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Castanza
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There doesn't seem to be too many discussions on this forum regarding interests or professions other than investing. Not sure if there are any on here who study geology professionally or as a hobby but here are a few topics I follow loosely and find interesting.

 

Deep Hot Biosphere is a book I read in college while studying Geology. It was always an interesting hypothesis to read about. It seems the fracking industry has sparked new interest in the topic but more from a human involvement perspective instead of naturally occurring. 

- https://www.pnas.org/content/114/27/6895

 

Similar topic but in regards to Natural Gas Facking and the introduction of microbes which are creating entire ecosystems in the biosphere.

-

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I spent one-semester studying geology, and it didn't go well.

When the rocks were covered in dirt they all looked pretty much the same to me, and my interest was primarily in extraction at minimal effort. Chemical/biological leaching, and pressure/temperature induced phase change, are dirty words in most geologic circles.

 

However, I found methane hydrates extremely interesting, and they are widely abundant - as all that is really needed is high pressure, cold temperature, and organic matter decomposition.  Hence their presence on continental slopes, and especially in the arctic/antarctic.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2011GL047222

 

Problem is that a sudden pressure reduction, or heating, can cause near instant phase change.

A water column filled with gas is a lot less dense, and will hold up a less dead-weight; hence a floating ship (displacing that water column) will instantly sink/break-apart - dependent upon how much of the ship is in the gaseous water column. Disturbances are also relatively common; as submarine earthquake slides, or volcanic magma migration (heating the water) routinely sets off mini releases.

 

Side-by-side; burning methane versus natural gas releases around 30% less energy, the same amount of CO2, but double the amount of water.  CO2 is also a lot less damaging to the environment than methane, and can be absorbed by vegetation. The additional water might reduce ocean salinity (good), but more of us would have to swim - as sea levels would rise further (bad).

 

Not everyone's thing, but point is - geology isn't just rocks.

 

SD

 

 

 

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I currently work as a geologist (mostly dealing with groundwater). I haven't read the Deep Hot Biosphere but I will say this: I have always been near the top of my age cohort in understanding the power of microbes, and my entire career I've underestimated it. Not a year goes by that I don't get some surprise that pushes my limit a little farther ;)

 

And SD is right, it's certainly not all rocks (I actually don't care much for rocks). There are a lot of interesting applications for an understanding of earth sciences

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Side-by-side; burning methane versus natural gas releases around 30% less energy, the same amount of CO2, but double the amount of water. 

 

What composition of natural gas are you assuming here? The natural gas in most distribution pipelines is something like 98% methane. They have dew point requirements that require it to be so.

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I currently work as a geologist (mostly dealing with groundwater). I haven't read the Deep Hot Biosphere but I will say this: I have always been near the top of my age cohort in understanding the power of microbes, and my entire career I've underestimated it. Not a year goes by that I don't get some surprise that pushes my limit a little farther ;)

 

And SD is right, it's certainly not all rocks (I actually don't care much for rocks). There are a lot of interesting applications for an understanding of earth sciences

 

It’s definitely a fringe theory regarding oil origins. But the book is an interesting read regardless. However it was recommended to me by a Geology prof who had 30 years of oil and gas industry experience. It would be interesting to see the experiments tried again today with modern drilling technology.

 

Where do you practice geology? If you care to share.

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I spent one-semester studying geology, and it didn't go well.

When the rocks were covered in dirt they all looked pretty much the same to me, and my interest was primarily in extraction at minimal effort. Chemical/biological leaching, and pressure/temperature induced phase change, are dirty words in most geologic circles.

 

However, I found methane hydrates extremely interesting, and they are widely abundant - as all that is really needed is high pressure, cold temperature, and organic matter decomposition.  Hence their presence on continental slopes, and especially in the arctic/antarctic.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2011GL047222

 

Problem is that a sudden pressure reduction, or heating, can cause near instant phase change.

A water column filled with gas is a lot less dense, and will hold up a less dead-weight; hence a floating ship (displacing that water column) will instantly sink/break-apart - dependent upon how much of the ship is in the gaseous water column. Disturbances are also relatively common; as submarine earthquake slides, or volcanic magma migration (heating the water) routinely sets off mini releases.

 

Side-by-side; burning methane versus natural gas releases around 30% less energy, the same amount of CO2, but double the amount of water.  CO2 is also a lot less damaging to the environment than methane, and can be absorbed by vegetation. The additional water might reduce ocean salinity (good), but more of us would have to swim - as sea levels would rise further (bad).

 

Not everyone's thing, but point is - geology isn't just rocks.

 

SD

 

Seems we have similar fleeting experiences with Geology. The university I attended had an emphasis around paleontology which was pretty interesting, but not what I was after. I did get to participate in a dino dig  out near in the bad lands Montana section and the Green River Formation in Wyoming. But yeah, I had zero desire to be a paleontologist.

 

The other aspects of geology (resources, formations, stratigraphy, etc.) stuck with me. I backpack a lot and often get those book with info on local formations and strata.

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‘Geology’ was a long time ago; but I suspect that we were looking at ‘associated’ natural gas. %/mole of around 68% methane, 15% ethane, 9% propane, 5% butanes, 3% misc. Today, pipelines transport primarily ‘non associated’ gas; dry gas at 94% methane, 3% ethane, 3% misc.- or gas condensate at 86% methane, 5% ethane, 3% propane, 2.5% CO2, and 3.5% misc.

 

Obviously, some gasses are worth more than others; wherever practical strip the ethane, and propane out of the feedstock – and re-sell it in higher paying markets. To the user burning feedstock, the value is lower cost/calorie, and less pollution – not the caloric content/mole.

 

While carbon trading is much maligned, it is actually very much in the energy industry ‘interest’.

A gas burner pays less for the feedstock, and less for the pollution; raising the demand for gas, and its pipeline transportation - which is much more environmentally acceptable. And anyone with new equipment, that pollutes less than the average, will receive a carbon credit. Gas burners receiving credits, will seek more gas. Tree huggers receiving credits, will plant more trees. But if there is no gas pipeline – no credits.

 

If you’re paid to pollute less – you have a revenue stream to pay for the equipment.

You are paid to sequester CO2, and paid to use electric over gas heating wherever practical. Simply use a windmill to produce some of the electric requirement – and you will get paid three times – carbon credits for the electricity produced, gas and carbon credit cost savings on the gas you did not burn, and lower war-chest costs fighting environmentalists.

 

SD

 

 

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I spent one-semester studying geology, and it didn't go well.

When the rocks were covered in dirt they all looked pretty much the same to me, and my interest was primarily in extraction at minimal effort. Chemical/biological leaching, and pressure/temperature induced phase change, are dirty words in most geologic circles.

 

However, I found methane hydrates extremely interesting, and they are widely abundant - as all that is really needed is high pressure, cold temperature, and organic matter decomposition.  Hence their presence on continental slopes, and especially in the arctic/antarctic.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2011GL047222

 

Problem is that a sudden pressure reduction, or heating, can cause near instant phase change.

A water column filled with gas is a lot less dense, and will hold up a less dead-weight; hence a floating ship (displacing that water column) will instantly sink/break-apart - dependent upon how much of the ship is in the gaseous water column. Disturbances are also relatively common; as submarine earthquake slides, or volcanic magma migration (heating the water) routinely sets off mini releases.

 

Side-by-side; burning methane versus natural gas releases around 30% less energy, the same amount of CO2, but double the amount of water.  CO2 is also a lot less damaging to the environment than methane, and can be absorbed by vegetation. The additional water might reduce ocean salinity (good), but more of us would have to swim - as sea levels would rise further (bad).

 

Not everyone's thing, but point is - geology isn't just rocks.

 

SD

 

Seems we have similar fleeting experiences with Geology. The university I attended had an emphasis around paleontology which was pretty interesting, but not what I was after. I did get to participate in a dino dig  out near in the bad lands Montana section and the Green River Formation in Wyoming. But yeah, I had zero desire to be a paleontologist.

 

The other aspects of geology (resources, formations, stratigraphy, etc.) stuck with me. I backpack a lot and often get those book with info on local formations and strata.

 

My mum tells stories of how in South Africa, multi-ton blocks of kimberlite (igneous rock) would be 'planted' like gravestones on huge open fields and left to 'weather' for a year. After which the rock became like a mud-clod, that could easily be broken up to get at the diamonds inside. Mother nature, just doing her thing.

 

SD

 

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