Mount Beerwah – The Columnar Jointing Project

Although not the first on my list of columnar jointing locations, it was however, the most recent. After a rained out weekend (14/05/2017), Elisha and I could not climb the mountain as there had been massive rockfalls and mud slides on the route up, which was a bit of a shame, we’ll have to visit again soon!

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Mount Beerwah, SE QLD, Australia. Photo taken at the car park at the base of the mountain.

So, Mount Beerwah is one of ten volcanic plugs that dot the Glass House Mountains. It formed around 26 million years ago when southeast Queensland was over a hotspot that caused prolonged volcanic activity throughout that Glass House Mountain Region. The regional geology in the area prior to the volcanic activity is sandstone, with these volcanic plugs intruding into the sandstone. Over time, erosion has worn away the sandstone leaving the harder igneous rocks exposed. The composition of the Mount Beerwah columnar jointing is apparently, according to signage in the area, Trachyte. However, without a hand sample I couldn’t say for sure.

The Columnar Jointing Project

So, the reason I’ve resurrected this blog is because I am currently undergoing a bit project. The project, as the title suggests, is to visit as many columnar jointed locations as possible and write about them! This might sound like a tall order, but I’ve already started!

  • Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland
  • Fingal Head – QLD, Australia
  • Kilt Rock – Skye, Scotland
  • Mount Beerwah – QLD, Australia

These locations have already been visited, with another trip planned to Raoul Point in Tasmania in December, I’m well on the way. However, it does appear that there are multiple locations all over the world and even on Mars with columnar jointed volcanics. I guess the thing I have to think about now is ‘do I only visit the spectacular sites?’as some sites may be more aesthetically pleasing, or ‘does composition matter?’  as some columnar jointed sites basic and a few others are felsic? The big one though is ‘how accessible are some of these sites?’, I don’t want to be walking through a warzone or minefield or something like that!

A quick google search has found around 150 sites on Earth and 1 on Mars!

I think I need to set myself some ground rules!

Long time no write!

Long time no write!

It’s been about a year I think since I last wrote on here! Since then I left Africa after a near fatal bout of malaria, fever and parasites after doing soil sampling near Beriaboukro. I loved doing gold exploration in Africa but I love my health too, so I left the Ivory Coast and moved back to Brisbane, Qld, Australia.

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Here I am after three days in bed, pretty happy to be standing on my own again (11/06/16)!

I am now working at the Capcoal mine in Central Queensland. I work primarily at Grasstree but occasionally venture to Lake Lindsay.

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Coal dusty face after working RC holes at Lake Lindsay late last year (08/10/2016)!

Anyway!

Onwards and upwards!

Sons of Africa

Last night we went to La Brise in Yammosoukro for a meal as one of our bosses had been visiting and was leaving in the morning.

La Brise is a quite popular restaurant down by the lake, close to the presidential palace in central Yammosoukro. I’ve been there a few times and really enjoy the food.

Anyway, my diet in Côte d’Ivoire basically revolves around fish, chicken and rice, so whenever I get the chance to have anything but those staples I jump right on it. I had a pizza!

Anyway, whilst consuming this glorious pizza (they make awesome pizzas in a clay stove), with someone singing Phil Collins songs in the background, the peace was shattered by police sirens and flashing blue lights! As the police came into view, an army of blokes on Japanese and British imported motorbikes roared onto the scene!

Following these beast bikes was a mass of locals wanting to get a look as these marvels of engineering. The bikers parked up at the restaurant and went to get food.

Suddenly the buzz was about these bikes, you don’t see bikes like this normally. You usually see 50cc equivalents that don’t look particularly road worthy! People were sitting on the bikes getting their photos taken and comparing the Japanese racers and classic style British bikes!  Others were talking about how it was their dream to own such majestic contraptions.

It was all very cool! I wish I’d got a photo!

Malaria!

So, a couple of days ago (Sunday) I started feeling pretty ill. Headache, sore joints, cold sweats and a bit of the ol’ D and V! I initially put this down to food poisoning mixed with a bit of dehydration and lack of sleep. The diarrhoea and vomiting stopped Monday and I started to feel better. However, come Tuesday the headache, sore joints and cold sweats were back with a vengeance. I mentioned this to Elisha, my girlfriend over Facebook messenger and she suggested it could be Malaria, so I immediately told Abraham, the senior geo on site and he called the doctor.

The doctor came over and suggested the symptoms are characteristic of Malaria and sent me to the clinic, where I indeed tested positive for Malaria. I am now of a cocktail of pain and anti Malaria medication to get me sorted.

I think the main thing I’ve taken from this experience is to know first hand what the symptoms of Malaria are. This is something that was explained to me before moving to Cote d’Ivoire. However, it slipped my mind! Not a mistake I will make again!

So, here is some info on the symptoms of Malaria:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle Pain (Sore Joints)
  • Sweats and Chills
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea and Vomiting

If you live in a country where mosquitoes carry Malaria and you get these symptoms, get yourself to a doctor as Malaria is deadly if untreated!

For more info check out: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Malaria/Pages/Introduction.aspx

…and now, Africa!

I travel a lot for work, I’ve worked offshore conducting geotechnical surveys in Europe, coal exploration in Australia, gold exploration in Ireland, nearshore and onshore geotechnical site investigations in the UK and now I’m in Cote d’Ivoire working in gold exploration.

The type of travelling I do means I see things most people wouldn’t normally see and have gained insight into different lifestyles and cultures, as well as seeing some awesome geology! I figure I could try and write about my experiences…

…lets see how it goes!