LDEO Research Blogs

  • As volcanologists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, we love everything lava. Right now, we’re exploring how the structure of the surfaces lava flows over influences how it advances. Does it matter if the lava is flowing on loose sand or solid rocks? On a road or a grassy field or into a forest?

    We headed to the “Volcanologists’ Disneyland” — also known as Iceland — to find out.

  • The U.S. GEOTRACES program launches into the Arctic Ocean as part of a multi-nation, multiple ice-breaker effort to study marine trace elements. Trace elements play two opposing roles in the ocean, as both essential nutrients (iron, zinc, cobalt) and as toxins (arsenic, copper) affecting biologic productivity and carbon cycling. Studying these elements in the Arctic marine system can help us understand the biogeochemical responses to rapid climate change. Lamont-Doherty geochemist Tim Kenna is on the U.S. team, aboard the USCG Cutter Healy research icebreaker.

  • Earthquakes, floods, sea-level rise and sudden shifts in river courses threaten many of the 150 million Bangladeshis living in the low-lying Brahmaputra River delta. Scientists from Lamont-Doherty, Dhaka University and other institutions have begun a five-year project to understand the hazards and the possible hidden links among them. Lamont seismologist Michael Steckler keeps us up to date on the work.

  • Driven by processes in the deep earth over millions of years, the East African Rift is slowly tearing the continent apart, producing earthquakes and volcanoes along its 2,400-mile track. A scientific team including Donna Shillington, James Gaherty and Cornelia Class of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is working in Malawi and Tanzania to understand the causes, the long-term evolution, and the real-time hazards.

  • The ice sheet that drains into West Antarctica's Amundsen Sea is about the size of Texas and two miles thick. Home to two of Antarctica's five biggest glaciers-Pine Island and Thwaites-this region holds enough ice to raise global sea level 1.2 meters. Understanding how the ice changed from the last ice age to today will help us predict future sea level rise. Join Lamont-Doherty marine geologist Frank Nitsche on his voyage aboard the Swedish ice-breaking ship, the Oden.