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An invitation to explore shale geology

"Possibly many may think that the deposition and consolidation of fine-grained mud must be a very simple matter, and the results of little interest. However, when carefully studied experimentally it is soon found to be so complex a question, and the results dependent on so many variable conditions, that one might feel inclined to abandon the inquiry, were it not that so much of the history of our rocks appears to be written in this language."

Henry Clifton Sorby, 1908

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Juergen Schieber
Mud Detective
Swim Against the Stream - Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow

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image of Curiosity roverThough made more than a century ago, above comment by the "Father of Petrography" is still valid. Whereas we have made considerable progress in understanding shales and mudstones, these rocks are so much more diverse than other lithologies that much needs to be done before we can be confident to understand them.

From an intellectual perspective, Shale Research is clearly a Frontier of Sedimentary Geology and will contribute much to a better understanding of earth processes, earth history, and earth system interactions. Due to recent global developments it is also becoming crucial at another frontier - the exploration and utilization of vast, yet untapped, hydrocarbon deposits in oil and gas shales.   
Watch Mud and Shale TV - its fun ! 

We also are investigating mudstones on Mars through involvement in the Mars Science Lab Mission that arrived on Mars in August 2012. The mission has already generated many exciting discoveries in planetary geology, and the rover is still going strong and set to make more discoveries in the years to come.

The Menu Bar near the top of this page (CV, Students, etc.) provides information about our research projects, as well as information about possible collaborations and student opportunities. Published Flume Studies.

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Juergen Schieber