Lamont Weekly Report, July 13, 2012

     Notwithstanding that the mid-summer doldrums are upon us, the week has been an interesting and varied one at Lamont.

    On Wednesday, Lisa Goddard was named Director of IRI. Please join me in welcoming Lisa to her new leadership role and to the continuation of strong intellectual and programmatic links between IRI and the Observatory.

     The oceans figured prominently this week in the news and at Columbia. William Broad's lead article in Science Times on Tuesday was devoted to deep ocean mining. The Earth Institute hosted an international conference yesterday and today on Sustainable Oceans, sponsored by the Dräger Foundation. That meeting was preceded by a lively discussion on Tuesday and Wednesday between Lamont oceanographers and visitors from GEOMAR and the University of Kiel organized by Peter Schlosser.

     On Wednesday Peter deMenocal was interviewed by Christiane Amanpour on CNN on the topic of extreme weather and its relationship to climate change.  If you missed the broadcast, you can view it at

     The Langseth sailed midweek from Astoria on the final leg of a multi-institutional program to determine the seismic structure of the Juan de Fuca plate and the Cascadia subduction zone. Suzanne Carbotte, who served as chief scientist for the immediately preceding leg, writes that her cruise was extremely successful, marked by the acquisition of 1580 line-km of MCS data and 2340 line-km of OBS data. Preliminary inspection of the MCS data shows evidence for trench-parallel changes in oceanic crustal structure, faulting within the subduction zone sediments well landward of the trench, and intriguing lower crustal and sub-Moho structures.

     Art Lerner-Lam is currently visiting the China Earthquake Administration (CEA), along with Bob Chen, Mark Becker, and Xiaoshi Xing from CIESIN.  Art is presenting a training workshop for seismologists and emergency responders from the provinces, and he is discussing opportunities for further research collaborations between CEA and Lamont.

     If such is the pace of science at Lamont during the doldrums, who knows the limits of scientific advances at the Observatory once the academic winds pick up again in the fall?