Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Alfred Jahn (1950) Loess sedimentation

This is figure 1 from Jahn's 1950 paper on loess origins. It is an interesting figure and in it Jahn attempts to place the processes of loess sedimentation within the glacial-interglacial cycle. I don't know of any other diagrams like this; this is worth another look..

Jahn, A.  1950.  Loess, its origin and connection with the climate of the glacial epoch. Acta Geologica Polonica 1, 257-310  [PDF] pgi.gov.pl  (in Polish but with substantial English summary).


Monday, 2 October 2017

Jerzy Cegla (1935-1984): Studies on Loess, and related matters

The Jerzy Cegla Project: a joint project involving-

Department of Physical Geography,
Institute of Geography & Regional Management,
University of Wroclaw,
34 Cybulskiego St.
50-137 Wroclaw, Poland

Centre for Loess Research & Documentation,
School of Geology, Geography & the Environment,
University of Leicester,
Leicester LE1 7RH, UK.

Three parts to the project: (1) Cegla died in an accident in 1984, much work was lost. We plan to ensure that his contributions to loess research continue to be appreciated, (2) Cegla was an investigator of the nature of loess material and the processes which affect it, in particular the circumstances of loess deposition formed an unappreciated part of his work, (3) it looks as though the focus of loess research on stratigraphy is shifting slightly and that emphasis is growing on the study of processes in loess ground. We follow the Cegla direction and look at the nature and properties of loess ground.

Somebody once asked James Boswell why he wrote so continuously and with such vigour. Boswell replied that he was doing his best to defeat 'the forces of oblivion'. A very valid aim, to be carried into the world of loess studies. Cegla (and other writes on loess) will not suffer the obloquy of oblivion.
The accessible parts of the Cegla oeuvre are the parts republished in the Benchmark 26 collection:

Smalley, I.J. (ed.) 1975.  Loess: Lithology & Genesis.  Dowden Hutchinson & Ross 425p. Papers 47 and 48 are the Cegla contribution. The major Cegla work is:

Cegla, J. 1972.  Sedymentacja Lessow Polski.  Acta Universitatis Wratislaviensis no.168: Studia Geograficzne 17, 71p. (in Polish but with extensive English summary)


Friday, 1 September 2017

The Island of Silt

not Sylt- in the Nordfriesland district of Schleswig-Holstein, in Germany, in the North Sea. No- the Island of Silt is the South Island of New Zealand- an island full of unappreciated silt. Silt as a material has been neglected; its time for silt to be studied more intensively. The great greywacke mountains of the South Island have been partially turned into silt by the action of many mountain glaciers.  Some interesting questions emerge: what sort of silt does greywacke produce?  what are the controls on greywacke silt production?  etc etc


Saturday, 19 August 2017

Julius von Haast; Loess in New Zealand

Sir Johann Franz Julius von Haast KCMG FRS (1822-1887)
1879  Geology of the Provinces of Canterbury & Westland

C.J.Burrows 2005  Julius Haast in the Southern Alps
He named the Franz Joseph glacier after the Emperor
He carried the idea of Loess from Central Europe to the South Island


Friday, 23 June 2017

Eich: Charlotte Hibbert sketches...

Charlotte Hibbert provided the pictures and made the map for the study by Samuel Hibbert (1832) of the Extinct Volcanos(sic) near Neuwied.  This is the village of Eich, in the loess region. The map was the first(?) to show loess anywhere. [see Loess Letter 67 for real words by Hibbert on loess - at www.loessletter.msu.edu ]


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Charlesworth encounters the Steinsohle

"A pebbly base, the Steinsohle of German geologists, is common in north Germany, especially near the Mittelgebirge, and is general in Mississippi and Missouri basins where it may be 10-15 ft (3-4.5m) thick."  (p.515)


Charlesworth cites Hardcastle

This was unexpected; reference 159 in the Charlesworth loess section includes a mention of John Hardcastle (inventor of loess stratigraphy, father of palaeoclimatology, hero of Timaru). The amazing thoroughness of JKC is revealed again, but there is the dawning apprehension that he was too thorough- that the reader is buried in data, that JKC might have been better advised to have fewer references and more discussion..

We reproduce reference 159 as it appears in JKC vol.1 (the vol.1 references refer to the vol.2 references- all will become clear).

159  679,  367;  1246,  240; 1633, VII (3), 31;  L.Cockayne & R.M.Laing, T.N.Z.I.  43, 1910, 344;  J.Hardcastle ibid. 22, 1890, 406;  R.Speight,  ibid. 40, 1908,  16;  A.Heim,  Njahrsbl. 1905, 1.

Now- the italics belong to JKC, the JH emphasis is ours. Italic numbers are references in the reference list in vol.2:

679  J v Haast  1879  Geology of the Provinces of Canterbury and Westland

1246  Park J  1910  Geology of New Zealand

1633  G Steinmann  1910-1950  Handbuch der Regional Geologie

TNZI is the Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute, and the Hardcastle reference is to his paper on the Loess of Timaru- not to his other famous paper on Loess as a Climate Register. It looks like 159 was a catch-all reference to all aspects of loess in NZ. Its a pity that JKC did not see the relevance of the JH work- but the oversight is totally excusable (to read the JH paper go to Loess Letter 72 www.loessletter.msu.edu  ..)