Lamont Weekly Report, March 29, 2019

    The first full week of northern hemisphere spring brought multiple milestones.

    Rachel Marzen learned recently that she is a 2018 GeoPRISMS (Geodynamic Processes at Rifting and Subducting Margins) Student Prize Winner for her presentation at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in December ( Rachel won in the Oral Presentation category for her talk on “Refraction seismic constraints on less extensive CAMP magmatism localized by prior extension in the southeastern United States,” coauthored with Donna Shillington, Joshua Davis, and others. In response to news of the award, Rachel wrote, “The research goals posed by GeoPRISMS have impacted my research from the time I was an undergraduate, and GeoPRISMS events have been a valuable source of feedback and insights from other people’s work. I look forward to continued engagement with this amazing and diverse community.” Kudos to Rachel!

    Lamont Harassment Month concluded with two events this week. On Monday, a training session on LGBTQ+ Awareness was presented by Serena Barnett, Director of Training and Education at Columbia University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. On Wednesday, Kuheli Dutt and Jennifer Middleton led a workshop on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in STEM. Please join me in thanking Kuheli for organizing an informative and engaging series of events this month to help all of us do everything we can to ensure that our campus is an inclusive and supportive environment for all!

    Nature magazine this week posted online a Wally Broecker obituary written by Peter de Menocal ( I urge you to read it.

    Last Friday, Nature Communications published a Perspective article coauthored by Helen Janiszewski and Jim Gaherty on the causes of variations along a volcanic arc in the flux and composition of erupted lavas. Led by Christy Till of Arizona State University, the multi-author team compared the heat budget inferred from Quaternary lava compositions along the Cascades arc with the heat required by the observed geophysical properties of the crust. They showed that along-strike variability is likely the result of variations in the flux of basalt into the crust rather than variations in crustal storage history. The variations in magmatic flux from the mantle must in turn be the result of variations in hydration of the incoming plate, mantle flow patterns, thermal structure, or composition. The group argued that their approach should have broad applicability to other geological questions at volcanic arcs globally.

    Donna Shillington and Spahr Webb coauthored an article published Tuesday in Eos on the Alaska Amphibious Community Seismic Experiment ( The experiment involves a 15-month deployment of 75 broadband ocean-bottom seismometers (including Lamont OBSs) and 30 on-land seismometers along a 650-km-long section of the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone, and the experiment densifies a portion of EarthScope’s Transportable Array, currently in Alaska.

    In the media this week, BBC News carried a story Wednesday on International Ocean Discovery Program expedition 382 to what has been called “Iceberg Alley” north of the Antarctic Peninsula and quoted Maureen Raymo, co-chief scientist on the expedition, on what paleoclimate information the team hopes to recover ( CNN quoted Marco Tedesco in a story yesterday on ice mass balance in Greenland ( Klaus Jacob is quoted in a story in the next New Yorker issue by science journalist, and former Earth Science Colloquium speaker, Elizabeth Kolbert on sea-level rise and flooding near the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana (

    On Tuesday next week, several Lamont scientists will be speaking about climate change at The Nyack Center ( Robin Bell will serve as moderator and Billy D’Andrea and Nicole Davi will be panelists in a discussion of “How Urgent Is the Moment: Facts on Climate from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.”

    In the meantime, this afternoon’s Earth Science Colloquium will be given by geologist and paleoclimatologist Christopher A. Scholz, Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University ( Chris will be speaking on “Tectonics, paleoclimates, and paleobiology of Africa’s western rift valley.” May you enable your biology to sample the neoclimate of the western margin of our local valley and join me in his audience.