Category Archives: Research

Keweenaw Fault Project Funding for James DeGraff

James M. DeGraff
James M. DeGraff

James DeGraff (EGM/EPSSI) is the Principal Investigator on a research and development project that has received $35,000 from the US Geological Survey.

This project is titled “Keweenaw Fault Geometry, Related Structures, and Slip Kinematics Along the Lac La Belle-Mohawk Segment, Michigan.” Chad Deering (EGM) and Aleksey Smirnov (EGM) are co-PI’s on this one-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.


NASA Funding for Volcanic Eruption Observation Study

Earth from space
Gallery image from NASA DSCOVR: EPIC, Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera.

Simon Carn (GMES/EPSSI), is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $79,390 research and development grant from NASA. The project is entitled “Exploiting High-Cadence Observations of Volcanic Eruptions from DSCOVR/EPIC.”

This is the first year of a potential three-year project totaling $267,948.

By Sponsored Programs.


NSF Funding for Aleksey Smirnov on Geomagnetic Field Strength Study

Aleksey Smirnov
Aleksey Smirnov

Aleksey Smirnov (GMS/EPSSI), is the principal investigator on a project that has received an $87,524 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The project is entitled “Collaborative Research: Geomagnetic Field Strength and Stability Between 500 and 800 Ma: Constraining Inner Core Growth.”

This is the first year of a potential three-year project totaling $289,747.

By Sponsored Programs.

Extract

Earth’s magnetic field protects the planet from solar particles that would otherwise erode the atmosphere. Thus, the magnetic field is thought to be an essential factor ensuring long-term planetary habitability. Today, this geomagnetic field is powered by growth of the solid inner core. But thermal models suggest Earth has not always had a solid inner core; the time of the onset of inner core growth has ranged from 500 million to more than 2.5 billion years ago. This represents a fundamental unknown about the planet. Arguably the best way to investigate this question is to use “paleomagnetism”, the record of the ancient magnetic field trapped in rocks and crystals as they form. Such data have motivated the hypothesis that the geomagnetic field, and the magnetic shielding of the atmosphere from solar particles, almost collapsed 565 million years ago, but then the field slowly recovered. This event may record the birth of the solid inner core. This hypothesis will be tested through studies of rocks ranging in age from 800 to 500 million years old found in Australia, Canada and the United States. The collaborative work will involve a team of 5 scientists at 3 institutions (including an underrepresented minority and woman scientist), and will be integrated into education and outreach efforts at each university, including efforts to expand opportunities for first-generation and historically underrepresented individuals.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.


Luke Bowman Presents at the Geoscience and Society Summit

Luke Bowman
Luke Bowman

Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences (GMES) adjunct assistant professor Luke Bowman gave a collaborative presentation titled, “Multidisciplinary, International Geological Hazards Research Experiences,” at the Geoscience and Society Summit, March 18 – 21, 2019, in Stockholm, Sweden. The Summit was part of a multi-year effort by organizers to articulate the roles of geoscientists in solving 21st Century challenges and reaching the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Summit was sponsored by the American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America and the Bolin Centre for Climate Research.

Bowman presented the evolution of disaster risk reduction research by GMES students and faculty over the past three decades. The co-authors included professor and chair John Gierke, emeritus professor Bill Rose, associate professors Thomas Oommen and Greg Waite, and research assistant professor Rudiger Escobar-Wolf. The work that Bowman presented outlined a unique history of how GMES has actively broadened its faculty and student research interests to tackle societal issues in conjunction with the geophysical aspects of natural hazards in international settings.


Study by Nathan Manser Cited by World Health Organization

Nathan Manser
Nathan Manser

A study by Nathan Manser (GMES/EF) on human pathogen destruction in resource recovery systems is cited in the World Health Organization’s recent Guidelines on Sanitation and Health.

Manser ND, Cunningham JA, Ergas SJ, Mihelcic JR (2016). Modeling inactivation of highly persistent pathogens in household-scale semi-continuous anaerobic digesters. Environ Eng Sci. 33: 851-860.

The purpose of these guidelines is to promote safe sanitation systems and practices in order to promote health. They summarize the evidence on the links between sanitation and health, provide evidence-informed recommendations, and offer guidance for encouraging international, national and local sanitation policies and actions that protect public health. The guidelines also seek to articulate and support the role of health and other actors in sanitation policy and programming to help ensure that health risks are identified and managed effectively. World Health Organization


Simon Carn on the 2018 Ambae Eruption

Ambae Sulfur Dioxide plumeSimon Carn (GMES) was quoted in the story “From NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: ‘2018’s  Biggest Volcanic Eruption of Sulfur Dioxide,'” in sciencesprings. The story was also covered in Long Room, What’s Up with That? and Science Daily.

From NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: “2018’s Biggest Volcanic Eruption of Sulfur Dioxide”

“With the Kilauea and Galapagos eruptions, you had continuous emissions of sulfur dioxide over time, but the Ambae eruption was more explosive,” said Simon Carn, professor of volcanology at Michigan Tech. “You can see a giant pulse in late July, and then it disperses.”

Read more at sciencesprings, by Jenny Marder.

Related:

Simon Carn Discusses the Ambae Volcano


Aleksey Smirnov is an Excellent Reviewer

Aleksey Smirnov
Aleksey Smirnov

Aleksey Smirnov (GMES) has been recognized as an Excellent Reviewer for 2018 by the Editorial Board of Earth, Planets, and Space (EPS).

EPS is the flagship journal of the Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, the Seismological Society of Japan, the Volcanology Society of Japan, and the Japanese Society for Planetary Sciences. It is an open access journal. All articles are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication.

It is essential for an academic journal to have qualified reviewers to maintain its scientific standard. EPS


Simon Carn Clarifies the Role of Volcanic Eruptions in Climate Change

Effusive Volcanic Flow showing lava traveling down a road.
Flow from an effusive volcanic eruption, courtesy of USGS.

Simon Carn (GMES) was quoted in the article “Why Is a Climate Change Skeptic Headlining Science Conferences?” in the Daily Beast. Carn refutes statements made by retired geophysicist Peter Ward that volcanic eruptions, not greenhouse gasses, are responsible for climate change. Ward made the comments in an address to the Geological Society of America.

Why Is a Climate Change Skeptic Headlining Science Conferences?

The Geological Society of America—the country’s premier research and professional organization for geologists—met in Indianapolis earlier this month.

Amidst the otherwise nerdy, sleepy lectures on volcanoes, rocks, and other natural formations was one from Peter L. Ward, a retired geophysicist, who delivered a talk on how volcanic eruptions—not greenhouse gases—are behind climate change.

That’s odd, since the role of greenhouse gas emissions as the primary cause driving climate change is universally backed by scientists.

“Peter Ward has claimed that ‘all’ volcanic eruptions deplete ozone, including the type we call ‘effusive,’ like the eruption of Kilauea that occurred last summer in Hawaii,” volcanologist Simon Carn, an associate professor [now full professor] at Michigan Tech, told The Daily Beast.

Effusive eruptions, in which lava steadily flows out of a volcano onto the ground, typically inject gases to much lower altitudes than explosive eruptions. That means they’re highly unlikely to deplete ozone. “They don’t produce very much chlorine/bromine, and the emissions do not reach the stratosphere where the ozone layer is located,” Carn explained. “His ideas linking volcanic eruptions to ozone depletion and global warming are completely unsubstantiated.”

Read more at the Daily Beast, by Bahar Gholipour.



Gierke and Oommen Present in Tbilisi

NATO 's Science for Peace and Security banner graphic

John Gierke, professor and chair of GMES and Thomas Oommen (GMES) presented collaborative work on “Field Data Collection and Slope Stability Analysis in the Vicinity of the Enguri Dam” and “External Loadings and Landslide Hazards at Enguri,” respectively, at the culminating meeting for the international project funded by NATO’s Science for Peace and Security: “SfP G4934 Security Against Geohazards at the Major Enguri Hydroelectric Scheme in Georgia.”

The meeting was held Sept. 12, 2018, in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Michigan Tech project work that was presented included contributions from MS Geology graduate Maria Diletta Acciaro and BS Geological Engineering graduates Carolyn Lucca, Zack Fleming, Nicole Bird and Erica Anderson.