Ephemeral currents

Unlike Lake Natron, Lake Magadi has neither affluents nor effluents. There is no water current coming in or out. It rains a few hours a year. To catch one of those days when ephemeral currents are formed was a gift. Primer muestreo en Magadi: El Arroyo seco. A diferencia del lago Natron, el lago Magadi no tiene ni afluentes ni efluentes. Aqui no llega ni sale ninguna corriente de agua. Llueve escasas horas al año….

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We are already in Nairobi

We are already in Nairobi

We’re already in Nairobi. In the photo from left to right Javier Trueba, photographer and filmmaker, Paqui Espinosa, biologist and laboratory technician, Antonio Delgado, geochemist, Gan Zhang, expert in mineral self-organization, Tara (I don’t know her last name yet), analytical chemistry, Fernando Palero, geologist and geologist, Patricia Gitari, chemist, our contact in Kenya, responsible for all logistics, and myself. To sleep at the Hadassah Hotel and leaving to Magadi early in the morning.

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Winner of the ‘Wonders of Geochemistry’ contest

Winner of the ‘Wonders of Geochemistry’ contest

Congrats to Electra, one of the winners of the EAG geochemical photo contest ‘Wonders of Geochemistry’ to which she submitted the photo ‘The color palette of Dallol’ captured during our second fieldtrip to Dallol, NE Ethiopia (January 2017). Read more about the story behind her photo here: http://blog.eag.eu.com/general/winners-of-the-2017-photo-contest/

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Biomimetic mineral self-organization from silica-rich spring waters

Biomimetic mineral self-organization from silica-rich spring waters

Garcia-Ruiz, J. M.; Nakouzi, E.; Kotopoulou, E.; Tamborrino, L.; Steinbock, O., Biomimetic mineral self-organization from silica-rich spring waters. Sci Adv 2017, 3 (3). Download paper. Purely inorganic reactions of silica, metal carbonates, and metal hydroxides can produce self-organized complex structures that mimic the texture of biominerals, the morphology of primitive organisms, and that catalyze prebiotic reactions. To date, these fascinating structures have only been synthesized using model solutions. We report that mineral self-assembly can be…

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Precipitation and Crystallization Kinetics in Silica Gardens

Precipitation and Crystallization Kinetics in Silica Gardens

Glaab, F.; Rieder, J.; Klein, R.; Choquesillo-Lazarte, D.; Melero-Garcia, E.; Garcia-Ruiz, J. M.; Kunz, W.; Kellermeier, M., Precipitation and Crystallization Kinetics in Silica Gardens. Chemphyschem 2017, 18 (4), 338-345. Download paper. Silica gardens are extraordinary plant‐like structures resulting from the complex interplay of relatively simple inorganic components. Recent work has highlighted that macroscopic self‐assembly is accompanied by the spontaneous formation of considerable chemical gradients, which induce a cascade of coupled dissolution, diffusion, and precipitation processes…

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Field trip to Aqua de Ney

Field trip to Aqua de Ney

From 8th-14th August we carried out a field trip to Aqua de Ney Spring , an unusual spring in northern California. Aqua de Ney has the highest reported silica concentration (>4000 pm) and pH value (~11.9) in a natural spring. We collected water from these springs, measured in situ the pH and ex-situ silica concentration. Then, we performed experiments with these waters finding that they react with metals to form silica biomorphs and silica gardens (metal…

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