Mark Kulie (GMES/EPSSI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received an $86,255 research and development grant from the NASA. The project is entitled “Snowfall in the GPM Era: Assessing GPM Snowfall and Ice Microphysical Retrievals Using Independent Spaceborne and Ground-Based Observations.” This is the first year of a potential two-year project totaling $186,255.
Lake Superior Magazine published a feature about minerals of the Keweenaw, referencing the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Tech as an outstanding public minerals display.
Minerals of the Lake Superior Region
The region is world famous for vast deposits of iron ore and native copper. During the last 150 years, the rocks have yielded immense tonnages from those deposits and attracted early settlers to the iron and copper mines. Our regional ores were critical in helping the Allies win World Wars I and II. But iron and copper are far from the only commercial minerals around this vast lake. Gold, platinum, silver, nickel, and gemstones such as amethyst, agates and even diamonds have been found here.
The region holds fame in another geologic camp. Collectors seek many Lake Superior minerals for their beauty, aesthetic qualities or rareness. Outstanding regional minerals form private and public collections worldwide and close to home at the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Technological University in Houghton.
Dr. LaBerge is the author of Geology of the Lake Superior Region and is professor emeritus of geology at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Dr. Robinson is the former curator of the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum and professor of mineralogy at Michigan Technological University, Houghton.
An alumna of GMES is one of seventy-five distinguished scientists to receive the distinction from groups representing their disciplines within the American Geophysical Union.
Lauren N. Schaefer, University of Canterbury, is a recipient of the 2017 Natural Hazards Focus Group Award for Graduate Research. Lauren earned her Ph.D. in Geological Engineering from Michigan Tech in 2016 under the advising of Dr. Thomas Oommen.
Congrats, Lauren! We’re all cheering for your continued success.
Chad Deering (GMES/EPSSI), is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $250,718 research and develop grant from the National Science Foundation.
This is the first year of a potential three-year project which could total $349,665.
By Sponsored Programs.
The largest volcanic eruptions are rare events but can represent a global catastrophe. Smaller eruptions may still have significant (billions of dollars) economic impacts and may affect the lives and livelihoods of large numbers of people, even in places distant from the erupting volcano (e.g., the relatively small eruption in Iceland in 2010). This project focuses on the Taupo Volcanic Zone (TVZ) in New Zealand as a case study of a large and very active volcanic system, and will focus on developing a better understanding of how the temperature and mobility of a magma body below the surface changes before, during, and after a major eruption. This study will contribute to our understanding of the volcanoes that produce such large eruptions (for example, Yellowstone volcanic system in the US), and will provide critical context for interpretation of real-time hazard monitoring at these and other active volcanoes. In addition, the project will include research experience for a K-12 teacher and development of new standard-based physics, chemistry and mathematics curriculum that will be disseminated broadly.
WLUC TV6 aired a story about students at Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Elementary School building a boulder garden. The project is funded by a Michigan Space Grant Consortium geoheritage pilot grant to Michigan Tech to create boulder gardens and rock walks at CLK and E. B. Holman Elementary Schools, using representative rocks of the Keweenaw.
Students are also designing interpretative signage to accompany the installations with info about rock types and how geology has influenced life in the Keweenaw.
The prestigious journal, Nature, published a correspondence last week titled “A rescue package for imperiled collection” by Ted Bornhorst, executive director of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, along with co-authors Chris Poulsen, chair and professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Michigan and Rod Ewing, professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Frank Stanton, professor in nuclear security at Stanford University.
The correspondence was in response to an editorial in Nature on how academic natural history collections can be saved from destruction by uniting them at regional hubs. The correspondence discusses “rescue” the University of Michigan mineral collection under an agreement between the University of Michigan and Michigan Tech termed the Michigan Mineral Alliance. (To learn more about the agreement see here.)
The correspondence is publicly available as part of Springer Nature Content Sharing Initiative here.
Growing up on the East Coast of Canada, I didn’t think much could rival the mighty Atlantic Ocean. I discovered how wrong I was when I moved to Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula seven years ago to study geoscience education at Michigan Technological University in Houghton. Since then, my love for the Lake and my curiosity about the region have grown.
The Ontario Geological Survey, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum teamed up to co-host the 63rd Annual Institute on Lake Superior Geology held in Wawa, Ontario May 8-12.
This professional meeting consisted of two days of technical sessions with 29 oral and 22 poster presentations. There were three geological field trips before the technical sessions and three after.
The meeting was attended by 137 geologists from the US and Canada. Academic institutions (58 members), government agencies (28 members), and mining and consulting companies (36 members) were well represented among attendees.
Margaret Hanson, museum assistant director, served as registrar for the meeting while Ted Bornhorst, museum executive director and professor, organized the meeting sessions, handled finances and decided on travel awards to students.
The Institute publishes technical volumes in hard copy for each meeting and offers them open-access online after the meeting is completed.
Bornhorst and Hanson co-edited the Institute on Lake Superior Geology, Proceedings Volume 63, Part 1: Program and Abstracts (97p.). They also compiled Part 2: Field Trip Guidebook (204p.).
The Institute is well regarded for its high quality field trips having recently won a national award from the Geoscience Information Society for the Outstanding Geologic Field Trip Guidebook Series.
The Institute initiated a new annual award for 2017, Pioneer of Lake Superior Geology, to recognize those individuals who made significant contributions to the understanding of the geology of the Lake Superior region primarily prior to the Institute’s awarding of the prestigious annual Goldich Medal in 1979.
The first Pioneer of Lake Superior Geology is Douglass Houghton (1809-1845). Bornhorst nominated Houghton for the award and wrote, along with Larry Molloy, President of the Keweenaw County Historical Society, the two-page biographical sketch published in the Proceedings Volume. As the first speaker for the technical sessions, Bornhorst provided the highlights of the important attributes that contributed to Houghton’s success.
By Ted Bornhorst, A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.
Despite broad understanding of volcanoes, our ability to predict the timing, duration, type, size, and consequences of volcanic eruptions is limited, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Meanwhile, millions of people live in volcanically active areas around the world.
Volcanic Eruptions and Their Repose, Unrest, Precursors, and Timing (ERUPT) identifies grand challenges for the scientific community to better prepare for volcanic eruptions. Michigan Tech volcanologist Simon Carn (GMES) was an author on the report, and served with 11 other volcanologists and scientists on the Committee on Improving Understanding of Volcanic Eruptions that prepared the report. Their goal: improving eruption forecasting and warnings to save lives.
According to the NAP media release on the report, “Volcano monitoring is critical for forecasting eruptions and mitigating risks of their hazards. However, few volcanoes are adequately observed, and many are not monitored at all. For example, fewer than half of the 169 potentially active volcanoes in the US have any seismometers–an instrument to detect small earthquakes that signal underground magma movement. And only three have continuous gas measurements, which are crucial because the composition and quantity of dissolved gases in magma drive eruptions. Enhanced monitoring combined with advances in experimental and mathematical models of volcanic processes can improve the understanding and forecasting of eruptions.”
“This report was requested by NASA, NSF and USGS, the three main sources of funding for volcano science in the US, to identify some of the grand challenges in the field,” says Carn. “It was a privilege to serve on this distinguished committee and help craft a document that we hope will guide and strengthen future research efforts in volcanology.”
“The National Academies convenes committees of experts to review the current understanding of pressing issues and identify priorities for future progress in addressing the issues,” adds Michigan Tech Department Chair John Gierke (GMES). “Committee reports play important roles in formulating government policies and setting priorities for funding scientific research. Dr. Carn is a global leader in remote sensing for monitoring volcanic emissions and surely contributed a comprehensive assessment of the state of knowledge and recommend how different disciplinary fields could bring new perspectives and approaches to advance the understanding of volcanic hazards.”
Electronic (free) and hard copies ($40) of Volcanic Eruptions and Their Repose, Unrest, Precursors, and Timing are available online. More information is available in the NAP media release about the report.
The 2016– 2017 Eruption of Bogoslof Volcano, Aleutian Islands, United States
Bogoslof, a remote, mostly submarine volcano in the Aleutian Island arc began erupting in late December 2016 and activity continues as of February 2017. The Bogoslof eruption highlights several of the challenges facing volcano science. Over one month, the volcano produced numerous explosions with plumes rising 20,000–35,000 ft, posing a significant hazard to North Pacific aviation. There are no ground-based instruments (e.g., seismometers) on the volcano, and so the USGS Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) has been relying on distant seismometers, satellite data, infrasound, and lightning detection to monitor activity (Challenge 3). Bogoslof’s submerged vent obscures any preemptive thermal or gas signals, and infrasound and lightning are detectable only after eruptions have begun (Challenge 1). AVO has been unable to provide early warning of these hazardous events. The eruption also highlights our limited understanding of magma–water interactions and raises important questions regarding the controls on phreatomagmatic explosivity, column altitude, ash removal, and pauses (Challenge 2). In more than 20 discrete events, the emerging volcano has reshaped its coastlines repeatedly, providing snapshots of volcano–landscape interactions. The figure below shows the first evidence for an ash-rich (brown-grey) plume, almost one month into the eruptive activity.
Excerpted from Volcanic Eruptions and Their Repose, Unrest, Precursors, and Timing, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, April 2017
James DeGraff (GMES/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $27,500 research and development contract from the US Geological Survey. The project is “The Keweenaw Fault Geometry, Secondary Structures and Slip Kenematics Along the Bete Grise Bay Shoreline.”
This is a one-year project.