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Random Pictures from the Road (and otherwise)

Sugar - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:43
As a follow follow up to Chastity's post, I thought a few random pictures from the road would be entertaining. I have been part of group 5 and as such responsible for the part of the line that spans from Hahira in the south to just north of Adel.

 South-central part of the seismic line. The yellow line is team 5's section.  We have been in a relatively rural part of Georgia and as a result have not encountered many locals save a few who have stopped to ask if we are ok. However, we have seen quite a few interesting things that are quite out of the ordinary (to me at least).

Friendly Muscovy duck.Rocks in a stream bed with associated pink spongy material (?)
Spanish moss.Linguoid (current) ripples on a washed out road. We have also seen quite a few old abandoned farm houses in various stages of aging...



At least 10-15 dogs were standing guard at this house, including about 8 puppies.
Caroline making some new friends.
All said we have dug 122 holes in team 5's stretch. We have also helped deploy instruments in other sections as well and while doing so have seen others hard at work.

Meghan and Nate getting it done!Along the way the cars have taken quite a beating and have actually held up pretty well. Although there have been a few instances where people got stuck, I think that the people with the toughest job will be the guys that have to detail the cars upon their return...



A more appropriate vehicle (?)And lastly here's a couple more random pictures that I thought were interesting.

The large disparity in fuel grade gas prices.
A ~perfectly leveled geophone (it's harder than you'd think).Hopefully this random selection of pictures was entertaining. Up next we will post about last night's "shots." In the meantime, I can say that they were all successful with varying degrees of excitement. The most important thing is that all of our hard work is being realized as the instruments are recording refractions from buried geology that will help us unravel some of the mystery that surrounds events that happened in this area long ago.

James Gibson, LDEO

Rain, geophones, and animals … Oh my!

Sugar - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 16:15

Chastity AikenGeorgia Institute of Technology

Before and After Images of Enormous Alaska Landslide - Earth & Sky

Featured News - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 11:00
The landslide on Alaska's Mount La Perouse, discovered by a team of Lamont scientists, is thought to be the largest known natural landslide on Earth since 2010.

Mercury Is Wrinkling Like A Raisin - Forbes

Featured News - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 11:00
“This discrepancy between theory and observation, a major puzzle for four decades, has finally been resolved,” said Sean Solomon, principal investigator on the NASA mission and director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. “It is wonderfully affirming to see that our theoretical understanding is at last matched by geological evidence.”

Flags, Flags, and More Flags - Locating the sites for 1200 instruments

Sugar - Sat, 03/15/2014 - 22:14
Many of the SUGAR field team arrived in Americus, GA on Wednesday to start helping with the massive charge of deploying 1200 seismic instruments along the SUGAR seismic line.  The seismic line spans 200 miles from northwest Georgia to just past the Georgia-Florida border; a 4+ hour car drive from end to end!  Everyone gathered early Thursday morning on the idyllic Georgia Southwestern State campus to meet with the chief scientists and learn about the proper techniques for identifying installation sites for the seismographs (just the first step in installing the instruments).  With neon orange safety jackets, numerous maps, GPS devices, packets of official permitting documents, and heads full of safety precautions the field team split into seven two-person pairs each equipped with their own squeaky clean rental car (though they didn’t stay clean for very long!).  The fleet of SUGAR rental cars looking clean and shiny before being driven
into the field where they undoubtedly got a little mud on their tires. Each pair of field assistants was given a segment of the seismic line to drive and flag locations for instrument installation deemed safe both from the seismograph (i.e. dry, firm soil) and the install team (i.e. a safe distance from the road).  Given the shear distance of the seismic line, teams found themselves amid diverse backdrops from rolling farmland with overly friendly cows to buzzing residential neighborhoods to sandy stretches flanked by towering groves of Ponderosa Pine trees. Antonio placing a flag and using a GPS device to note the location where a
seismograph will be installed amid the sandy surroundings of a Ponderosa Pine farm.Every team was able to flag all their sites within just two days leaving us the luxury of a sunny Saturday morning free for exploring more of our beautiful Georgia surroundings.  Next up is the actual task of installing the 1200 seismographs which will involve twice the people, six more (temporarily clean) vehicles, and of course countless exciting adventures from the field.  Happy (almost) St. Patrick’s Day from Americus!A picturesque county road near Jasper, FL along which instruments will be deployed.-- Natalie Accardo, LDEO




A day with the seismic source team in photos

Sugar - Fri, 03/14/2014 - 22:43
The source of sound waves for the SUGAR experiment will be a series of controlled blasts along the profile.  For each of these, we drill a 60-100 ft deep hole, place emulsion explosives with boosters and caps at the base of the hole, and fill in the rest of the hole with dirt and gravel.  Each seismic source location requires a substantial amount of work by drillers and the UTEP seismic source team.  Below, Adrian Gutierrez shows a day in the life of the source team with pictures (Donna Shillington, 13 March 2014)

Adrian Gutierrez, 13 March 14
7:30 am: Leave Georgia Southwestern State University, where we are staying, and head to the site8:20 am: Arrive at site 8:30 am: Start drilling and take geological samples every 5 ft.
9:00 am: Dyno Nobel truck arrives; load emulsion into cut PVC pipe sections that serve as a holders for emulsion. 9:30 am: Surprise visit from other scientists on the project9.50 am: Setting up the booster in the emulsion.11.20 am: Loading the explosives into the drill hole12.00 pm: Drill crew starts removing their equipment12.45 pm: Tagging the charges and plugging the hole3.15 pm: Move onto the next drill site.Nighttime: Finally back to the dorm.


The Dawn of Plate Tectonics

Geopoetry - Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:30
 Dr. Mark Reagan, Science Now

Image: Dr. Mark Reagan, Science Now

An ancient grain of zircon found

In Jack Hill sandstone north of Perth,

Inside its crystal lattice bound:

Secrets of our planet’s birth.

 

The oldest grain (we rock hounds swoon),

Tells of magma oceans past,

An early impact yields the moon;

And all of this occurred so fast!

 

The zircon’s old, which then implies

That solid rocks must be still older.

In Canada, a sequence lies,

With implications even bolder!

 

A pattern locked within old lava

Echoes patterns from the deep;

Mariana-like subduction …

To plate tectonics, take the leap!

 

Hadean times are cloaked in intrigue,

Eons distant, full of strife,

Yet it seems these rocks held promise,

Full of boron, primed for life!

 

_______________________________________________

In the news:

New Record for Oldest Earth Rock, Sky and Telescope

Hadean age for a post-magma-ocean zircon confirmed by atom-probe tomography, Nature Geoscience

The Dawn of Plate Tectonics, Science Now

Heading down early on? Start of subduction on Earth, Geology

Please Explain: Glaciers - WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show

Featured News - Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:00
Lamont's Tim Creyts explains what glaciers are, how they move and sculpt the landscape, and how climate change is affecting glaciers around the world.

What Historical Kings and Marauders Can Teach Us about Climate - Grist

Featured News - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:00
Research by Lamont-Doherty tree-ring scientists Neil Pederson and Brendan Buckley cited.

What If You Could Drive 100,000 Miles on One Tank of Gas? - ABC News

Featured News - Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:00
The invention of a car that gets 100,000 miles to the gallon would shrink global car emissions and help to slow the rate of global warming, says Lamont-Doherty climate scientist Peter deMenocal.

Ohio Earthquakes Rattle up Concerns about Fracking - Los Angeles Times

Featured News - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:00
Lamont-Doherty seismologists in 2011 linked a series of earthquakes near Youngstown, Ohio, to underground wastewater injection wells.

Ancient Tree Rings Suggest Good Weather Helped Genghis Khan Build His Empire - PBS News Hour

Featured News - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:00
New research suggests that Genghis Khan, one of the greatest conquerors in all of history, may have been given an advantage by Mother Nature, says a new study led by Lamont's Neil Pederson.

3 Dead, 69 Hurt, Others Missing in NYC Building Collapse - NBC News

Featured News - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:00
The explosion generated weak signals that were recorded at seismic stations in NYC monitored by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Three Dead, Others Missing After Two-Building Collapse in East Harlem - CBS New York

Featured News - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:00
The explosion generated weak seismic signals that were recorded at seismic stations in New York City monitored by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

11 Quakes Recorded in Week - (Youngstown, OH) Tribune Chronicle

Featured News - Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:00
Lamont-Doherty seismologist Won-Young Kim discusses a string of recent earthquakes near an oil and gas drilling site in Lowellville, Ohio.

Arrival of the seismic equipment!

Sugar - Tue, 03/11/2014 - 18:57
Boxes with seismographs and other equipmentDuring this project, we will deploy 1200 small seismographs along a 200-mile-long (300-km-long) profile across Georgia.  All of these seismographs were shipped to Georgia from Socorro, New Mexico. This is the headquarters of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Program for Array Seismic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere (PASSCAL), a facility that provides seismic instrumentation to US researchers.  It takes a lot of boxes to hold all 1200 seismographs and the associated equipment and tools.  There are 15 seismographs per box, so that's 80 boxes alone without counting boxes for geophones, etc. 
Fortunately, we have a lot of space! Our field headquarters is located in a historic gym on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, GA.  Faculty and staff at GSW have been extraordinarily generous with their time and expertise. They are allowing us to use the Florrie Chappel gym as our base of operations, and they have helped us enormously with Georgia geology and logistics coordination, handling our huge shipment of equipment and supplies, housing on the campus (many of us are staying in one of the dorms!), setting up the gym with internet access, power, and tables, and much, much more. Today, they moved all of the boxes with our seismic equipment from the shipping warehouse to our field headquarters in the gym. I can sense that all of our seismic instruments are itching to be deployed....Pallets waiting outside the Florrie Chappell gymDonna Shillington
11 March 2014

Oceans Show Evidence of Lead Poisoning - Fast Company

Featured News - Tue, 03/11/2014 - 11:00
New maps released by the GEOTRACES program co-led by Lamont's Robert Anderson show that the lead now banned in gasoline is widely found in the oceans.

Climate Change Led to the Rise of Genghis Khan's Empire - Time

Featured News - Mon, 03/10/2014 - 11:00
Warming temperatures and rainfall led to the rise of Genghis Khan and his Mongol empire, says a new study led by Lamont's Neil Pederson.

Genghis Khan's Secret Weapon Was Rain - National Geographic

Featured News - Mon, 03/10/2014 - 11:00
How did the Mongols build an empire? A new study in PNAS led by Lamont's Neil Pederson suggests that a run of bountiful rains gave them the resources to invade and conquer.

GAO: Climate Change Threatens Energy Infrastructure - Climate Central

Featured News - Mon, 03/10/2014 - 11:00
Lamont seismologist Klaus Jacob comments on a U.S Government Accountability Office report confirming the vulnerability of U.S. energy infrastructure to a changing climate.
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