Earth Sciences

A F-35C stealth fighter, similar to one linked to sonic booms off New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Its top speed is said to be 1,200 miles per hour. (Lockheed Martin)

The Earth Shook, but It Wasn’t an Earthquake

Last Thursday, thousands of people on the Eastern Seaboard felt the earth tremble. Seismologists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory quickly concluded it was not an earthquake, but a military exercise.

by |February 4, 2016
The IODP research vessel Joides Resolution. Courtesy of IODP

Setting Off for Two Months at Sea

Sidney Hemming and the scientists aboard the Joides Resolution conduct the final preparations for their research cruise off southern Africa and introduce a girls’ school group from Mauritius to science at sea.

by |February 3, 2016
antarctic oxygen

In the Southern Ocean, a Carbon-Dioxide Mystery Comes Clear

Twenty thousand years ago, low concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere allowed the earth to fall into the grip of an ice age. But despite decades of research, the reasons why levels of the greenhouse gas were so low then have been difficult to piece together. New research, published today in the leading journal Nature, shows that a big part of the answer lies at the bottom of the world.

by |February 3, 2016
N-TREND2015-800x600

A New Global Team Tracks Temperature Change Through Time

A new international consortium of scientists is bringing the history of temperature fluctuations across the entire Northern Hemisphere to life.

by |January 28, 2016
The Agulhas Current and associated flows. Credit: Arnold L. Gordon.

Uncovering the Stories of Southern Africa’s Climate Past

Sidney Hemming is preparing to spend two months at sea studying global ocean circulation and southern Africa’s climate variability over the past 5 million years.

by |January 27, 2016
manganese

In Isolation, Community

Being aboard a ship is isolating—but for a scientist, it’s not lonely.

by |January 19, 2016
Sea mounts near the Hawaiian Islands, from the Marine Geoscience Data System. Images of the mountains and light blue areas are derived from sonar readings; the darker blue areas are from satellite readings.

The Floor of the Ocean Comes into Better Focus

The bottom of the ocean just keeps getting better. Or at least more interesting to look at.

by |January 7, 2016
pump

All I Wanted for Christmas Was for These Pumps to Work

We’ve just completed our first full station and are remarkably pleased with the results. We collected 8 seawater samples to measure helium isotopes; 20 to measure thorium and protactinium isotopes; 7 in-situ pump filters; 1 box core of the ocean floor; and more.

by |December 30, 2015
pavia desk

Doing Science When There’s No Science to Be Done

With an abundance of time and a dearth of work, we have begun to devise ways of doing science before we can actually do science at sea. Among other things, we set up an imaging system to take pictures of particle filters we bring back from the deep sea.

by |December 22, 2015
The planned cruise track of the FS Sonne. The stars are stations that will be sampled during the UltraPac cruise. In color is the bathymetry of the seafloor.

Day 2: What Am I Doing Here, Anyway?

The South Pacific Gyre is the most nutrient-poor region in the ocean, and the waters are the clearest in the ocean. The sediments accumulate below the water at rates as low as 0.1 millimeter per thousand years. So, 10 centimeters of seafloor are equivalent to one million years of material deposition in the South Pacific.

by |December 21, 2015