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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2016-03-01
    Description: Commercial bentonite from the Kopernica deposit, Slovakia, is currently mined by the CERTECH Company, Poland, to produce materials intended for animal-care applications and other industrial purposes. The present study aimed to assess the mineralogical, petrographic and physico-chemical characteristics of three bentonite varieties from Kopernica used by the company. The X-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), nuclear magnetic resonance, thermal analysis, infrared spectroscopy and chemical analyses showed that the main component of the rocks is montmorillonite with the average structural formula Ca0.31K0.08Na0.04(Al3.23Mg0.54Fe0.23)[(Si7.80Al0.20)O20](OH)4. In addition, opal-C/CT, biotite, potassium feldspar and plagioclase, quartz, clinoptilolite and kaolinite are present. Key information about the textural relationships between the mineral components identified was obtained from detailed thin-section petrography and FESEM studies. The rocks studied have fragmented, eutaxitic texture. They are composed of pumice fragments collapsed into lenticular masses (fiamme) which were strongly deformed and altered, though the shard structures were retained. The compressed glass shards were moulded around pyroclastic grains such as crystal fragments of quartz, biotite and zoned plagioclases, and clasts of volcanic rocks. Observations by FESEM showed that the axes of shards and the walls of the flattened vacuoles are outlined by the inward-growing microlites of silica (axiolitic texture), whilst the interiors of shards are altered to clay. Grain-size distribution, textural properties and microscope observations of grain-size fractions reveal that the Kopernica bentonite contains montmorillonite-opal aggregates difficult to disperse in water.
    Print ISSN: 0009-8558
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-8030
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: 〈span〉〈div〉ABSTRACT〈/div〉The Węglówka oil field is located in the outer Carpathians. The outer Carpathians are a region where hydrocarbons were discovered and exploited at the end of the nineteenth century in several dozen oil fields, which are relatively small. The Węglówka oil field is one of the largest in this region. In the 150 yr or so of hydrocarbon exploration in the area, more than 1 million t (〉1,237,000 tons [〉8,841,000 bbl]) of oil have been produced. Hydrocarbons are concentrated in Lower Cretaceous sandstones (Grodziszcze and Lgota sandstones) that form an anticline sealed by Upper Cretaceous marls called the Węglówka marls. These cap rocks are up to 600 m (2000 ft) thick. Because of the thrust-related exhumation, they were exposed at the surface and represent the youngest deposits in the region. The present work is focused on a detailed petrographic characterization of the Węglówka marls. This study allows petroleum geologists to better understand the evolution of porosity in these cap rocks and can serve as a foundation for the prediction of their sealing properties. The marls appear as a succession of interbedded red and green varieties, which occur in up to 2-m (6-ft)-thick beds. These beds are nonarenaceous, soft, and bioturbated. Grain size corresponds to approximately 80% clay and less than 20% silt fractions. X-ray diffraction (XRD) reveals that the marls contain, on average, 54% clay, 28% calcite, 16% quartz, up to 3% feldspars and, in red marls, 3% hematite. The XRD patterns of clay are typical of mixed-layer illite–smectite ([I–S]; 40% illite in I–S). The clay structures are dioctahedral with similar octahedral Mg and relatively high Fe〈sup〉3〈/sup〉〈sup〉+〈/sup〉 contents both in the red and green intervals. As revealed by standard petrography combined with high-resolution petrography performed through the use of a field emission scanning electron microscope, the marls have mudstone textures according to Dunham’s (1962) classification and are mostly composed of coccoliths and clay with rare nanoquartz. This rock may be considered an impure chalk. Sealing properties of the Węglówka marls are indicated by the specific surface area, porosity, pore size, and permeability, calculated using N〈sub〉2〈/sub〉 gas adsorption, helium, and mercury porosimetry. The sealing potential is postulated to result from a combination of the following: (1) origin of components (i.e., deposition of minute calcareous bioclasts and volcanic material as a source for clay); (2) oxygenated sedimentary environment (as a result of the presence of oxygen in the sediments, burrowing caused the rocks to be homogenized); and (3) tectonic-induced clogging of pore space because of reorganization of clay flakes (the rocks were strongly tectonically deformed, which resulted in reduction of porosity in clay aggregates).〈/span〉
    Print ISSN: 0149-1423
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-2674
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2016-03-01
    Description: Commercial bentonite from the Kopernica deposit, Slovakia, is currently mined by the CERTECH Company, Poland, to produce materials intended for animal-care applications and other industrial purposes. The present study aimed to assess the mineralogical, petrographic and physicochemical characteristics of three bentonite varieties from Kopernica used by the company. The X-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), nuclear magnetic resonance, thermal analysis, infrared spectroscopy and chemical analyses showed that the main component of the rocks is montmorillonite with the average structural formula Ca0.31K0.08Na0.04(Al3.23Mg0.54Fe0.23)[(Si7.80Al0.20)O20](OH)4. In addition, opal-C/CT, biotite, potassium feldspar and plagioclase, quartz, clinoptilolite and kaolinite are present. Key information about the textural relationships between the mineral components identified was obtained from detailed thin-section petrography and FESEM studies. The rocks studied have fragmented, eutaxitic texture. They are composed of pumice fragments collapsed into lenticular masses (fiamme) which were strongly deformed and altered, though the shard structures were retained. The compressed glass shards were moulded around pyroclastic grains such as crystal fragments of quartz, biotite and zoned plagioclases, and clasts of volcanic rocks. Observations by FESEM showed that the axes of shards and the walls of the flattened vacuoles are outlined by the inward-growing microlites of silica (axiolitic texture), whilst the interiors of shards are altered to clay. Grain-size distribution, textural properties and microscope observations of grain-size fractions reveal that the Kopernica bentonite contains montmorillonite-opal aggregates difficult to disperse in water.
    Print ISSN: 0009-8558
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-8030
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2016-03-17
    Description: The Svalbard archipelago (Spitsbergen Island) is the northernmost landmass in the European Arctic and has a variety of small- and medium-sized glaciers. The plasmidome of eleven psychrophilic strains of Variovorax spp. isolated from the ice surface of Hans and Werenskiold Glaciers of Spitsbergen Island, was defined. This analysis revealed the presence of six plasmids whose nucleotide sequences have been determined. Four of them, exhibiting high reciprocal sequence similarity, possess unique structures, since their genomes lack any recognized genes. These miniature replicons, not exceeding 1 kb in size, include pHW69V1 (746 bp), which is the smallest autonomous replicon so far identified in free-living bacteria. The miniature plasmids share no similarity with known sequences present in the databases. In silico and experimental analyses identified conserved DNA regions essential for the initiation of replication of these replicons.
    Print ISSN: 0168-6496
    Electronic ISSN: 1574-6941
    Topics: Biology
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