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The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of the IUSS are to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information for IUSS members and those interested in soil science.

Workshop on Clay Mineralogy and Geophysics for Environmental Management and Mineral Exploration

27th and 28th September 2004 CSIRO Land and Water, South Australia.

The workshop brought together researchers, industry professionals and students with interests in clay mineralogy, geophysics, soil science, environmental science and mineral exploration. Technical lectures (Day 1) by leaders in clay mineralogy and geophysics demonstrated how these two exciting divergent fields can be usefully combined to enhance the efficiency of geophysics and remote sensing for mineral exploration, and to improve environmental management and risk assessment.

We held a “field practical” in the Mt Lofty Ranges (Day 2), included a Pb-Zn mineralised zone, degraded wetlands (acid sulfate soils), soils (saline and eroded) and streams (polluted). Participants were shown how to link pedological, geophysical and mineralogical data to deduce sub-surface geochemical processes and understand how specific properties of clay minerals (layer silicates, oxyhydroxides, sulfides, etc) impact on results and interpretations. Hands-on training was conducted in the use of

field-portable geophysical and mineralogical equipment instruments will be provided.

This workshop was organised by the Australian Clay Minerals Society (19th Biennial Conference) and CRC for Landscape, Environments and Mineral Exploration (CRC LEME) – in association with the “Soil Mineralogy Commission” of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS – as a mid-conference meeting); The Australian Society of Exploration Geophysics (ASEG) and the Australian Society of Soil Science, Incorporated (ASSSInc – South Australian Branch).

Conference: Clay Mineralogy and Geophysics for Environmental Management and Mineral Exploration ClayGEMME 2004): 29th September to 1st October 2004

The Conference, included a one day field trip and several papers were presented on the following topics: 1. Poorly Ordered Nanoparticulate Minerals (PONM) in Soils or Sediments; 2. Clay mineralogy and geophysics incorporating remote sensing, mineral exploration and environmental management; 3. New techniques; 4. Applications of clays in industry and technology; 5. General papers in clay science.

This workshop and meeting has now given us some very “good leads and ideas “ for the two IUSS symposia in 2006.

Dr Rob Fitzpatrick

CSIRO Land & Water, Australia