Thermally induced transformations and alterations of mineral phases are well-known phenomenon that occurs during coal fire events. The interaction between rocks, liquids, and escaping gases under elevated temperatures may produce highly uncommon yet environmentally problematic minerals (toxic elements, acidification). However, the genesis and alteration pathways for many of these phases are not well understood, and previous works have only addressed the formation of these minerals on a limited scale. The objective of the proposed Ph.D. project is to study mineral transformations in the coal-fire environment within the context of burning coal heaps in Central Europe (Czechia, Poland, Germany), with a particular focus on the evolution from primary to various secondary products and hydration/dehydration processes. Multiple analytical techniques (Raman, XRD, SEM/EDS) will be deployed for the detailed investigation of the primary/altered material, combined with in-situ detection of the phases in question directly at the heaps (using portable Raman) and simulated weathering experiments conducted both in the field and laboratory. The advisor of the project will be Dr. Filip Košek.

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