In the Field at Mineral King

(From left) Dr. Greene, Cory, and Conner after summiting the 11,947 ft. Vandever Mountain at Mineral King, with Mt. Whitney in the distance.

After nineteen days in sunny California, Dr. Greene, Cory, and I have returned to Ohio. Our field session was a great success, giving us scores of samples to begin analyzing in the coming weeks.

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Zircon Fever: How Gold Mining Helps Us Study Zircon

Though we aren’t searching for gold, some of here in the Geo department do “rush” to California, but in search of a different mineral. Zircon is the keystone to much of the petrographic and volcanological research going on this summer. As Liz wrote earlier, there are different ways to get from a chunk of outcrop to the tiny zircon crystals that we can date.

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Summer Crushing

Hello all! This summer I am back at Denison working on a project with Professor Erik Klemetti involving the magmatic evolution of the Lassen volcanic system in Northern California. Lassen is the southernmost volcano in the Cascades Range and has had eruptions as recently as 1915. Our goal is to analyze the zircon minerals that we extract from various samples representing different eruptions and phases of the system.

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GEOS-240: El Niño’s React to Global Warming (II)

Even though several groups of scientists hold different opinions on the prediction of the ENSO’s frequency in the future, they all agree that the predictions depend on many other complicated processes such as cloud feedback, etc. Therefore, so far no one can give a comprehensive answer to the future ENSO’s frequency. In this post, I will explain two extreme theories of the prediction.

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How Carbon Impacts Our Ocean’s pH

In my previous blog, I talked about how the levels of carbon dioxide are increasing in the oceans, and how that will impact the ocean circulation and temperature of the ocean. However, there is a much bigger problem than the rise of ocean temperature that we must deal with. This problem is known as Ocean Acidification.

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GEOS 240: Solving the Scallop Theorem.

In the previous post it was mentioned that organisms living within a low Reynolds number (Re) should not be able to swim. This is because the viscous forces dominate the fluid, and inertia is reduced to practically nothing. Any reciprocal motion results in no net motion. If an organism is to swim in these conditions, then their method of locomotion must be different than the motions humans are used to.

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North Pacific Gyre: Human Waste Disposal

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the four oceans on planet earth, making it home to over hundreds of marine species.  The Pacific Ocean is also home to the North Pacific Gyre otherwise known as the great pacific garbage patch.  The North Pacific Gyre consists of four large currents that rotate in a clockwise manner, which is what causes debris to cluster and build up in this area (Marine Debris).

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Salmon and Climate Change

Salmon have to go through one of the most grueling migrations in the world. Of all the salmon species the Chinook and Sockeye Salmon, These two species have to migrate over 1400 kilometers from their birthplaces to the ocean and back to their birthplace(Scheurell et al. 2009).

A mature adult male Chinook salmon, note the special breeding coloration.

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Japan’s scientific whaling’s issue-Siqi Cui

20090213_whales - Taken with a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II - 20090213_whales

Although Japan has stopped the killing of the humpback whale which is endangered species, its whaling for scientific research still will be continued. In 2007, “the Japanese government is determined to bring about a return of commercial whaling. In spite of the enormous criticism from environmentalists, overseas governments, and anti-whaling proponents, the Japanese government has not wavered in its strong belief that it has a right to conduct whaling.

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The Other Side of the Greenhouse Effect

By: Alex Jarrett

Despite the recent uproar during the past decade and a half concerning the global warming phenomenon, in numerous discussions I’ve had with peers and parents it is apparent that many people are unaware of the importance of Earth’s oceans in helping to regulate the planets climate. The current oceanic circulation pattern is the dominant mechanism by which heat is carried from the equatorial to the polar latitudes, a perfect example being the temperate climate enjoyed by Western Europe despite its high latitudes (Vellinga and Wood 2002).

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