Author: Sue Hill

Chad Deering on Key Links in the Evolution of Earth’s Rock Cycle and Its Ocean

Chad Deering
Chad Deering

Chad Deering (GMES) was quoted in a University of Wisconsin Oshkosh news story picked up by Science Daily and Phys.org. The story explains how a study led by Deering and UW-Oshkosh geologist Timothy Paulsen links zircon data from sandstones recovered from Earth’s major continental landmasses to the evolution of the Earth’s rock cycle and its oceans. Snehamoy Chatterjee (GMES) is also a co-author on the study.

“Continents tend to be worn down by weathering and rivers tend to transport this sediment to the oceans, leaving scattered puzzle pieces for geologists to fit together,” said Chad Deering, a Michigan Tech geologist and coauthor on the paper. “There is increasing evidence that important pieces of the puzzle are found in the ancient beach and river sediments produced through continental weathering and erosion.”

Read more at UW Oshkosh Today, by Natalie Johnson.

Continental Magmatism and Uplift as the Primary Driver for First-Order Oceanic 87Sr/86Sr Variability with Implications for Global Climate and Atmospheric Oxygenation
T. Paulsen, C. Deering, J. Sliwinski, S. Chatterjee, and O. Bachman
GSA Today, pp. 4–10, 2022.
doi.org/10.1130/GSATG526A.1

Simon Carn Comments on Tonga Eruption

Umbrella cloud from the volcanic eruption.
Umbrella cloud from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai eruption, captured by NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 17 (GOES-17).

A powerful volcanic eruption has obliterated a small, uninhabited South Pacific island known as Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai. Damage assessments are still ongoing, but preliminary reports indicate that some communities in the island nation of Tonga have been severely damaged by volcanic ash and significant tsunami waves.

“The umbrella cloud was about 500 kilometers (300 miles) in diameter at its maximum extent,” said Michigan Tech volcanologist Simon Carn. “That is comparable to Pinatubo and one of the largest of the satellite era. However, the involvement of water in the Tonga eruption may have increased the explosivity compared to a purely magmatic eruption like Pinatubo.”

Read more at Earth Observatory by Adam Voiland, with Mike Carlowicz.

Gustavo Béjar López and Beth Bartel Present at Volcanology Congress

Gustavo Béjar presenting on Zoom.
Gustavo Béjar López presenting on Zoom.

Michigan Tech doctoral students Gustavo Béjar and Beth Bartel gave invited talks at the I Congreso Internacional Vulcanología y Gestión de Riesgo en Guatemala (1st Volcanology and Risk Management Congress in Guatemala), held Nov. 4-5. Both Bejar and Bartel are studying volcanic hazards. Both are co-advised by Research Assistant Professor Rudiger Escobar Wolf and Professor Greg Waite.

The virtual meeting was hosted by the Universidad Rafael Landívar in Guatemala City.

Béjar’s presentation was titled “Generación de un catálogo de lahares para el Volcán de Fuego” (Generation of a catalog of lahars for Fuego Volcano). An international student from Ecuador, Béjar came to Michigan Tech in 2020 via Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He also hold a BS from Yacay Tech University in Ecuador.

Bartel spoke on “Comunicación de Peligros” (Hazard Communication). She came to Michigan Tech from UNAVCO in Boulder, Colorado, where she worked for 17 years, first as a field engineer and most recently as a science communication and outreach specialist. Bartel has an MA in Journalism and Mass Communications from University of Colorado at Boulder, an MS in Geophysics from Indiana University Bloomington, and a BA in Geology from Whitman College.

Beth Bartel presenting on Zoom.
Beth Bartel presenting on Zoom.

Two Faculty Named to Endowed Positions in GMES

Snehamoy Chatterjee and Jeremy Shannon have been appointed to two endowed faculty fellow positions in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences (GMES).

Witte Family Endowed Faculty Fellow in Mining Engineering

Snehamoy Chatterjee
Snehamoy Chatterjee

Chatterjee, associate professor in GMES, has been appointed the new Witte Family Endowed Faculty Fellow in Mining Engineering, a position created to retain and attract highly qualified faculty who are at the top of their profession, inspire students to think beyond the classroom material, and integrate their research into the classroom.

Chatterjee was instrumental in developing GMES’s new interdisciplinary program in mining engineering and now teaches several key courses for this program. He continuously updates his courses to adopt new teaching and technological approaches and incorporates research in his instruction. He is always looking out for students’ best interests by seeking ways for them to participate in research and design projects in order to enhance their learning and professional development.

Carl G. Schwenk Faculty Fellow in Applied Geophysics

Jeremy Shannon
Jeremy Shannon

Shannon, principal lecturer and undergraduate student advisor in GMES, is the new Carl G. Schwenk Faculty Fellow in Applied Geophysics, a position established to provide students with practical knowledge and intuition that, when combined with exceptional instruction, promotes mobility for an impactful and rewarding career in the field of applied geophysics.

Shannon provides instruction for nearly all courses in the field of applied geophysics and lends his expertise to Senior Design courses and graduate students whose research involves field geophysics. He also maintains GMES’s field geophysics equipment, and has been successful in obtaining funding to purchase new equipment. (During one of Carl Schwenk’s previous visits, Jeremy showed him both our current equipment as well as past equipment that had been in storage, which truly impressed Carl.)

As an academic advisor for GMES’s undergraduate majors, Shannon creates individual plans in order to offer the best academic and professional pathway for that student.

By the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

GMES Grad Student Presentation Wins GSA Award

Daniel J. Lizzadro-McPherson
Daniel J. Lizzadro-McPherson

The Department of Geological and Mining Engineering Sciences (GMES) announced that master’s student Daniel J. Lizzadro-McPherson’s talk, “Remapping the Keweenaw Fault and Discovery of Related Structures in Michigan’s Historic Copper District,” was awarded the Best Graduate Oral Presentation from the Geological Society of America’s (GSA) 2020 North-Central Section Meeting, held online this past May 2020.

The talk was featured in the Unique Geology and Geoheritage of the Lake Superior Region Session led by Erika Vye (GLRC), William Rose (GMES), Jim Miller, and James DeGraff (GMES).

Lizzadro-McPherson presented on the history of mapping the Keweenaw Fault and the current remapping efforts aimed at understanding this complex fault system in northern Keweenaw County. For more information about this project or to receive a link to the virtual presentation please email djlizzad@mtu.edu.

Explore the eight presentations in the session by Michigan Tech researchers:

  1. REMAPPING THE KEWEENAW FAULT AND DISCOVERY OF RELATED STRUCTURES IN MICHIGAN’S HISTORIC COPPER DISTRICT
  2. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF FOLDS AND FAULT SEGMENTS ALONG THE KEWEENAW FAULT SYSTEM, MICHIGAN
  3. KEWEENAW SHORELINES: SHALLOW WATER SCIENCE, HISTORY, EDUCATION AND GEO TOURISM + YouTube Video
  4. GEOHERITAGE AND THE ARTS: BUILDING AWARENESS USING THE KEWEENAW MINES + YouTube Video
  5. DIGITAL CAPTURE AND PRESERVATION OF HISTORIC MINING DATA FROM THE KEWEENAW COPPER DISTRICT, MICHIGAN
  6. TEACHING THE GEOLOGIC HERITAGE OF MINNESOTA’S NORTH SHORE AT THE NORTH HOUSE FOLK SCHOOL, GRAND MARAIS
  7. SHIPWRECK EXPLORATION WORKSHOP IN NEARSHORE KEWEENAW WATERS
  8. CONNECTING RESEARCH AND COMMUNITY – A KEWEENAW LAKE SUPERIOR NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
GSA North-Central Duluth 2020 Superior rocks logo of Lake Superior.

Thank You Ted Bornhorst

Ted Bornhorst
Ted Bornhorst

The Department of Geological and Mining Engineering Sciences offers our congratulations and best wishes to Theodore J. Bornhorst on his retirement after a long and productive career as Director for the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum and professor at the Department of GMES! He has inspired many with his passion for mineralogy and Keweenaw geoheritage.

We are happy that he will continue his research at our department as a professor emeritus.

Aleksey Smirnov is an Outstanding Reviewer

Aleksey Smirnov
Aleksey Smirnov

Aleksey Smirnov (GMES) was named one of the American Geophysical Union’s Outstanding Reviewers of 2019. Smirnov was cited for his service to Geophysical Research Letters.

In 2019, AGU received over 16,700 submissions and published over 7,000. AGU is working to highlight the valuable role of reviewers through events (though they may be virtual) at the Fall Meeting and other meetings.

Simon Carn on the Spectacular Raikoke Image

Raikoke Volcano aerial view.
Raikoke via NASA

Simon Carn (GMES) was quoted in the story “NASA asked the public to choose its all-time best photos of Earth. Here are 17 of them,” in UPWorthy.

An unexpected series of blasts from a remote volcano in the Kuril Islands sent ash and volcanic gases streaming high over the North Pacific Ocean.

“What a spectacular image. It reminds me of the classic Sarychev Peak astronaut photograph of an eruption in the Kuriles from about ten years ago,” said Simon Carn, a volcanologist at Michigan Tech. “The ring of white puffy clouds at the base of the column might be a sign of ambient air being drawn into the column and the condensation of water vapor. Or it could be a rising plume from interaction between magma and seawater because Raikoke is a small island and flows likely entered the water.”

Read more at Upworthy, by Tod Perry.