It seems like my last blog post was just a few weeks ago instead of nearly two months! In case you do not remember, I had set myself a deadline for handing in my PhD and outlined how much work I have to do on the single parts of it. Well…. let’s try that again! January was not really productive for me. That might be related to the fact that I went to Iceland to take image of the Aurora, I had a conference I was helping to run, and most important of all, ran into some trouble with my PhD work!
For part of my work (the part I thought I’d finish by Christmas…) I am using a suite of software (Move, Petrel, TrapTester), of which one is bound to a certain PC that I have to share with one of my supervisors (it’s his main workstation). Following some issues our IT department decided that it had to reset said PC… and to upgrade one of the three software packages. This ment that the three different packages did not communicate anymore and we had to update the other two as well. Which does not sound too hard and there shouldn’t go anything wrong with it, right? Wrong, it took us about a week to sort all of it out! On the bright side now I should be able to finish all my work on that part of my PhD in a few days (well… it now seems that the software I mainly use does not like what I want it to do. But that is something for another entry)!
The main issue I ran into was that the method I wanted to use in one of my three chapters – U-series dating – does not work with my samples 😦 ! That was a major setback as I had hoped that my rock samples from Arizona would be suitable for this method. It comes even more surprising as similar rocks from nearly the same place have been successfully dated by research group in New Mexico! Now I need to decide if I have time (and money) to pursuit a different dating method called cosmogenic nuclides or what else to do. It would be really exciting to do lab work and learn a new method, but then again I am already behind my self-set deadlines for writing up! And then there is the question of funding, the new method would not be cheap at all. At the moment the most likely outcome will be that I will have to write a big discussion on why the U-series dating did not work – something, between me and you, I wanted to avoid because it means to dig into some not trivial geochemistry! But, looking at how little time I have spent on writing in the last month, I do not think I can afford lab work
But enough of the bad news, I still have sooooooo much time to write-up (91 days)! Here one of the images I was able to capture of the Aurora Borealis on Iceland, to make me feel better 😉