Category Archives: Research

Simon Carn (GMES) discusses sulfur dioxide emissions in an article accompanying a NASA Image of the Day showing the extent of the fires in Mosul, Iraq.

Sulfur Dioxide Spreads Over Iraq

Sulfur PlumeIn June 2003, atmospheric scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, used satellites to track how much sulfur dioxide streamed into the atmosphere from a fire at a sulfur mine and processing facility near Mosul, Iraq. They calculated that the fire at Al-Mishraq, which burned for nearly a month, released 21 kilotons of toxic sulfur dioxide per day. That is roughly four times as much as is emitted each day by the world’s largest single-source emitter of sulfur dioxide, a smelter in Noril’sk, Russia.

More recently, sulfur dioxide has been lofted to higher altitudes where it may undergo long-range transport. —Simon Carn

Read more at NASA Earth Observatory, by Joshua Stevens and Adam Voiland.

In the News

News outlets around the world covering the Mosul, Iraq fires quoted Simon Carn (GMES) for his work in sulfur dioxide emissions. The original story was posted by NASA’s Earth Observatory along with satellite images; news outlets include ABC News, Nature World News, Yahoo News and a number of science blogs.

By Allison Mills.

Volcanology Research by Simon Carn in Smithsonian Magazine

Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Earthquakes and Volcanoes

The Smithsonian Magazine referenced Simon Carn’s (GMES) volcanology research, which seeks to incorporate emissions data into the Smithsonian database, in a feature story along with an interactive map.

How Earthquakes and Volcanoes Reveal the Beating Heart of the Planet

Earthquakes and volcanoes can conjure up images of widespread destruction. But for those who study Earth’s deepest reaches, like Elizabeth Cottrell, a research geologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and director of the Global Volcanism Program, volcanoes are also “windows to the interior.”

“Global satellite monitoring of volcanoes will transform our understanding of gas fluxes from Earth’s interior to exterior in the coming decade,” says Cottrell, who has been working along with Michigan Tech researcher Simon Carn and data manager Ed Venzke to incorporate volcanic emissions into the Smithsonian database since 2012.

Read more at Smithsonian Magazine, by Rachel E. Gross.

New Publications for Snehamoy Chatterjee

CERD 2016
CERD 2016

Snehamoy Chatterjee (GMES) recently published two new papers:

Open-pit coal mine production sequencing incorporating grade blending and stockpiling options: An application from an Indian mine” in the Journal of Engineering Optimization, DOI: 10.1080/0305215X.2016.1210312

Influence of surface tension gradient on liquid circulation time in a draft tube airlift reactor” in the journal of Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 113 (2016) 241-249

From Tech Today.

Engineering Optimization 2016
Engineering Optimization 2016

Tarshizi Nominated by the SME as a Henry Krumb Lecturer

Ebrahim Karimi Tarshizi
Ebrahim Karimi Tarshizi

Ebrahim Tarshizi, an assistant professor of mining engineering, has been nominated by the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) as a Henry Krumb Lecturer for the 2016-2017 series.

Tarshizi presentation for this year’s series is “Simulation and Animation of Marigold Mine with Dynamic Pit Operation.” SME Henry Krumb Lectures will be scheduled from October 2016 to May 2017.

Read more at Tech Today, by Kelly McLean.

NATO Science for Peace Project in the Republic of Georgia

Michigan Tech/Univ Milan Bicocca MS student Maria Diletta Acciaro showing Tbilisi State Univ doctoral student Nino Kvavadze how to measure the orientation of dipping geological layers.
Michigan Tech/Univ Milan Bicocca MS student Maria Diletta Acciaro showing Tbilisi State Univ doctoral student Nino Kvavadze how to measure the orientation of dipping geological layers.

John Gierke, GMES professor and department chair,  is a co-director of Michigan Tech’s partnership with five universities on a three-year NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme. This international, multi-institutional project is co-directed by Professor Alessandro Tibaldi of the Department of Environment and Territory and Earth Sciences at the University of Milan-Bicocca and Dr. Nino Tsereteli of the M. Nodia Institute of Geophysics of Tbilisi State University.

The project focus is the study of natural hazards that could undermine social and geopolitical stability of a delicate Transcaucasian region located between Georgia and the breakaway region of Abkhazia, near the Enguri dam, the second highest arch dam of the world, which provides approximately half of the electrical energy for Georgia.

The US project team consists of Gierke and Michigan Tech GMES associate professor Thomas Oommen. They are advising Master’s student Maria Diletta Acciaro, who is pursuing a joint MS in Geology with Michigan Tech and her home institution, the University of Milan-Bicocca.

Their first project mission was in early November 2015 in Tbilisi with a kickoff meeting between the project scientists. The second mission, which took place last May 11-25, 2016, was focused on mapping and characterizing landslides and hillslopes surrounding the reservoir and that pose potential hazards to the safety the Enguri dam. “Landslides and rock falls are common on the steep slopes of these highly-weathered mountainous areas. Larger events could be triggered by heavy rains and seismicity,” says Gierke. He and Acciaro worked with their Georgian counterparts to measure rock and soil strength for the different surficial formations in the reservoir area.

The team is estimating the relative risk of different slopes surrounding the Enguri Dam using computer models that forecast landslide susceptibility. Their estimates are based on the topography (slope), geology, and strength properties of the soils and rocks. “One of the codes allow us to include seismicity in the forecasting and the other will let us explore rainfall intensity,” adds Gierke.

Read more about the project online. See photos from the May 2016 trip here.

Eagle Mine Collaborates with Michigan Tech’s Mining Engineering Program

Eagle Mine is collaborating with Michigan Tech’s Mining Engineering Program on creating a custom-made simulation program with dynamic visualization to model and analyze the effectiveness of emergency evacuation plans and equipment in the operation.

“It’s just a start. We look forward to developing our relationship with the Lundin’s Eagle Mine and conducting various simulation studies, while looking for mutual benefits,” stated Ebrahim Tarshizi, the principal investigator of this research investigation.

Eagle Mine, a subsidiary of Lundin Mining, is a high-grade nickel and copper underground mine located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

From Tech Today, by Ebrahim Tarshizi.

Mi-START Participants Contribute to Geoscience Monograph

Research associate and curriculum development director Stephanie Tubman (Michigan Tech Mi-STAR) was lead author on two contributions appearing in the recently published monograph titled, “Geoscience for the Public Good and Global Development: Toward a Sustainable Future” (edited by Gregory R. Wessel and Jeffrey K. Greenberg, Geological Society of America Special Papers 520).

Postdoctoral research fellow Rudiger Escobar Wolf co-authored the Tubman paper titled, “The geoscientist as international community development practitioner: On the importance of looking and listening.”

Former project coordinator Essa Paterson and John Gierke (GMES) were co-authors on Tubman’s paper titled, “A Peace Corps Master’s International program in mitigation of natural geological hazards: Student outcomes and lessons learned.”

Curriculum development assistant Luke Bowman (Mi-STAR) was lead author on a paper in the same monograph titled, “University contributions to risk reduction following a disaster: A case study of reorienting natural hazards research efforts at San Vicente volcano.”

His paper was co-authored by Gierke and Agronomy Engineering Professor J. Fredy Cruz Centeno from the Universidad de El Salvador Facultad Multidisciplinario Paracentral.

From Tech Today.

Menominee Crack Research in Discover Magazine

Menominee Crack
Menominee Crack, copyright Wayne Pennington, Michigan Tech.

Discover magazine published an article about Dean Wayne Pennington’s (COE) research on the Menominee Crack, a strange geological disruption known as a pop-up.

From Tech Today.

Major geologic transformations don’t usually happen in real time without explanation — especially in seismically quiet areas like the Upper Midwest. So, when Michigan Technological University geophysicist Wayne Pennington saw reports about a crack the length of a football field suddenly appearing in some swamp and woods in the northern area of the state’s Upper Peninsula, he assumed it was a small landslide.

Read more at Discover, by Steven Potter.

Bornhorst Publishes on Hydrothermal Native Copper

Ted Bornhorst, executive director A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum and professor, is co-author of a paper recently published by the international journal Economic Geology. The publication is a result of collaboration with Dr. Kei Ikehata of University of Tsukuba, Japan who is first author of the paper. The paper is titled “Hydrothermal Native Copper in Ocean Island Alkali Basalt from the Mineoka Belt, Boso Peninsula, Japan.” Additional co-authors are K. Chida and T. Tsunogae both at University of Tsukuba.

From Tech Today.