Category Archives: Research

Up, Up and Away: Studying Volcanoes With Balloons

Using Balloons to Study Volcanoes in Hawaii

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Balloons take to sky for volcanic gas study
Science Daily Studying Volcanoes With Balloons
Yahoo News Geologists study volcanoes with balloons

Adam Durant and Matt Watson, both of whom are alumni and adjunct faculty at Michigan Technological University, are doing postdoctoral work at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. They have been conducting some interesting research into volcanic plumes using meteorologic balloons. See the video from the BBC. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

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Field Trip to Alaska

The faculty and students conducted research projects in several locations including the Bering Glacier, Vitus Lake, Midtimber Lake, and Seal River.

Acccording to Michigan Tech Associate Professor of Geological and Environmental Engineering John Gierke, “Due to glaciers being remote locations and the fact that they are hundreds of feet thick, we do not understand how they move very well and their interactions with the underlying rocks upon which they travel. Since we can not see what is happening, we are attempting to ‘hear’ the interactions and then deduce where and what is going on.”

“Our listening devices are seismometers, identical in principle to the ones that are used for monitoring earthquakes, and we deployed 3 on the Bering Glacier and 7 others on islands, peninsulas, and shores near the glacier edge, and they collected data that we hope will tell us when and where bedrock was being broken by the glacier moving and glacier ‘calving’ (breaking) events, but we have to remove a lot of uninteresting data too, like helicopter an

Read more and see pictures here

View Alaska Slide Shows

Alex Mayer Receives $29,904 from the U.S. Department of Education

Alex Mayer has received a $29,904 grant from the U.S. Department of Education for his project, “ExCit: Expanding Cities–People, Water and Infrastructure.” Previously, Professor Mayer received $35,028 for the first year of a three-year project totaling $299,860, “MTU-UNISON Linkage: Training a Core of Water Resource Experts,” from the American Council on Education.