patience!

Speaking of lab equipment, we might give names to the fish tank residence (such as Hermit Crab, other Hermit Crab, Big Snail etc etc) but we don’t go this far:



Sometimes I have demonstrating where I help in practical classes:

phd082510sDuring demonstrating it usually falls into the blue and red categories as to why we wear lab coats. It’s never too cold in the practical labs… quite to opposite. 60 plus students in a confined space for two lots of 2 hours will do that.

At the moment writing my literature review feels a bit like this:


(500 words a day and I’ll have a draft by Christmas… current count: 448, woops)

I’ve yet to experience academic auto-pilot… but give me time!

phd091014sAt the end of to day some networking is required and I vainly attempt to do some Science Communication:


I did say “attempt”!


Bonus round:

Geology videos #1

I thought it would be fun to share with you some interesting geology videos I have found across the internet. Enjoy!

(For a more serious post about my first day at Swansea click here).

Oldoinyo Lengai is possibly the most unique volcano on planet Earth. Erupting what is chemically molten limestone (but not really as it has a different source) it flows from the volcano in Tanzania like slivery water. Although it is lava it is too cool (only 550-700 degrees C) to visibly glow during the day. Check out the weirdly compelling crack-glurble-hiss of the lava.

This was a series of videos I first came across while researching for my 4th year research project. Below is exemplary video in the collection… and a really silly video. Basically, this is what happens when something thinks “ooo, wouldn’t be be cool if we made our own lava flows out of real lava?!”

(Is this proof that Notch the developer of Minecraft was right to include furnaces that could cook beef with lava?)

Tales about great minds of science, in this episode Hank Green talks about the great fossil collector Mary Anning.

Trailer of the myVolcano App available on the itunes store is part of a colaboration between the British Geological Survey and the Smithsonian Institute (with help from NERC). This is part of the BGS’ citizen science initiative to get people to photograph eruptions, upload information about ash fall and even send in samples to the BGS. Slightly cheesey video but interesting.

That’s enough of that for now… more will probably follow soon!