East Meets West
Statue of Turkey’s best-known humorist, Nasreddin Hodja depicted riding his donkey backwards.  Photo taken during a trip to Lake Iznik with 10 Turkish graduate students studying a critical zone that has been impacted by humans for millennia.  Like Hodja’s life-learning stories, CZO’s are intended to bring meaning and understanding to the world around us.
Statue of Turkey’s best-known humorist, Nasreddin Hodja depicted riding his donkey backwards. Photo taken during a trip to Lake Iznik with 10 Turkish graduate students studying a critical zone that has been impacted by humans for millennia. Like Hodja’s life-learning stories, CZO’s are intended to bring meaning and understanding to the world around us.
Istanbul, Turkey literally straddles Europe and Asia. Some locals refer to the two respective shorelines of the Bosphorus as the Rumeli and Anatolia sides. It is one of few places in the world where you can stand in one spot and truly say East meets West. My colleague, Professor Ö. Isik Ece, is one of few people I know that can say he commutes to and from Europe and Asia on a daily basis. Whether you are a physical scientist or a biological scientist; a black box artist (e.g., performer) or a white box artist (e.g., painter); a conservative politician or liberal politician, one universal truism is that much of the “action” between any two fields takes place at the interface. For those that know my penchant for the study of microbe-mineral interactions, perhaps that explains why I am writing from Istanbul situated on the campus of Istanbul Technical University in residence for a year. TÜBITAK (Turkey’s National Science Foundation) has a visiting scholar fellowship program and I am honored to be recipient of that program. This short note provides a brief outlook of activities while on academic leave from the University of Georgia. What follows is just one perspective from a place that has garnered global attention throughout history as a place for scientific innovation and cultural melding.
Critical Zone Observatories (CZO’s) are on the radar for almost all funding agencies that support environmental science. The CZ is the place where rock meets life. It’s the living, breathing, constantly evolving boundary layer where rock, soil, water, air, and organisms interact and shape the Earth’s surface. The Calhoun CZO in South Carolina is one of the most recently NSF-funded CZO’s in the United States and it is coming out of the gate at break neck speeds.
I am working with post-doc Jay Austin at UGA to develop novel isotopic approaches to determine rates of soil formation and erosion in the S.E. United States (see paper 2 in the list above). We are discovering that minerals and organic components act as recorders of past activities such as the rates at which soils respire. This is key to understanding how and when carbon is transferred between the atmosphere and the land surface. We are challenged to understand a system that is working on time scales imprinted by events that occur over seconds to years to millennia. I liken the study of the CZ to my daughter’s room. The room contains a short-term history of her life (e.g., actively whirling dance moves in the corner in practice for a pending recital) and a long-term history of her life (e.g., books, posters, pictures, and clothing from her childhood chaotically strewn about). Of course, the trick is to use the collective set of observations to predict the direction and rate of future change. Whether is it my daughter or the Critical Zone, we all desire for them a future of sustainable good fortune and the ability to adapt to the unforeseen events that always seem to pop up along the way.
One major goal while on sabbatical is to bring together Turkish and established international CZO scientists for a workshop. There is no formal CZO in Turkey networked with the global community. Recalling that Turkey is a place where “East meets West”, this seems like a good place for action. The workshop product will be a map for future directions to integrate Turkish CZO priorities both internally and globally. is one place to keep track of CZ science agendas and the overarching hypotheses that drive this concept. Further promotion of CZ study will take place in a thematic session at EuroClay 2015 in Edinburg, Scotland, where “Clays in the Critical Zone” will be hosted. This exciting event is part of a four-day program of talks, poster sessions, and field trips.
See for more details and descriptions about how to be involved.
Thanks for taking the time to read this update. BTW, my exploits in far-eastern Russia continue. Colleagues at the FEB-RAS Institute of Volcanology and Seismology in Petropavlovsk, Russia and I just returned from an exciting field season in the Uzon Caldera. Perhaps that could be the topic for another newsletter entitled Far-east meets Far-west.
Paul A. Schroeder
Graduate Student Spotlight
Sayako Inoue's Research
The goal of this study is to understand the relationship between the crystal structure and Fe-content of serpentine and chlorite. ‘Chlorites’ with various Fe-content have been observed using high resolution (scanning) transmission electron microscopy (HR(S)TEM). HRTEM observation of hydrothermal ‘chlorites’ revealed that random interstratification of serpentine-chlorite (Srp-Chl) is ubiquitous in Fe-rich samples regardless of its formation temperature. The figure shows the HRTEM image of Srp-Chl from Soya (avg. Fe/(Fe+Mg)=0.9) recorded along specific direction to identify the stacking structure. Srp-Chl is not a simple mixture of serpentine and chlorite layers but the random mixture of serpentine layer with different polarity and chlorite layer with the frequent transition between 1:1 and 2:1 layer achieved by the inversion of tetrahedral sheet. Moreover the 
stacking structure of each serpentine and chlorite layer is completely random. The formation of Srp-Chl in Fe-rich ‘chlorite’ may contribute to reduce lateral misfit between larger octahedral sheet and smaller tetrahedral sheets in Fe-rich serpentine and chlorite. This study will answer the question why Srp-Chl is common in Fe-rich ‘chlorites’.
President's Corner
Happy Holidays!
This year has been a very good year in the CMS.  A rising journal impact factor, new ways of connecting with members and everyone else are two notable gains.  We are looking with great anticipation to our Annual Meeting in Edinburgh in July. In this issue, we highlight some of the international reach of work being done by CMS members.   Behind these efforts is a very dedicated membership to the study of clays in all kinds of natural and industrial settings.  I am truly appreciative of the efforts done by all. ​Year 2015 promises to be exciting.   In the meantime,  I wish everyone the Happiest of Holidays and the best of wishes for all things for 2015. 
Only 6 months until EuroClay!
Don't Forget To Register!
Expect to see an announcement soon about online registration for the joint CMS-European Clay Groups-Mineralogical Society event, Euroclay2015, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Finishing touches are being put to a range field trips, workshops, some twenty scientific sessions, and a lively program for accompanying persons.
Recently published in Clays and Clay Minerals
Crystal chemistry and surface configurations of two iron-bearing trioctahedral mica-1M polytypes
Chiara Elmi, Maria Franca Brigatti, Stephen Guggenheim, Luca Pasquali, Monica Montecchi, and Stefano Nannarone

Assessment of pedogenic gibbsite as a paleo-PCO2 proxy using a modern Ultisol
Jason C. Austin and Paul A. Schroeder

Mineralogy, geochemistry, and genesis of mudstones in the Upper Miocene Mustafapaşa member of the Ürgüp Formation in the Cappadocia region, central Anatolia, Turkey
Tacit Külah, Selahattin Kadir, Ali Gürel, Muhsin Eren, and Nergis Önalgil

Mineralogical and isotopic record of diagenesis from the Opalinus Clay Formation at Benken, Switzerland: implications for the modeling of pore-water chemistry in a clay formation
Catherine Lerouge, Sylvain Grangeon, Francis Claret, Eric Gaucher, Philippe Blanc, Catherine Guerrot, Christine Flehoc, Guillaume Wille, and Martin Mazurek

The dynamic shear modulus and damping ratio of clay nanocomposites
Nese Kurt and Suat Akbulut

Mineralogical characterization of Ni-bearing smectites from Niquelândia, Brazil
Eliana Satiko Mano, Laurent Caner, Sabine Petit, Arthur Pinto Chaves, and Andre Sampaio Mexias

Expansion behavior of octadecylammonium-exchanged low- to high-charge reference smectite-group minerals as revealed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy on ultrathin sections
Dirk Schumann, Reinhard Hesse, S. Kelly Sears, and Hojatollah Vali

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