Tuesday 18 September 2012

Teesdale puddles - nano-mineral schwertmannite thin-film floaters

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For decades I've seen beautiful iridescent films floating on puddles on the fells of Weardale & Teesdale, and in puddles in scrap-yards. Some of these films were from oil or fuel spillage. I'd always thought the colourful films on the fell's puddles was from hydrocarbons being released from decaying vegetable matter (oils leaching from peat). However, some films brake up into rafts, and are completely different to a fuel or oil spillage.

I've now found out that they are caused by microbial action, and consist of the mineral -
schwertmannite Fe3+16O16(OH,SO4)12-13·10-12H2O

I.D. of the mineral was suggested on Mindat, on this thread, which has links to further info.

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"Hodges emitted a scream the like of which
I hadn't heard since his scrotum was burned off
during my experiment with fluorine gas last year."

The Exotic Experimentation of Ernest Glitch,
Victorian Science with a Smile

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Unrelated to this post, below is an example of
eclectic science esoterica 

The Van Mine was one of the most productive lead sulphide mines in Europe for a period in the 1870s.

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WARNING - Many subjects outlined within this site are extremely dangerous and are provided here for information only. Please don`t experiment with high voltages or chemicals unless you are fully conversant with safe laboratory practices. No liability will be accepted for death, injury or damage arising from experimentation using any information or materials supplied.