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Name: Hilde Koch

Hilde Koch

Contact Details

Tel:+353 (0) 89 221 3013
Fax: +353 (0)1 6711199

Title of Project

The chemostratigraphy and petrology of Mississipian volcanogenic clay bands (tuffs) in the Irish Midlands

Project details

Various tuff layers of Mississippian age occur in the Irish Midlands They are largely diagenetically altered to bentonite clay bands. Their relative position to the zinc – lead deposits of Ireland makes them extremely important stratigraphic and tectonic markers.
By applying high – precision trace element geochemical methodology, it will be assessed, whether the chemistry of the Irish Mississippian tuff layers could be used as such markers.

The first task of the study is to focus on the stratigraphy in and around the Navan ore body. The second component is a regional chemostratigraphic approach of the Irish midlands. Furthermore, it is proposed to perform a petrological and geochemical characterisation of the volcanic centres in collaboration with Ass. Prof. Tomlinson.

Additionally, it is intended to place the bentonites into the context of Sr-isotope stratigraphy of the Mississippian limestones.

Name of supervisors

Prof Balz Kamber

Postgraduate personal details

In 2013 I finished my Bachelor studies in Geoscience at the University of Tuebingen. My Bachelor thesis dealt with the origin of the chromitite layers of the UG2 chromitite from the Bushveld Complex of South Africa, which contains the world’s largest platinum and chromium reserves. The aim of the study was to achieve an improved understanding of the chromitite formation processes. Applied methods were polarisation microscopy of thin sections, as well as C and H isotope analyses of mineral separates, taken from every subunit of the UG2.
In 2016 I graduated from the University of Tuebingen with a Master’s degree in Geoscience. In the related thesis I observed large variation in δ53/52Cr of ultramafic rocks from Etang de Lherz, French Pyrenees, which indicates that Cr isotope fractionation may occur within the Earth’s mantle due to processes involving partial melting or metasomatism.

Project Start Date

September 2016




  • Koch, H. (2013) Bachelor thesis: “ Untersuchung der Chromitbildung des UG2 Melanorites, Bushveld Komplex, Südafrika anhand der Petrographie und δ18O-Mineralsignaturen”
  • Koch, H. (2016) Master thesis: “Evidence for Natural Variations in Chromium Isotope Composition in Geologically Related Earth’s Mantle Rocks From Etang de Lherz”