Category Archives: Seminars

Geocommunity Seminars This Fall

roseBill Rose has started an effort to help get a local geoculture by doing a weekly department seminar. The idea is to have a partly technical and partly social event every friday from 3-4 (beginning Sept 4) with refreshments 4-5 pm.
Speakers from the department and other parts of the university and beyond have been scheduled. All of these people want to communicate with our geocommunity. They all can help us by being part of our support group for teaching, research, outreach and learning in general. These are mostly people that we don’t see every day, but who know about the Earth, Earth Science, Geology, Geological Engineering, Geophysics and Mining. The seminars will be done to inform all of us about our geocommunity, its elements and opportunities.
You may realize that Michigan Tech is a geouniversity, created because of its fortunate geology. Many people are here, whether they realize it our not, because of Earth’s gifts here and our geoheritage. You, as a member of the geocommunity have advantages and benefits that you may not know about.

Among the main things that you could get out of participation in this seminar series are:
1. Being able to write a better proposal, that explains its relevance more broadly, something that could help you get funding.
2. You might be able to identify outside examiners for your MS or PhD research.
3. You might learn about a part of geoscience or engineering that could help you do better work, or understand things better.
4. You might improve at explaining your future to your grandmother.
5. It will be fun and interesting.

We hope you will want to come every friday! 3-5pm
See the Website

Lecture: Using Mineral Spectroscopy for Geothermal Exploration

calvinGeological and Mining Engineering Department Lecture:
Dr. Wendy Calvin, Professor of Geophysics & Remote Sensing
Director, Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, University of Nevada – Reno
“Using Mineral Spectroscopy for Geothermal Exploration”
Friday – February 13 at 4:00 p.m., 642 Dow Environmental Sciences Bldg.
Visiting Women & Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series funded by: A grant to the Office of Institutional Equity from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative, the EPSSI and Geological and Mining Engineering Departments of Michigan Tech University; Reception to follow in the Dow 6th floor Lakeside Atrium

EPSSI Seminar: Shock Tube Recreations of Shock Waves and Jets Generated During Explosive Volcanic Eruptions

The Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute
proudly presents:
Ezequiel Medici, MTU ME-EM Research Engineer
The EPSSI seminar for Monday, December 1, 4:00 p.m., M&M U113

“Shock Tube Recreations of Shock Waves and Jets Generated During Explosive Volcanic Eruptions”

Abstract: At the beginning of a suddenly explosive volcanic eruptions two types of phenomena can be observed, the formation of a shock wave immediately followed by a supersonic jet of expanding vapor-solid-liquid mixture. The intensity of the shock wave and the structure of the supersonic jet can carry a significant amount of information about the intensity and the dynamics of the volcanic eruption. Despite the hazard they represent to the immediate surrounding area of the volcano vent, these atmospheric shock waves and the subsequent sonic wave can be safely measured at a long distance from the vent. This characteristic makes the measurement of shock/sonic waves suitable for safe, real-time remote sensing of the conditions at the volcanic vent during the eruption. Preliminary results, based on the experiment performed on the shock tube, indicate a strong correlation between the energy released by the eruption, calculated by standard methods post eruption, and the intensity of the shock wave as measured through its pressure field. This correlation could ultimately lead to a more reliable model of shock/sound wave propagation which will serve as an early warning system for the air traffic control.

Immediately after the shock wave, an over pressurized jet mixture of vapor, solid particles, and liquid begins to expand. This mixture typically contains a relatively high concentration of solid particles of different size. To study the coupled interaction between the expanding gas and the particles, a series of analog explosive volcanic experiments using the atmospheric shock tube were performed. High-speed shadowgraph imaging of the expanding jet mixtures is recorded for different initial jet energy, particle sizes and particle concentrations. The study and observations of the interaction between the mixture of expanding gas and particles can elucidate the mechanisms acting during the initial stage of the formation of ash plumes or pyroclastic flows.

Rail Transportation Seminar: Railway Track Structures Research at Tampere University of Technology

sep8Rail Transportation Program and Environmental Engineering Geologists AEG Michigan Tech Student Chapter present Dr. Pauli Kolisoja Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering Tampere University of Technology (TUT) in Finland presented a seminar on rail research at TUT at Michigan Tech on Monday, Sept. 9, 12-1 p.m. at DOW 875.

The title of the seminar is: “Railway Track Structures Research at Tampere University of Technology”   Continue reading

Environmental Engineering Seminar: Nuts and Bolts of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development

Environmental Engineering Seminar: Nuts and Bolts of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development including all you might like to know about the technology and practice of hydraulic fracturing
Wayne D Pennington, Interim Dean, College of Engineering, Michigan Technological University
Mon Mar 24, 2014 3pm – 4pm, Dow 642
Watch the seminar Video on Vimeo: Unconventional Oil and Gas Development: Technology and Practice of Hydraulic Fracturing

Over the past couple of decades, technology has been developed to produce oil and gas from geological formations that had been overlooked previously due to the lack of appropriate engineering techniques for those types of formations. As a result, the energy picture for the USA and for the world has been seriously modified, and the impact is being felt.   Continue reading

Seminar: Ice, Rocks, and Robots, Oh My!–Paving the Yellow-Brick Road to Europa

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences Seminar
Friday, March 21, 3:05-3:55 pm, Dow 610
Ice, Rocks, and Robots, Oh My!–Paving the Yellow-Brick Road to Europa
Victoria Siegel, Ph.D. Student
GMES, Michigan Technological University
Astrobiologists agree that Jupiter’s moon Europa is one of the most promising places where our solar system might harbor life (besides Earth, of course). Data from Galileo and Hubble’s recent images of possible water vapor plumes escaping from Europa’s surface suggest that a liquid water ocean lies concealed beneath the moon’s thick ice shell. Over the past ten years, NASA has funded several projects to investigate autonomous systems we might use to explore this strange and challenging environment. As they are developed, these robots are put to good, practical use in terrestrial Europa-analog environments. From an Alaskan glacier, to flooded sinkholes in Mexico, to an ice-covered sea in Antarctica, these ‘bots are helping us explore, map, and understand extreme environments and life forms on Earth–all the while bringing us closer to making Europa sub-surface exploration a reality. If you think the Curiosity Rover is wild (it is), come see what planetary exploration could look like in the future.

Environmentally and Socially Responsible Mining Presentation

Hannah White, public outreach manager at Northwest Mining Association, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan trading association representing the entire mining life cycle, from exploration to reclamation and closure. Their purpose is to advocate and advance, educate, and foster and promote environmentally and socially responsible mining. She spoke to students in a seminar on November 19th. More info

Continue reading

GMES Seminar: Linking mantle dynamics to plate tectonics

GMES Seminar: Linking mantle dynamics to plate tectonics

Trond H. Torsvik, Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED), University of Oslo, 0316 Oslo, Norway; Friday, November 1, 2013, Dow 610

The calibration of longitude in the mid-eighteenth century by the invention of a sea-going chronometer gave mariners confidence that they could reliably calculate their absolute position on the Earth’s surface. Until recently, Earth scientists have been in the comparable position of having no way of calculating the longitudes of continents before the Cretaceous, leaving paleomagnetism, which cannot determine longitude, as the only quantitative means of positioning continents on the globe before that time. However, by choosing a reference continent that has moved the least longitudinally (i.e. Africa), longitudinal uncertainty can be minimized. The analytical trick is to rotate all paleomagnetic poles to Africa and calculate a global apparent polar wander path in African co-ordinates, which serves as the basis for subsequent global reconstructions. This method is dubbed the ‘zero-longitudinal motion’ approximation for Africa, and has allowed us to confidently estimate true polar wander (TPW) since Pangea formation (320 Ma), and to demonstrate that ancient large igneous provinces and kimberlites have been sourced by plumes from the edges of the large low shear-wave velocity provinces (LLSVPs) on the core-mantle boundary beneath Africa and the Pacific. Using this surface-to-CMB correlation and a new iterative approach for defining a palaeomagnetic reference frame corrected for TPW, we have developed a model for absolute plate motion back to earliest Paleozoic time that maintains the remarkable link between surface volcanism and the LLSVPs. For the Paleozoic we have for the first time identified several phases of slow, oscillatory TPW (less than 1 degree/Myr) during which the Earth’s axis of minimum moment of inertia was similar to that of Mesozoic times. We model ten phases of clockwise and counter-clockwise rotations since 540 Ma, which can be interpreted as oscillatory swings approximately around the same axis (11 degrees East at equator). Net TPW angles peaked at 22 degrees in the Mesozoic and 62 degrees in the Paleozoic, and paleomagnetic and TPW-corrected (mantle) reconstructions therefore differ significantly in the early Paleozoic.


Seminar: Oil Spill Response Experience: Exxon Valdez to BP Deepwater Horizon

In an engaging lecture, Tina Behr-Andres will share her experience advising the Federal Government’s Science Team for the Deep Water Horizon BP Oil Spill Response. The presentation, entitled, “Oil Spill Response Experience: Exxon Valdez to BP Deepwater Horizon,” will be held on Tuesday, April 23, from 4 p.m. to 5p.m., Dow 642.

Behr-Andres holds over twenty years of professional experience in engineering academe, private-sector technical consulting and national laboratory research management. She specializes in management of legacy wastes from nuclear weapons production; marine and terrestrial oil spill response; industrial and hazardous waste management and wastewater treatment; and contaminated site remediation. Currently, Behr-Andres is an Executive Advisor to the principal associate director of science, technology and engineering at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

This presentation is sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Sustainable Futures Institute, Michigan Tech’s Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, and Michigan Tech’s Office for Institutional Diversity.