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  • richardmitnick 9:20 am on May 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Earthquake early warnings launch in Washington completing West Coast-wide ShakeAlert system", , , Geology, QCN Quake-Catcher.net; Shake Alert; Earthquake Alert; Mobile App systems,   

    From University of Washington (US) : “Earthquake early warnings launch in Washington completing West Coast-wide ShakeAlert system” Revised with texts for images. 

    From University of Washington (US)

    May 3, 2021

    Hannah Hickey,
    Kiyomi Taguchi
    Rebecca Gourley


    WA ShakeAlert early warning system activated May 4th.

    When the Big One hits, the first thing Washington residents notice may not be the ground shaking, but their phone issuing a warning. The U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Washington-based Pacific Northwest Seismic Network and the Washington Emergency Management Division on Tuesday, May 4, will activate the system that sends earthquake early warnings throughout Washington state. This completes the tri-state rollout of ShakeAlert, an automated system that gives people living in Washington, Oregon and California advance warning of incoming earthquakes.

    “For the first time, advance warning of imminent earthquake shaking will be a reality in our region. Even just seconds, up to a minute of warning is enough to prepare yourself and take cover — actions that may spare you from injury or even save your life,” said Harold Tobin, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences and director of the PNSN, which operates the seismic monitoring in Washington and Oregon.

    1
    A team from the UW-based Pacific Northwest Seismic Network installs a new solar panel array at a seismic monitoring site in Enumclaw, Washington, on April 20, 2021. The seismometer, one of hundreds that provide data for ShakeAlert, is in the hole in the foreground. A trench brings cables to the newly installed solar panels, on the right, that power the system, and an aluminum box containing electronics that digitize and transmit the seismic data. Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington.

    2
    An upgraded Pacific Northwest Seismic Network monitoring station in Enumclaw, Washington, on April 20, 2021. The newly installed solar panels provide power for the system that detects the first signs of an earthquake. Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington.

    3
    Same as above.

    4

    Once the system goes live on May 4, the first signs of an earthquake above a magnitude 4.5 or 5, about when the shaking becomes noticeable indoors, will trigger an alert and a reminder to drop, cover and hold on. Warning times range from a few seconds to tens of seconds depending on your distance to the epicenter. The launch will be silent — there will be no test on May 4.

    The PNSN operates a growing network of about 230 seismic stations in Washington and some 155 stations in Oregon that provide data for ShakeAlert. When four or more of these instruments detect unusual shaking, that motion is analyzed by computers, some of them on the UW campus, that quickly calculate the size and location of the event.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Earthquake Alert

    1

    Earthquake Alert

    Earthquake Network project is a research project which aims at developing and maintaining a crowdsourced smartphone-based earthquake warning system at a global level. Smartphones made available by the population are used to detect the earthquake waves using the on-board accelerometers. When an earthquake is detected, an earthquake warning is issued in order to alert the population not yet reached by the damaging waves of the earthquake.

    The project started on January 1, 2013 with the release of the homonymous Android application Earthquake Network. The author of the research project and developer of the smartphone application is Francesco Finazzi of the University of Bergamo, Italy.

    Get the app in the Google Play store.

    3
    Smartphone network spatial distribution (green and red dots) on December 4, 2015

    Meet The Quake-Catcher Network

    QCN bloc

    Quake-Catcher Network

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers. With your help, the Quake-Catcher Network can provide better understanding of earthquakes, give early warning to schools, emergency response systems, and others. The Quake-Catcher Network also provides educational software designed to help teach about earthquakes and earthquake hazards.

    After almost eight years at Stanford, and a year at CalTech, the QCN project is moving to the University of Southern California Dept. of Earth Sciences. QCN will be sponsored by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a distributed computing network that links volunteer hosted computers into a real-time motion sensing network. QCN is one of many scientific computing projects that runs on the world-renowned distributed computing platform Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC).

    The volunteer computers monitor vibrational sensors called MEMS accelerometers, and digitally transmit “triggers” to QCN’s servers whenever strong new motions are observed. QCN’s servers sift through these signals, and determine which ones represent earthquakes, and which ones represent cultural noise (like doors slamming, or trucks driving by).

    There are two categories of sensors used by QCN: 1) internal mobile device sensors, and 2) external USB sensors.

    Mobile Devices: MEMS sensors are often included in laptops, games, cell phones, and other electronic devices for hardware protection, navigation, and game control. When these devices are still and connected to QCN, QCN software monitors the internal accelerometer for strong new shaking. Unfortunately, these devices are rarely secured to the floor, so they may bounce around when a large earthquake occurs. While this is less than ideal for characterizing the regional ground shaking, many such sensors can still provide useful information about earthquake locations and magnitudes.

    USB Sensors: MEMS sensors can be mounted to the floor and connected to a desktop computer via a USB cable. These sensors have several advantages over mobile device sensors. 1) By mounting them to the floor, they measure more reliable shaking than mobile devices. 2) These sensors typically have lower noise and better resolution of 3D motion. 3) Desktops are often left on and do not move. 4) The USB sensor is physically removed from the game, phone, or laptop, so human interaction with the device doesn’t reduce the sensors’ performance. 5) USB sensors can be aligned to North, so we know what direction the horizontal “X” and “Y” axes correspond to.

    If you are a science teacher at a K-12 school, please apply for a free USB sensor and accompanying QCN software. QCN has been able to purchase sensors to donate to schools in need. If you are interested in donating to the program or requesting a sensor, click here.

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

    Earthquake safety is a responsibility shared by billions worldwide. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) provides software so that individuals can join together to improve earthquake monitoring, earthquake awareness, and the science of earthquakes. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) links existing networked laptops and desktops in hopes to form the worlds largest strong-motion seismic network.

    Below, the QCN Quake Catcher Network map
    QCN Quake Catcher Network map

    ShakeAlert: An Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast of the United States

    The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) along with a coalition of State and university partners is developing and testing an earthquake early warning (EEW) system called ShakeAlert for the west coast of the United States. Long term funding must be secured before the system can begin sending general public notifications, however, some limited pilot projects are active and more are being developed. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018.

    Watch a video describing how ShakeAlert works in English or Spanish.

    The primary project partners include:

    United States Geological Survey
    California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES)
    California Geological Survey
    California Institute of Technology
    University of California Berkeley
    University of Washington
    University of Oregon
    Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

    The Earthquake Threat

    Earthquakes pose a national challenge because more than 143 million Americans live in areas of significant seismic risk across 39 states. Most of our Nation’s earthquake risk is concentrated on the West Coast of the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has estimated the average annualized loss from earthquakes, nationwide, to be $5.3 billion, with 77 percent of that figure ($4.1 billion) coming from California, Washington, and Oregon, and 66 percent ($3.5 billion) from California alone. In the next 30 years, California has a 99.7 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake and the Pacific Northwest has a 10 percent chance of a magnitude 8 to 9 megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone.

    Part of the Solution

    Today, the technology exists to detect earthquakes, so quickly, that an alert can reach some areas before strong shaking arrives. The purpose of the ShakeAlert system is to identify and characterize an earthquake a few seconds after it begins, calculate the likely intensity of ground shaking that will result, and deliver warnings to people and infrastructure in harm’s way. This can be done by detecting the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, which rarely causes damage. Using P-wave information, we first estimate the location and the magnitude of the earthquake. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated and a warning is provided to local populations. The method can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, bringing the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage.

    Studies of earthquake early warning methods in California have shown that the warning time would range from a few seconds to a few tens of seconds. ShakeAlert can give enough time to slow trains and taxiing planes, to prevent cars from entering bridges and tunnels, to move away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments and to take cover under a desk, or to automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems. Taking such actions before shaking starts can reduce damage and casualties during an earthquake. It can also prevent cascading failures in the aftermath of an event. For example, isolating utilities before shaking starts can reduce the number of fire initiations.

    System Goal

    The USGS will issue public warnings of potentially damaging earthquakes and provide warning parameter data to government agencies and private users on a region-by-region basis, as soon as the ShakeAlert system, its products, and its parametric data meet minimum quality and reliability standards in those geographic regions. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018. Product availability will expand geographically via ANSS regional seismic networks, such that ShakeAlert products and warnings become available for all regions with dense seismic instrumentation.

    Current Status

    The West Coast ShakeAlert system is being developed by expanding and upgrading the infrastructure of regional seismic networks that are part of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS); the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) is made up of the Southern California Seismic Network, SCSN) and the Northern California Seismic System, NCSS and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). This enables the USGS and ANSS to leverage their substantial investment in sensor networks, data telemetry systems, data processing centers, and software for earthquake monitoring activities residing in these network centers. The ShakeAlert system has been sending live alerts to “beta” users in California since January of 2012 and in the Pacific Northwest since February of 2015.

    In February of 2016 the USGS, along with its partners, rolled-out the next-generation ShakeAlert early warning test system in California joined by Oregon and Washington in April 2017. This West Coast-wide “production prototype” has been designed for redundant, reliable operations. The system includes geographically distributed servers, and allows for automatic fail-over if connection is lost.

    This next-generation system will not yet support public warnings but does allow selected early adopters to develop and deploy pilot implementations that take protective actions triggered by the ShakeAlert notifications in areas with sufficient sensor coverage.

    Authorities

    The USGS will develop and operate the ShakeAlert system, and issue public notifications under collaborative authorities with FEMA, as part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, as enacted by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7704 SEC. 2.

    For More Information

    Robert de Groot, ShakeAlert National Coordinator for Communication, Education, and Outreach
    rdegroot@usgs.gov
    626-583-7225

    Learn more about EEW Research

    ShakeAlert Fact Sheet

    ShakeAlert Implementation Plan

    QuakeAlertUSA

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    About Early Warning Labs, LLC

    Early Warning Labs, LLC (EWL) is an Earthquake Early Warning technology developer and integrator located in Santa Monica, CA. EWL is partnered with industry leading GIS provider ESRI, Inc. and is collaborating with the US Government and university partners.

    EWL is investing millions of dollars over the next 36 months to complete the final integration and delivery of Earthquake Early Warning to individual consumers, government entities, and commercial users.

    EWL’s mission is to improve, expand, and lower the costs of the existing earthquake early warning systems.

    EWL is developing a robust cloud server environment to handle low-cost mass distribution of these warnings. In addition, Early Warning Labs is researching and developing automated response standards and systems that allow public and private users to take pre-defined automated actions to protect lives and assets.

    EWL has an existing beta R&D test system installed at one of the largest studios in Southern California. The goal of this system is to stress test EWL’s hardware, software, and alert signals while improving latency and reliability.

    Earthquake Early Warning Introduction

    The United States Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with state agencies, university partners, and private industry, is developing an earthquake early warning system (EEW) for the West Coast of the United States called ShakeAlert. The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program aims to mitigate earthquake losses in the United States. Citizens, first responders, and engineers rely on the USGS for accurate and timely information about where earthquakes occur, the ground shaking intensity in different locations, and the likelihood is of future significant ground shaking.

    The ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System recently entered its first phase of operations. The USGS working in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is now allowing for the testing of public alerting via apps, Wireless Emergency Alerts, and by other means throughout California.

    ShakeAlert partners in Oregon and Washington are working with the USGS to test public alerting in those states sometime in 2020.

    ShakeAlert has demonstrated the feasibility of earthquake early warning, from event detection to producing USGS issued ShakeAlerts ® and will continue to undergo testing and will improve over time. In particular, robust and reliable alert delivery pathways for automated actions are currently being developed and implemented by private industry partners for use in California, Oregon, and Washington.

    Earthquake Early Warning Background

    The objective of an earthquake early warning system is to rapidly detect the initiation of an earthquake, estimate the level of ground shaking intensity to be expected, and issue a warning before significant ground shaking starts. A network of seismic sensors detects the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, and the location and the magnitude of the earthquake is rapidly determined. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated. The system can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, which brings the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage. Warnings will be distributed to local and state public emergency response officials, critical infrastructure, private businesses, and the public. EEW systems have been successfully implemented in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and other nations with varying degrees of sophistication and coverage.

    Earthquake early warning can provide enough time to:

    Instruct students and employees to take a protective action such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On
    Initiate mass notification procedures
    Open fire-house doors and notify local first responders
    Slow and stop trains and taxiing planes
    Install measures to prevent/limit additional cars from going on bridges, entering tunnels, and being on freeway overpasses before the shaking starts
    Move people away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments
    Shut down gas lines, water treatment plants, or nuclear reactors
    Automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems

    However, earthquake warning notifications must be transmitted without requiring human review and response action must be automated, as the total warning times are short depending on geographic distance and varying soil densities from the epicenter.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus
    The University of Washington (US) is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.

    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

    The University of Washington (US) is a public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Founded in 1861, University of Washington is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast; it was established in downtown Seattle approximately a decade after the city’s founding to aid its economic development. Today, the university’s 703-acre main Seattle campus is in the University District above the Montlake Cut, within the urban Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest. The university has additional campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Overall, University of Washington encompasses over 500 buildings and over 20 million gross square footage of space, including one of the largest library systems in the world with more than 26 university libraries, as well as the UW Tower, lecture halls, art centers, museums, laboratories, stadiums, and conference centers. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through 140 departments in various colleges and schools, sees a total student enrollment of roughly 46,000 annually, and functions on a quarter system.

    University of Washington is a member of the Association of American Universities(US) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation(US), UW spent $1.41 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking it 5th in the nation. As the flagship institution of the six public universities in Washington state, it is known for its medical, engineering and scientific research as well as its highly competitive computer science and engineering programs. Additionally, University of Washington continues to benefit from its deep historic ties and major collaborations with numerous technology giants in the region, such as Amazon, Boeing, Nintendo, and particularly Microsoft. Paul G. Allen, Bill Gates and others spent significant time at Washington computer labs for a startup venture before founding Microsoft and other ventures. The University of Washington’s 22 varsity sports teams are also highly competitive, competing as the Huskies in the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA Division I, representing the United States at the Olympic Games, and other major competitions.

    The university has been affiliated with many notable alumni and faculty, including 21 Nobel Prize laureates and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Scholars and Marshall Scholars.

    In 1854, territorial governor Isaac Stevens recommended the establishment of a university in the Washington Territory. Prominent Seattle-area residents, including Methodist preacher Daniel Bagley, saw this as a chance to add to the city’s potential and prestige. Bagley learned of a law that allowed United States territories to sell land to raise money in support of public schools. At the time, Arthur A. Denny, one of the founders of Seattle and a member of the territorial legislature, aimed to increase the city’s importance by moving the territory’s capital from Olympia to Seattle. However, Bagley eventually convinced Denny that the establishment of a university would assist more in the development of Seattle’s economy. Two universities were initially chartered, but later the decision was repealed in favor of a single university in Lewis County provided that locally donated land was available. When no site emerged, Denny successfully petitioned the legislature to reconsider Seattle as a location in 1858.

    In 1861, scouting began for an appropriate 10 acres (4 ha) site in Seattle to serve as a new university campus. Arthur and Mary Denny donated eight acres, while fellow pioneers Edward Lander, and Charlie and Mary Terry, donated two acres on Denny’s Knoll in downtown Seattle. More specifically, this tract was bounded by 4th Avenue to the west, 6th Avenue to the east, Union Street to the north, and Seneca Streets to the south.

    John Pike, for whom Pike Street is named, was the university’s architect and builder. It was opened on November 4, 1861, as the Territorial University of Washington. The legislature passed articles incorporating the University, and establishing its Board of Regents in 1862. The school initially struggled, closing three times: in 1863 for low enrollment, and again in 1867 and 1876 due to funds shortage. University of Washington awarded its first graduate Clara Antoinette McCarty Wilt in 1876, with a bachelor’s degree in science.

    19th century relocation

    By the time Washington state entered the Union in 1889, both Seattle and the University had grown substantially. University of Washington’s total undergraduate enrollment increased from 30 to nearly 300 students, and the campus’s relative isolation in downtown Seattle faced encroaching development. A special legislative committee, headed by University of Washington graduate Edmond Meany, was created to find a new campus to better serve the growing student population and faculty. The committee eventually selected a site on the northeast of downtown Seattle called Union Bay, which was the land of the Duwamish, and the legislature appropriated funds for its purchase and construction. In 1895, the University relocated to the new campus by moving into the newly built Denny Hall. The University Regents tried and failed to sell the old campus, eventually settling with leasing the area. This would later become one of the University’s most valuable pieces of real estate in modern-day Seattle, generating millions in annual revenue with what is now called the Metropolitan Tract. The original Territorial University building was torn down in 1908, and its former site now houses the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

    The sole-surviving remnants of Washington’s first building are four 24-foot (7.3 m), white, hand-fluted cedar, Ionic columns. They were salvaged by Edmond S. Meany, one of the University’s first graduates and former head of its history department. Meany and his colleague, Dean Herbert T. Condon, dubbed the columns as “Loyalty,” “Industry,” “Faith”, and “Efficiency”, or “LIFE.” The columns now stand in the Sylvan Grove Theater.

    20th century expansion

    Organizers of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition eyed the still largely undeveloped campus as a prime setting for their world’s fair. They came to an agreement with Washington’s Board of Regents that allowed them to use the campus grounds for the exposition, surrounding today’s Drumheller Fountain facing towards Mount Rainier. In exchange, organizers agreed Washington would take over the campus and its development after the fair’s conclusion. This arrangement led to a detailed site plan and several new buildings, prepared in part by John Charles Olmsted. The plan was later incorporated into the overall University of Washington campus master plan, permanently affecting the campus layout.

    Both World Wars brought the military to campus, with certain facilities temporarily lent to the federal government. In spite of this, subsequent post-war periods were times of dramatic growth for the University. The period between the wars saw a significant expansion of the upper campus. Construction of the Liberal Arts Quadrangle, known to students as “The Quad,” began in 1916 and continued to 1939. The University’s architectural centerpiece, Suzzallo Library, was built in 1926 and expanded in 1935.

    After World War II, further growth came with the G.I. Bill. Among the most important developments of this period was the opening of the School of Medicine in 1946, which is now consistently ranked as the top medical school in the United States. It would eventually lead to the University of Washington Medical Center, ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top ten hospitals in the nation.

    In 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry in the Seattle area were forced into inland internment camps as part of Executive Order 9066 following the attack on Pearl Harbor. During this difficult time, university president Lee Paul Sieg took an active and sympathetic leadership role in advocating for and facilitating the transfer of Japanese American students to universities and colleges away from the Pacific Coast to help them avoid the mass incarceration. Nevertheless many Japanese American students and “soon-to-be” graduates were unable to transfer successfully in the short time window or receive diplomas before being incarcerated. It was only many years later that they would be recognized for their accomplishments during the University of Washington’s Long Journey Home ceremonial event that was held in May 2008.

    From 1958 to 1973, the University of Washington saw a tremendous growth in student enrollment, its faculties and operating budget, and also its prestige under the leadership of Charles Odegaard. University of Washington student enrollment had more than doubled to 34,000 as the baby boom generation came of age. However, this era was also marked by high levels of student activism, as was the case at many American universities. Much of the unrest focused around civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War. In response to anti-Vietnam War protests by the late 1960s, the University Safety and Security Division became the University of Washington Police Department.

    Odegaard instituted a vision of building a “community of scholars”, convincing the Washington State legislatures to increase investment in the University. Washington senators, such as Henry M. Jackson and Warren G. Magnuson, also used their political clout to gather research funds for the University of Washington. The results included an increase in the operating budget from $37 million in 1958 to over $400 million in 1973, solidifying University of Washington as a top recipient of federal research funds in the United States. The establishment of technology giants such as Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon in the local area also proved to be highly influential in the University of Washington’s fortunes, not only improving graduate prospects but also helping to attract millions of dollars in university and research funding through its distinguished faculty and extensive alumni network.

    21st century

    In 1990, the University of Washington opened its additional campuses in Bothell and Tacoma. Although originally intended for students who have already completed two years of higher education, both schools have since become four-year universities with the authority to grant degrees. The first freshman classes at these campuses started in fall 2006. Today both Bothell and Tacoma also offer a selection of master’s degree programs.

    In 2012, the University began exploring plans and governmental approval to expand the main Seattle campus, including significant increases in student housing, teaching facilities for the growing student body and faculty, as well as expanded public transit options. The University of Washington light rail station was completed in March 2015, connecting Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to the University of Washington Husky Stadium within five minutes of rail travel time. It offers a previously unavailable option of transportation into and out of the campus, designed specifically to reduce dependence on private vehicles, bicycles and local King County buses.

    University of Washington has been listed as a “Public Ivy” in Greene’s Guides since 2001, and is an elected member of the American Association of Universities. Among the faculty by 2012, there have been 151 members of American Association for the Advancement of Science, 68 members of the National Academy of Sciences(US), 67 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 53 members of the National Academy of Medicine(US), 29 winners of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 21 members of the National Academy of Engineering(US), 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, 15 MacArthur Fellows, 9 winners of the Gairdner Foundation International Award, 5 winners of the National Medal of Science, 7 Nobel Prize laureates, 5 winners of Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, 4 members of the American Philosophical Society, 2 winners of the National Book Award, 2 winners of the National Medal of Arts, 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, 1 winner of the Fields Medal, and 1 member of the National Academy of Public Administration. Among UW students by 2012, there were 136 Fulbright Scholars, 35 Rhodes Scholars, 7 Marshall Scholars and 4 Gates Cambridge Scholars. UW is recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, ranking 2nd in the US in 2017.

    The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has consistently ranked University of Washington as one of the top 20 universities worldwide every year since its first release. In 2019, University of Washington ranked 14th worldwide out of 500 by the ARWU, 26th worldwide out of 981 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 28th worldwide out of 101 in the Times World Reputation Rankings. Meanwhile, QS World University Rankings ranked it 68th worldwide, out of over 900.

    U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Washington 8th out of nearly 1,500 universities worldwide for 2021, with University of Washington’s undergraduate program tied for 58th among 389 national universities in the U.S. and tied for 19th among 209 public universities.

    In 2019, it ranked 10th among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings. In 2017, the Leiden Ranking, which focuses on science and the impact of scientific publications among the world’s 500 major universities, ranked University of Washington 12th globally and 5th in the U.S.

    In 2019, Kiplinger Magazine’s review of “top college values” named University of Washington 5th for in-state students and 10th for out-of-state students among U.S. public colleges, and 84th overall out of 500 schools. In the Washington Monthly National University Rankings University of Washington was ranked 15th domestically in 2018, based on its contribution to the public good as measured by social mobility, research, and promoting public service.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:06 pm on May 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "What on earth? Fragments of ancient ocean floor- Earth's inner mantle identified in Baltimore-area rocks", , Geology, ,   

    From Johns Hopkins University via phys.org : “What on earth? Fragments of ancient ocean floor- Earth’s inner mantle identified in Baltimore-area rocks” 

    From Johns Hopkins University

    via


    phys.org

    May 3, 2021
    Jean Marbella

    1
    Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

    Separately and to the untrained eye, they are not particularly distinguished rocks—the backdrop to several holes at the Forest Park Golf Course, part of an excavation to improve the water system at Lake Ashburton, or left behind in abandoned quarries and mines around the area.

    But new research has concluded they are part of a geological upheaval hundreds of millions of years ago, when the collision of the Earth’s tectonic plates thrust fragments of the floor and rocks of a now-vanished ocean up through the surface, where they remain to this day.

    It is not every day that the Baltimore area, not normally as geologically wondrous as a Grand Canyon or a Norwegian fjord, figures into such a finding.

    “We can’t see a huge amount of the geology because there’s a big ol’ city built on top of it,” said George Guice, the lead researcher and a geologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington. “These windows into the Earth’s crust are relatively rare.”

    Guice and a team that includes Johns Hopkins University geologists published their research in February in Geosphere, a journal of the Geological Society of America, and it drew a wider audience last week when National Geographic posted an article online about it.

    Geologists have long theorized that outcroppings in the area contain ophiolite fragments—parts of oceanic crust and the underlying layer of rocks known as the mantle that have been propelled onto land. But the researchers say this is the first time chemical analysis has provided evidence for that in this area.

    Beneath the science of all this is a mind-boggling geological story. It’s one in which continental masses collide into one another and break apart and oceans form and disappear, a world in continual, if exceedingly slow, flux and in which at one point, the Appalachians of the eastern United States were part of the same range as mountains in Scotland and Morocco.

    Guice’s research stems from his move two years ago to Washington, where he is a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian’s natural history museum. A native of the Birmingham, England, area—”Peaky Blinders” territory, as he describes it, referring to the period British crime drama on Netflix—he scoped out the local rock situation, what was known about it, who had or was researching it.

    That and professional connections led him to take the train to Baltimore on “a swelteringly hot day” in August 2019 to meet geologists from Hopkins. At Penn Station, he realized he didn’t know who to look for, but then saw “a minibus full of various geologist-looking people.” (Apparently one giveaway: clothing with lots of pockets for pens and tools and such.)

    “We scooped him up and went straight to the field,” said Daniel Viete, an assistant professor in Hopkins’ earth and planetary sciences department.

    On “a whirlwind tour” of Baltimore rock formations, followed, of course, by an Orioles game at Camden Yards, the seeds of a research project started to take root.

    The group went on to take samples of rocks that are part of the Baltimore Mafic Complex, a band of intermittent outcroppings that extends from the metropolitan area northeast to the Pennsylvania line and was involved in the formation of the Appalachian Mountains. The samples came from five sites, including the Hollofield Quarry in the Patapsco Valley State Park and Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area in Owings Mills, and were then analyzed for chemical signs that would indicate their origins.

    The research brought the deep, deep past into present-day life in these areas, such as at Lake Ashburton, where an ongoing project to build underground water tanks provided a pile of rocks for the geologists to rummage through, to the Forest Park golf course, where the rocks are such a part of the landscape that they are included in its logo.

    “Neat,” responded Ed Miller, the course’s golf pro, when he learned of the findings. The outcroppings draw even nongolfers to the municipal course—they like to picnic on them—and are akin to a sand trap or water hazard for those who do play, he said.

    “Not infrequently,” Miller said, “they’ll get the crooked shots.”

    At Soldiers Delight, the new study aligns with what “we’ve basically understood” about its unusual rock formations, said Laura Van Scoyoc, who heads the area’s group of volunteers, “that they were originally oceanic crust that got smushed up onto the land.”

    She and others say that while they welcome the new scholarship, they fear it may draw amateurs who decide to chisel out a souvenir piece of the Earth’s mantle.

    That’s neither cool nor legal at state-controlled areas like Soldiers Delight, where visitors should stay on trails to avoid trampling rare species, or the Patapsco park.

    “Public lands are completely off limits to help protect our shared natural resources,” the state Department of Natural Resources says on a webpage for amateur mineral hunters.

    For Hopkins’ Viete, the research took him full circle. When he moved to Baltimore five years ago, he quickly noticed similarities in some of the building materials to Scotland, where he previously had done research.

    “They have the same rocks,” he said.

    The ocean that produced the Baltimore ophiolite fragments is the long-gone Iapetus, named for the mythical father of Atlas. Around 460 million years ago, the Iapetus began closing as various continental masses converged and collided, and masses of rocks piled up to eventually form the Appalachians.

    The Baltimore area is part of a belt running from Alabama north to Newfoundland that was part of this formation.

    Less is known about the central and southern portion than the northern end, geologists say. That’s in part because in a place like Newfoundland, the rocks are much more exposed.

    Another contributing factor may simply be that it is a big world, billions of years in the making.

    “There’s a long list of outstanding questions in geology, more than the number of geologists,” said William Junkin, a geologist with Maryland Geological Survey.

    Junkin said state geologists have long cataloged and studied these rocks, and in the past developed good evidence working with available data at the time supporting theories of their origins. And indeed, the new research cites work from the 1970s of a state geologist, the late William Patrick Crowley.

    “We’re just thrilled to get new evidence that supports our past work,” Junkin said.

    Viete said he has secured funding for related research on the subject, in Baltimore and beyond, that he hopes will have the added benefit of expanding the view of his field—that it’s not just something found in the exotic, remote outposts of the planet where the geology is on glamorous display.

    “The cool thing about Baltimore is it’s very different from the others,” Viete said. “People don’t associate geology with an urban area. But the rocks here in Baltimore are just as cool.”

    See the full article here .

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    Johns Hopkins Unversity campus.

    The Johns Hopkins University opened in 1876, with the inauguration of its first president, Daniel Coit Gilman. “What are we aiming at?” Gilman asked in his installation address. “The encouragement of research … and the advancement of individual scholars, who by their excellence will advance the sciences they pursue, and the society where they dwell.”

    The mission laid out by Gilman remains the university’s mission today, summed up in a simple but powerful restatement of Gilman’s own words: “Knowledge for the world.”

    What Gilman created was a research university, dedicated to advancing both students’ knowledge and the state of human knowledge through research and scholarship. Gilman believed that teaching and research are interdependent, that success in one depends on success in the other. A modern university, he believed, must do both well. The realization of Gilman’s philosophy at Johns Hopkins, and at other institutions that later attracted Johns Hopkins-trained scholars, revolutionized higher education in America, leading to the research university system as it exists today.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:53 pm on May 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Chemolithoautotrophs" are microbes that use chemical energy to build their bodies., "Plate Tectonics Fuels a Vast Underground Ecosystem", An interdisciplinary and international team of scientists has shown that a vast microbial ecosystem primarily eats the carbon; sulfur; and iron chemicals produced during the subduction., , , Geology, This is the main process by which chemical elements are moved between Earth’s surface and interior and eventually recycled back to the surface., This opens the possibility for discovering previously unknown types of biological interactions occurring with deep plate tectonic processes., When oceanic and continental plates collide one plate is pushed down or subducted into the mantle and the other plate is pushed up and studded with volcanoes.,   

    From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution : “Plate Tectonics Fuels a Vast Underground Ecosystem” 

    From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    April 27, 2021

    1
    Scientists, including WHOI’s Peter Barry (front left) set up gas sampling apparatus. Credit: Tom Owens.

    Violent continental collisions and volcanic eruptions are not things normally associated with comfortable conditions for life. However, a new study [Nature Geoscience], coauthored by Peter Barry, assistant scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, along with University of Tennessee (US), Knoxville, Associate Professor of Microbiology Karen Lloyd, unveils a large microbial ecosystem living deep within the earth that is fueled by chemicals produced during these tectonic cataclysms.

    When oceanic and continental plates collide one plate is pushed down or subducted into the mantle and the other plate is pushed up and studded with volcanoes.

    This is the main process by which chemical elements are moved between Earth’s surface and interior and eventually recycled back to the surface.

    “Subduction zones are fascinating environments—they produce volcanic mountains and serve as portals for carbon moving between the interior and exterior of Earth,” said Maarten de Moor, associate professor at the National University of Costa Rica [Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica] (CR) and another coauthor of the study.

    Normally this process is thought to occur outside the reach of life because of the extremely high pressures and temperatures involved. Although life almost certainly does not exist at the extreme conditions where Earth’s mantle mixes with the crust to form lava, in recent decades scientists have learned that microbes extend far deeper into Earth’s crust than previously thought.

    This opens the possibility for discovering previously unknown types of biological interactions occurring with deep plate tectonic processes.

    An interdisciplinary and international team of scientists has shown that a vast microbial ecosystem primarily eats the carbon; sulfur; and iron chemicals produced during the subduction of the oceanic plate beneath Costa Rica. The team obtained these results by sampling the deep subsurface microbial communities that are brought to the surface in natural hot springs, in work funded by the Deep Carbon Observatory and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    The team found that this microbial ecosystem sequesters a large amount of carbon produced during subduction that would otherwise escape to the atmosphere. The process results in an estimated decrease of up to 22 percent in the amount of carbon being transported to the mantle.

    “This work shows that carbon may be siphoned off to feed a large ecosystem that exists largely without input from the sun’s energy. This means that biology might affect carbon fluxes in and out of the earth’s mantle, which forces scientists to change how they think about the deep carbon cycle over geologic time scales,” said WHOI’s Barry.

    The team found that these microbes—called chemolithoautotrophs—sequester so much carbon because of their unique diet, which allows them to make energy without sunlight.

    Chemolithoautotrophs are microbes that use chemical energy to build their bodies. So, they’re like trees, but instead of using sunlight they use chemicals,” said Lloyd, a co-corresponding author of the study. “These microbes use chemicals from the subduction zone to form the base of an ecosystem that is large and filled with diverse primary and secondary producers. It’s like a vast forest, but underground.”

    This new study suggests that the known qualitative relationship between geology and biology may have significant quantitative implications for our understanding of how carbon has changed through deep time. “We already know of many ways in which biology has influenced the habitability of our planet, leading to the rise in atmospheric oxygen, for example,” said Donato Giovannelli, a professor at the University of Naples Federico II [Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II] (IT) and co-corresponding author of the study. “Now our ongoing work is revealing another exciting way in which life and our planet coevolved.”

    See the full article here .

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    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

    Vision & Mission

    The ocean is a defining feature of our planet and crucial to life on Earth, yet it remains one of the planet’s last unexplored frontiers. For this reason, WHOI scientists and engineers are committed to understanding all facets of the ocean as well as its complex connections with Earth’s atmosphere, land, ice, seafloor, and life—including humanity. This is essential not only to advance knowledge about our planet, but also to ensure society’s long-term welfare and to help guide human stewardship of the environment. WHOI researchers are also dedicated to training future generations of ocean science leaders, to providing unbiased information that informs public policy and decision-making, and to expanding public awareness about the importance of the global ocean and its resources.

    Mission Statement

    The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to advancing knowledge of the ocean and its connection with the Earth system through a sustained commitment to excellence in science, engineering, and education, and to the application of this knowledge to problems facing society.

    The Institution is organized into six departments, the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Ocean Research, and a marine policy center. Its shore-based facilities are located in the village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts(US) and a mile and a half away on the Quissett Campus. The bulk of the Institution’s funding comes from grants and contracts from the National Science Foundation(US) and other government agencies, augmented by foundations and private donations.

    WHOI scientists, engineers, and students collaborate to develop theories, test ideas, build seagoing instruments, and collect data in diverse marine environments. Ships operated by WHOI carry research scientists throughout the world’s oceans. The WHOI fleet includes two large research vessels (R/V Atlantis and R/V Neil Armstrong); the coastal craft Tioga; small research craft such as the dive-operation work boat Echo; the deep-diving human-occupied submersible Alvin; the tethered, remotely operated vehicle Jason/Medea; and autonomous underwater vehicles such as the REMUS and SeaBED.

    WHOI offers graduate and post-doctoral studies in marine science. There are several fellowship and training programs, and graduate degrees are awarded through a joint program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US). WHOI is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. WHOI also offers public outreach programs and informal education through its Exhibit Center and summer tours. The Institution has a volunteer program and a membership program, WHOI Associate.

    On October 1, 2020, Peter B. de Menocal became the institution’s eleventh president and director.

    History

    In 1927, a National Academy of Sciences(US) committee concluded that it was time to “consider the share of the United States of America in a worldwide program of oceanographic research.” The committee’s recommendation for establishing a permanent independent research laboratory on the East Coast to “prosecute oceanography in all its branches” led to the founding in 1930 of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution(US).

    A $2.5 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation supported the summer work of a dozen scientists, construction of a laboratory building and commissioning of a research vessel, the 142-foot (43 m) ketch R/V Atlantis, whose profile still forms the Institution’s logo.

    WHOI grew substantially to support significant defense-related research during World War II, and later began a steady growth in staff, research fleet, and scientific stature. From 1950 to 1956, the director was Dr. Edward “Iceberg” Smith, an Arctic explorer, oceanographer and retired Coast Guard rear admiral.

    In 1977 the institution appointed the influential oceanographer John Steele as director, and he served until his retirement in 1989.

    On 1 September 1985, a joint French-American expedition led by Jean-Louis Michel of IFREMER and Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution identified the location of the wreck of the RMS Titanic which sank off the coast of Newfoundland 15 April 1912.

    On 3 April 2011, within a week of resuming of the search operation for Air France Flight 447, a team led by WHOI, operating full ocean depth autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) owned by the Waitt Institute discovered, by means of sidescan sonar, a large portion of debris field from flight AF447.

    In March 2017 the institution effected an open-access policy to make its research publicly accessible online.

    The Institution has maintained a long and controversial business collaboration with the treasure hunter company Odyssey Marine. Likewise, WHOI has participated in the location of the San José galleon in Colombia for the commercial exploitation of the shipwreck by the Government of President Santos and a private company.

    In 2019, iDefense reported that China’s hackers had launched cyberattacks on dozens of academic institutions in an attempt to gain information on technology being developed for the United States Navy. Some of the targets included the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The attacks have been underway since at least April 2017.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:29 pm on May 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Meteorites Reveal Magnetic Record of Protoplanet Churn", , , , , Geology,   

    From DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (US) : “Meteorites Reveal Magnetic Record of Protoplanet Churn” 

    From DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (US)

    April 29, 2021
    Lori Tamura
    media@lbl.gov
    510-486-5183

    The signatures of ancient magnetic fields in meteorites support an extended time frame for the cooling of molten protoplanetary cores.

    1
    The meteorite studied in this work, named Miles, weighed 265 kg when it was discovered on a farm in Queensland, Australia, in 1992. This photo shows a 20-centimeter slice of the Miles meteorite loaned by the Harvard Museum of Natural History collection. (Credit: Clara Maurel/Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US))

    If you stumble upon an unusual rock that could be a meteorite, do not place a magnet on it to see if it’s magnetic – you’d end up erasing 4.5 billion years of magnetic history. Meteorites are remnants of our solar system’s first protoplanets and, in some cases, retain a record of the magnetic fields they’ve experienced in the distant past.

    “As planetary scientists, we’re interested in understanding how protoplanets formed and evolved prior to the formation of the planets we know today,” said Clara Maurel, a Ph.D. student at MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. “There are many different areas of research that tackle these questions, and our angle of approach is to use magnetism.”

    In a recent paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Maurel and colleagues from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), University of Oxford (UK), Arizona State University(US), NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (US), and DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (US) detected the signatures of ancient magnetic fields imprinted in a meteorite’s ferromagnetic grains at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS).

    The results revealed a bias in the magnetization directions found in different regions of the sample, indicating that the meteorite was exposed to a substantial, stable magnetic field that magnetized its ferromagnetic grains upon cooling. The team interpreted this as evidence for a dynamo-generated magnetic field powered by the parent body’s churning, molten-metal core. A similar mechanism powers the Earth’s magnetic field today.

    Combined with earlier measurements of two other meteorites from the same parent and radioisotopic dating of the samples, the results support an extended time frame for the cooling of molten protoplanetary cores. Despite its small size compared to planets, this protoplanet did not cool quickly, but instead sustained a molten metallic core for tens of millions of years after the birth of the solar system.

    “For people who are interested in modeling the evolution of protoplanets, experimental constraints like this are essential,” said Maurel. “These data points represent an important first step toward a better understanding of the chronological activity of protoplanets, from their formation to the time they completely solidify and become inactive.”

    See the full article here .

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    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World

    In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) (US) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California(UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a University of California, Berkeley(US) physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    History

    1931–1941

    The laboratory was founded on August 26, 1931, by Ernest Lawrence, as the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley, associated with the Physics Department. It centered physics research around his new instrument, the cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    Throughout the 1930s, Lawrence pushed to create larger and larger machines for physics research, courting private philanthropists for funding. He was the first to develop a large team to build big projects to make discoveries in basic research. Eventually these machines grew too large to be held on the university grounds, and in 1940 the lab moved to its current site atop the hill above campus. Part of the team put together during this period includes two other young scientists who went on to establish large laboratories; J. Robert Oppenheimer founded DOE’s Los Alamos Laboratory(US), and Robert Wilson founded Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US).

    1942–1950

    Leslie Groves visited Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory in late 1942 as he was organizing the Manhattan Project, meeting J. Robert Oppenheimer for the first time. Oppenheimer was tasked with organizing the nuclear bomb development effort and founded today’s Los Alamos National Laboratory to help keep the work secret. At the RadLab, Lawrence and his colleagues developed the technique of electromagnetic enrichment of uranium using their experience with cyclotrons. The “calutrons” (named after the University) became the basic unit of the massive Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lawrence’s lab helped contribute to what have been judged to be the three most valuable technology developments of the war (the atomic bomb, proximity fuse, and radar). The cyclotron, whose construction was stalled during the war, was finished in November 1946. The Manhattan Project shut down two months later.

    1951–2018

    After the war, the Radiation Laboratory became one of the first laboratories to be incorporated into the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) (now Department of Energy(US). The most highly classified work remained at Los Alamos, but the RadLab remained involved. Edward Teller suggested setting up a second lab similar to Los Alamos to compete with their designs. This led to the creation of an offshoot of the RadLab (now the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory(US)) in 1952. Some of the RadLab’s work was transferred to the new lab, but some classified research continued at Berkeley Lab until the 1970s, when it became a laboratory dedicated only to unclassified scientific research.

    Shortly after the death of Lawrence in August 1958, the UC Radiation Laboratory (both branches) was renamed the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The Berkeley location became the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1971, although many continued to call it the RadLab. Gradually, another shortened form came into common usage, LBNL. Its formal name was amended to Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1995, when “National” was added to the names of all DOE labs. “Ernest Orlando” was later dropped to shorten the name. Today, the lab is commonly referred to as “Berkeley Lab”.

    The Alvarez Physics Memos are a set of informal working papers of the large group of physicists, engineers, computer programmers, and technicians led by Luis W. Alvarez from the early 1950s until his death in 1988. Over 1700 memos are available on-line, hosted by the Laboratory.

    The lab remains owned by the Department of Energy(US), with management from the University of California(US). Companies such as Intel were funding the lab’s research into computing chips.

    Science mission

    From the 1950s through the present, Berkeley Lab has maintained its status as a major international center for physics research, and has also diversified its research program into almost every realm of scientific investigation. Its mission is to solve the most pressing and profound scientific problems facing humanity, conduct basic research for a secure energy future, understand living systems to improve the environment, health, and energy supply, understand matter and energy in the universe, build and safely operate leading scientific facilities for the nation, and train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

    The Laboratory’s 20 scientific divisions are organized within six areas of research: Computing Sciences; Physical Sciences; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Biosciences; Energy Sciences; and Energy Technologies. Berkeley Lab has six main science thrusts: advancing integrated fundamental energy science; integrative biological and environmental system science; advanced computing for science impact; discovering the fundamental properties of matter and energy; accelerators for the future; and developing energy technology innovations for a sustainable future. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab tradition that continues today.

    Berkeley Lab operates five major National User Facilities for the DOE Office of Science(US):

    The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a synchrotron light source with 41 beam lines providing ultraviolet, soft x-ray, and hard x-ray light to scientific experiments.

    LBNL/ALS

    LBNL/ALS .

    The ALS is one of the world’s brightest sources of soft x-rays, which are used to characterize the electronic structure of matter and to reveal microscopic structures with elemental and chemical specificity. About 2,500 scientist-users carry out research at ALS every year. Berkeley Lab is proposing an upgrade of ALS which would increase the coherent flux of soft x-rays by two-three orders of magnitude.

    The Joint Genome Institute (JGI) supports genomic research in support of the DOE missions in alternative energy, global carbon cycling, and environmental management. The JGI’s partner laboratories are Berkeley Lab, Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory(US)(ORNL), DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory(US) (PNNL), and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology(US). The JGI’s central role is the development of a diversity of large-scale experimental and computational capabilities to link sequence to biological insights relevant to energy and environmental research. Approximately 1,200 scientist-users take advantage of JGI’s capabilities for their research every year.

    The LBNL Molecular Foundry(US) [above] is a multidisciplinary nanoscience research facility. Its seven research facilities focus on Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures; Nanofabrication; Theory of Nanostructured Materials; Inorganic Nanostructures; Biological Nanostructures; Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis; and Electron Microscopy. Approximately 700 scientist-users make use of these facilities in their research every year.

    The DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center(US) is the scientific computing facility that provides large-scale computing for the DOE’s unclassified research programs. Its current systems provide over 3 billion computational hours annually. NERSC supports 6,000 scientific users from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

    National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    NERSC Cray Cori II supercomputer, named after Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science.

    NERSC Hopper Cray XE6 supercomputer, named after Grace Hopper, One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer.

    NERSC Cray XC30 Edison supercomputer.

    NERSC GPFS for Life Sciences.


    The Genepool system is a cluster dedicated to the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s computing needs. Denovo is a smaller test system for Genepool that is primarily used by NERSC staff to test new system configurations and software.

    NERSC PDSF computer cluster in 2003.

    PDSF is a networked distributed computing cluster designed primarily to meet the detector simulation and data analysis requirements of physics, astrophysics and nuclear science collaborations.

    Future:

    Cray Shasta Perlmutter SC18 AMD Epyc Nvidia pre-exascale supeercomputer

    NERSC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    The DOE’s Energy Science Network(US) is a high-speed network infrastructure optimized for very large scientific data flows. ESNet provides connectivity for all major DOE sites and facilities, and the network transports roughly 35 petabytes of traffic each month.

    Berkeley Lab is the lead partner in the DOE’s Joint Bioenergy Institute(US) (JBEI), located in Emeryville, California. Other partners are the DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory(US), the University of California (UC) campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science(US), and DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory(US) (LLNL). JBEI’s primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels – liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass. JBEI is one of three new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs).

    Berkeley Lab has a major role in two DOE Energy Innovation Hubs. The mission of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is to find a cost-effective method to produce fuels using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. The lead institution for JCAP is the California Institute of Technology(US) and Berkeley Lab is the second institutional center. The mission of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) is to create next-generation battery technologies that will transform transportation and the electricity grid. DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory(US) leads JCESR and Berkeley Lab is a major partner.

    Operations and governance

    The University of California(US) operates Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory under a contract with the US Department of Energy. The site consists of 76 buildings (owned by the U.S. Department of Energy) located on 200 acres (0.81 km^2) owned by the university in the Berkeley Hills. Altogether, the Lab has some 4,000 UC employees, of whom about 800 are students or postdocs, and each year it hosts more than 3,000 participating guest scientists. There are approximately two dozen DOE employees stationed at the laboratory to provide federal oversight of Berkeley Lab’s work for the DOE. Although Berkeley Lab is governed by UC independently of the Berkeley campus, the two entities are closely interconnected: more than 200 Berkeley Lab researchers hold joint appointments as UC Berkeley faculty.
    The Lab’s budget for the fiscal year 2019 was US$1.1 billion dollars.

    Scientific achievements, inventions, and discoveries

    Notable scientific accomplishments at the Lab since World War II include the observation of the antiproton, the discovery of several transuranic elements, and the discovery of the accelerating universe.

    Since its inception, 13 researchers associated with Berkeley Lab (Ernest Lawrence, Glenn T. Seaborg, Edwin M. McMillan, Owen Chamberlain, Emilio G. Segrè, Donald A. Glaser, Melvin Calvin, Luis W. Alvarez, Yuan T. Lee, Steven Chu, George F. Smoot, Saul Perlmutter, and Jennifer Doudna) have been awarded either the Nobel Prize in Physics or the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

    In addition, twenty-three Berkeley Lab employees, as contributors to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore.

    Seventy Berkeley Lab scientists are members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences(US) (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen Berkeley Lab scientists have won the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen Berkeley Lab engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three Berkeley Lab scientists have been elected into the National Academy of Medicine. Nature Index rates the Lab sixth in the world among government research organizations; it is the only one of the top six that is a single laboratory, rather than a system of laboratories.

    Elements discovered by Berkeley Lab physicists include astatine; neptunium; plutonium; curium; americium; berkelium*; californium*; einsteinium; fermium; mendelevium; nobelium; lawrencium*; dubnium; and seaborgium*. Those elements listed with asterisks (*) are named after the University Professors Lawrence and Seaborg. Seaborg was the principal scientist involved in their discovery. The element technetium was discovered after Ernest Lawrence gave Emilio Segrè a molybdenum strip from the Berkeley Lab cyclotron. The fabricated evidence used to claim the creation of oganesson and livermorium by Victor Ninov, a researcher employed at Berkeley Lab, led to the retraction of two articles.

    Inventions and discoveries to come out of Berkeley Lab include: “smart” windows with embedded electrodes that enable window glass to respond to changes in sunlight; synthetic genes for antimalaria and anti-AIDS superdrugs based on breakthroughs in synthetic biology; electronic ballasts for more efficient lighting; Home Energy Saver; the web’s first do-it-yourself home energy audit tool; a pocket-sized DNA sampler called the PhyloChip; and the Berkeley Darfur Stove which uses one-quarter as much firewood as traditional cook stoves. One of Berkeley Lab’s most notable breakthroughs is the discovery of Dark Energy. During the 1980s and 1990s Berkeley Lab physicists and astronomers formed the Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP), using Type Ia supernovae as “standard candles” to measure the expansion rate of the universe. Their successful methods inspired competition, with the result that early in 1998 both the SCP and the Harvard Cosmology with Supernovae: The High-Z Supernova Search High-Z SN(US) announced the surprising discovery that expansion is accelerating; the cause was soon named Dark Energy.

    Arthur Rosenfeld, a senior scientist at Berkeley Lab, was the nation’s leading advocate for energy efficiency from 1975 until his death in 2017. He led efforts at the Lab that produced several technologies that radically improved efficiency: compact fluorescent lamps; low-energy refrigerators; and windows that trap heat. He established the Center for Building Science at the Lab, which developed into the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division. He developed the first energy-efficiency standards for buildings and appliances in California, which helped the state to sustain constant electricity use per capita, a phenomenon called the Rosenfeld effect. The Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impacts Division continues to set the research foundation for the national energy efficiency standards and works with China, India, and other countries to help develop their standards.

    Carl Haber and Vitaliy Fadeyev of Berkeley Lab developed the IRENE system for optical scanning of audio discs and cylinders.
    In December 2018, researchers at Intel Corp. and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published a paper in Nature, which outlined a chip “made with quantum materials called magnetoelectric multiferroics instead of the conventional silicon,” to allow for increased processing and reduced energy consumption to support technology such as artificial intelligence.

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California.

    University of California Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 12:27 pm on April 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Glacier avalanches more common than thought", , , , Geology   

    From European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) : “Glacier avalanches more common than thought” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)

    From European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)

    30/04/2021

    1

    Glacier avalanches in the Sedongpu region, China

    For several years now, scientists have known that a glacier can actually detach from the mountain rock and gush down to the valley at speeds of up to 300 kilometres an hour as a fluid ice-rock avalanche. However, a paper published recently in The Cryosphere describes how a team of scientists working in ESA’s Climate Change Initiative Glaciers team has discovered, together with several colleagues, that these glacier detachments have happened much more often than had been known. The image, based on data from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, shows the traces of ice/rock avalanches that occurred in 2017 and 2018, resulting from vast flows of rock and ice that finally partly blocked a river in the valley below.

    Ccontains modified Copernicus Sentinel-2 data (2017–18), processed by CCI Glacier team and ESA

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    One tends to think of mountain glaciers as slow moving, their gradual passage down a mountainside visible only through a long series of satellite imagery or years of time-lapse photography. However, new research shows that glacier flow can be much more dramatic, ranging from about 10 metres a day to speeds that are more like that of avalanches, with obvious potential dire consequences for those living below.

    Glaciers are generally slow-flowing rivers of ice, under the force of gravity transporting snow that has turned to ice at the top of the mountain to locations lower down the valley – a gradual process of balancing their upper-region mass gain with their lower-elevation mass loss. This process usually takes many decades. Since this is influenced by the climate, scientists use changes in the rate of glacier flow as an indicator of climate change.

    For some glaciers around the world this gradual flow can speed up, so that they advance several kilometres in just a few month or years, a process called glacier surging. After a surge, the glacier usually remains still and the displaced ice melts over a few decades.

    Although surges can block rivers and create lakes that may burst suddenly, these events don’t often pose any danger, as by their very nature, they tend to be in remote and sparsely-populated regions – a fact that means that these events are often only known about thanks to data and images from satellites.

    For several years now, scientists have known that a glacier can also actually detach from the mountain rock and gush down to the valley at speeds of up to 300 kilometres an hour as a fluid ice-rock avalanche.

    However, a paper published recently in The Cryosphere describes how scientists working in ESA’s Climate Change Initiative Glaciers team has discovered, together with several colleagues, that these glacier detachments have happened much more often than had been known. Even more surprisingly, this is happening to glaciers resting on relatively flat beds.

    Andreas Kääb, from the University of Oslo [Universitetet i Oslo] (NO), explained, “We have known about debris flows originating from glaciers that break off at high elevations for several decades now, however, until relatively recently, we were extremely surprised to discover that glaciers resting on flatter beds can also detach as a whole.

    “These events are reported only rarely. In fact, they only really came to light in 2002 after a huge chunk of the Kolka glacier, which sits in a gently sloping valley on the Russian–Georgian border, detached and thundered down the valley at about 80 metres a second, carrying around 130 million cubic metres of ice and rock that killed more than 100 people.

    “Using satellite data, we have now discovered that such events are more common than we could have ever imagined, and this might be a consequence of a changing climate.”

    The team of scientists from all over the world used data from different satellites including the Copernicus Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 missions and the US Landsat mission as well as digital elevation models to document and analyse events that were already known about, but also to identify glacier detachments that had not been recorded so far.

    They studied 20 glacier detachments that occurred in 10 different regions, from Alaska to the Andes and from the Caucasus to Tibet.

    Frank Paul, from the University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ] (CH), said, “We analysed the timing of events, calculated volumes, run-out distances, elevation ranges, permafrost conditions as well as possible factors triggering these glacier avalanches. Although we found some common characteristics, there are diverse circumstances that may have led to these events. However, we have concluded that, at least for some events, the effects of a warmer climate, such as permafrost thawing and meltwater infiltration, may well be to blame.”

    Andreas Kääb added, “The bottom line is that detachment of glaciers resting on flat bedrock are more common than we thought.

    “The current era of frequent high-resolution optical and radar data, not least from Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-1, has brought a step-change in detecting and understanding these events after they happen. Although we are still far away from having a prognostic tool to detect possible events before they happen, thanks to satellite data and this new understanding, we might be able to detect precursor signals in good time to potentially save lives.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    From European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA’s space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the The Guiana Space Centre [Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG also called Europe’s Spaceport) at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.

    The agency’s facilities are distributed among the following centres:

    ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) (NL)in Noordwijk, Netherlands;
    ESA Centre for Earth Observation [ESRIN] (IT) in Frascati, Italy;
    ESA Mission Control ESA European Space Operations Center [ESOC](DE) is in Darmstadt, Germany;
    ESA -European Astronaut Centre [EAC] trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany;
    European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) (UK), a research institute created in 2009, is located in Harwell, England;
    ESA – European Space Astronomy Centre [ESAC] (ES) is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain.
    European Space Agency Science Programme is a long-term programme of space science and space exploration missions.

    Foundation

    After World War II, many European scientists left Western Europe in order to work with the United States. Although the 1950s boom made it possible for Western European countries to invest in research and specifically in space-related activities, Western European scientists realized solely national projects would not be able to compete with the two main superpowers. In 1958, only months after the Sputnik shock, Edoardo Amaldi (Italy) and Pierre Auger (France), two prominent members of the Western European scientific community, met to discuss the foundation of a common Western European space agency. The meeting was attended by scientific representatives from eight countries, including Harrie Massey (United Kingdom).

    The Western European nations decided to have two agencies: one concerned with developing a launch system, ELDO (European Launch Development Organization), and the other the precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organisation). The latter was established on 20 March 1964 by an agreement signed on 14 June 1962. From 1968 to 1972, ESRO launched seven research satellites.

    ESA in its current form was founded with the ESA Convention in 1975, when ESRO was merged with ELDO. ESA had ten founding member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These signed the ESA Convention in 1975 and deposited the instruments of ratification by 1980, when the convention came into force. During this interval the agency functioned in a de facto fashion. ESA launched its first major scientific mission in 1975, Cos-B, a space probe monitoring gamma-ray emissions in the universe, which was first worked on by ESRO.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Later activities

    ESA collaborated with National Aeronautics Space Agency on the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), the world’s first high-orbit telescope, which was launched in 1978 and operated successfully for 18 years. A number of successful Earth-orbit projects followed, and in 1986 ESA began Giotto, its first deep-space mission, to study the comets Halley and Grigg–Skjellerup. Hipparcos, a star-mapping mission, was launched in 1989 and in the 1990s SOHO, Ulysses and the Hubble Space Telescope were all jointly carried out with NASA. Later scientific missions in cooperation with NASA include the Cassini–Huygens space probe, to which ESA contributed by building the Titan landing module Huygens.

    As the successor of ELDO, ESA has also constructed rockets for scientific and commercial payloads. Ariane 1, launched in 1979, carried mostly commercial payloads into orbit from 1984 onward. The next two versions of the Ariane rocket were intermediate stages in the development of a more advanced launch system, the Ariane 4, which operated between 1988 and 2003 and established ESA as the world leader in commercial space launches in the 1990s. Although the succeeding Ariane 5 experienced a failure on its first flight, it has since firmly established itself within the heavily competitive commercial space launch market with 82 successful launches until 2018. The successor launch vehicle of Ariane 5, the Ariane 6, is under development and is envisioned to enter service in the 2020s.

    The beginning of the new millennium saw ESA become, along with agencies like National Aeronautics Space Agency(US), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation, the Canadian Space Agency(CA) and Roscosmos(RU), one of the major participants in scientific space research. Although ESA had relied on co-operation with NASA in previous decades, especially the 1990s, changed circumstances (such as tough legal restrictions on information sharing by the United States military) led to decisions to rely more on itself and on co-operation with Russia. A 2011 press issue thus stated:

    “Russia is ESA’s first partner in its efforts to ensure long-term access to space. There is a framework agreement between ESA and the government of the Russian Federation on cooperation and partnership in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and cooperation is already underway in two different areas of launcher activity that will bring benefits to both partners.”

    Notable ESA programmes include SMART-1, a probe testing cutting-edge space propulsion technology, the Mars Express and Venus Express missions, as well as the development of the Ariane 5 rocket and its role in the ISS partnership. ESA maintains its scientific and research projects mainly for astronomy-space missions such as Corot, launched on 27 December 2006, a milestone in the search for exoplanets.

    On 21 January 2019, ArianeGroup and Arianespace announced a one-year contract with ESA to study and prepare for a mission to mine the Moon for lunar regolith.

    Mission

    The treaty establishing the European Space Agency reads:

    The purpose of the Agency shall be to provide for and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems…

    ESA is responsible for setting a unified space and related industrial policy, recommending space objectives to the member states, and integrating national programs like satellite development, into the European program as much as possible.

    Jean-Jacques Dordain – ESA’s Director General (2003–2015) – outlined the European Space Agency’s mission in a 2003 interview:

    “Today space activities have pursued the benefit of citizens, and citizens are asking for a better quality of life on Earth. They want greater security and economic wealth, but they also want to pursue their dreams, to increase their knowledge, and they want younger people to be attracted to the pursuit of science and technology. I think that space can do all of this: it can produce a higher quality of life, better security, more economic wealth, and also fulfill our citizens’ dreams and thirst for knowledge, and attract the young generation. This is the reason space exploration is an integral part of overall space activities. It has always been so, and it will be even more important in the future.”

    Activities

    According to the ESA website, the activities are:

    Observing the Earth
    Human Spaceflight
    Launchers
    Navigation
    Space Science
    Space Engineering & Technology
    Operations
    Telecommunications & Integrated Applications
    Preparing for the Future
    Space for Climate

    Programmes

    Copernicus Programme
    Cosmic Vision
    ExoMars
    FAST20XX
    Galileo
    Horizon 2000
    Living Planet Programme

    Mandatory

    Every member country must contribute to these programmes:

    Technology Development Element Programme
    Science Core Technology Programme
    General Study Programme
    European Component Initiative

    Optional

    Depending on their individual choices the countries can contribute to the following programmes, listed according to:

    Launchers
    Earth Observation
    Human Spaceflight and Exploration
    Telecommunications
    Navigation
    Space Situational Awareness
    Technology

    ESA_LAB@

    ESA has formed partnerships with universities. ESA_LAB@ refers to research laboratories at universities. Currently there are ESA_LAB@

    Technische Universität Darmstadt
    École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris)
    Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres
    University of Central Lancashire

    Membership and contribution to ESA

    By 2015, ESA was an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states. Member states participate to varying degrees in the mandatory (25% of total expenditures in 2008) and optional space programmes (75% of total expenditures in 2008). The 2008 budget amounted to €3.0 billion whilst the 2009 budget amounted to €3.6 billion. The total budget amounted to about €3.7 billion in 2010, €3.99 billion in 2011, €4.02 billion in 2012, €4.28 billion in 2013, €4.10 billion in 2014 and €4.33 billion in 2015. English is the main language within ESA. Additionally, official documents are also provided in German and documents regarding the Spacelab are also provided in Italian. If found appropriate, the agency may conduct its correspondence in any language of a member state.

    Non-full member states
    Slovenia
    Since 2016, Slovenia has been an associated member of the ESA.

    Latvia
    Latvia became the second current associated member on 30 June 2020, when the Association Agreement was signed by ESA Director Jan Wörner and the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia, Ilga Šuplinska in Riga. The Saeima ratified it on July 27. Previously associated members were Austria, Norway and Finland, all of which later joined ESA as full members.

    Canada
    Since 1 January 1979, Canada has had the special status of a Cooperating State within ESA. By virtue of this accord, the Canadian Space Agency takes part in ESA’s deliberative bodies and decision-making and also in ESA’s programmes and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts to work on programmes. The accord has a provision ensuring a fair industrial return to Canada. The most recent Cooperation Agreement was signed on 15 December 2010 with a term extending to 2020. For 2014, Canada’s annual assessed contribution to the ESA general budget was €6,059,449 (CAD$8,559,050). For 2017, Canada has increased its annual contribution to €21,600,000 (CAD$30,000,000).

    Enlargement

    After the decision of the ESA Council of 21/22 March 2001, the procedure for accession of the European states was detailed as described the document titled The Plan for European Co-operating States (PECS). Nations that want to become a full member of ESA do so in 3 stages. First a Cooperation Agreement is signed between the country and ESA. In this stage, the country has very limited financial responsibilities. If a country wants to co-operate more fully with ESA, it signs a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. The ECS Agreement makes companies based in the country eligible for participation in ESA procurements. The country can also participate in all ESA programmes, except for the Basic Technology Research Programme. While the financial contribution of the country concerned increases, it is still much lower than that of a full member state. The agreement is normally followed by a Plan For European Cooperating State (or PECS Charter). This is a 5-year programme of basic research and development activities aimed at improving the nation’s space industry capacity. At the end of the 5-year period, the country can either begin negotiations to become a full member state or an associated state or sign a new PECS Charter.

    During the Ministerial Meeting in December 2014, ESA ministers approved a resolution calling for discussions to begin with Israel, Australia and South Africa on future association agreements. The ministers noted that “concrete cooperation is at an advanced stage” with these nations and that “prospects for mutual benefits are existing”.

    A separate space exploration strategy resolution calls for further co-operation with the United States, Russia and China on “LEO exploration, including a continuation of ISS cooperation and the development of a robust plan for the coordinated use of space transportation vehicles and systems for exploration purposes, participation in robotic missions for the exploration of the Moon, the robotic exploration of Mars, leading to a broad Mars Sample Return mission in which Europe should be involved as a full partner, and human missions beyond LEO in the longer term.”

    Relationship with the European Union

    The political perspective of the European Union (EU) was to make ESA an agency of the EU by 2014, although this date was not met. The EU member states provide most of ESA’s funding, and they are all either full ESA members or observers.

    History

    At the time ESA was formed, its main goals did not encompass human space flight; rather it considered itself to be primarily a scientific research organisation for uncrewed space exploration in contrast to its American and Soviet counterparts. It is therefore not surprising that the first non-Soviet European in space was not an ESA astronaut on a European space craft; it was Czechoslovak Vladimír Remek who in 1978 became the first non-Soviet or American in space (the first man in space being Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union) – on a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, followed by the Pole Mirosław Hermaszewski and East German Sigmund Jähn in the same year. This Soviet co-operation programme, known as Intercosmos, primarily involved the participation of Eastern bloc countries. In 1982, however, Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first non-Communist Bloc astronaut on a flight to the Soviet Salyut 7 space station.

    Because Chrétien did not officially fly into space as an ESA astronaut, but rather as a member of the French CNES astronaut corps, the German Ulf Merbold is considered the first ESA astronaut to fly into space. He participated in the STS-9 Space Shuttle mission that included the first use of the European-built Spacelab in 1983. STS-9 marked the beginning of an extensive ESA/NASA joint partnership that included dozens of space flights of ESA astronauts in the following years. Some of these missions with Spacelab were fully funded and organizationally and scientifically controlled by ESA (such as two missions by Germany and one by Japan) with European astronauts as full crew members rather than guests on board. Beside paying for Spacelab flights and seats on the shuttles, ESA continued its human space flight co-operation with the Soviet Union and later Russia, including numerous visits to Mir.

    During the latter half of the 1980s, European human space flights changed from being the exception to routine and therefore, in 1990, the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany was established. It selects and trains prospective astronauts and is responsible for the co-ordination with international partners, especially with regard to the International Space Station. As of 2006, the ESA astronaut corps officially included twelve members, including nationals from most large European countries except the United Kingdom.

    In the summer of 2008, ESA started to recruit new astronauts so that final selection would be due in spring 2009. Almost 10,000 people registered as astronaut candidates before registration ended in June 2008. 8,413 fulfilled the initial application criteria. Of the applicants, 918 were chosen to take part in the first stage of psychological testing, which narrowed down the field to 192. After two-stage psychological tests and medical evaluation in early 2009, as well as formal interviews, six new members of the European Astronaut Corps were selected – five men and one woman.

    Cooperation with other countries and organisations

    ESA has signed co-operation agreements with the following states that currently neither plan to integrate as tightly with ESA institutions as Canada, nor envision future membership of ESA: Argentina, Brazil, China, India (for the Chandrayan mission), Russia and Turkey.

    Additionally, ESA has joint projects with the European Union, NASA of the United States and is participating in the International Space Station together with the United States (NASA), Russia and Japan (JAXA).

    European Union
    ESA and EU member states
    ESA-only members
    EU-only members

    ESA is not an agency or body of the European Union (EU), and has non-EU countries (Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) as members. There are however ties between the two, with various agreements in place and being worked on, to define the legal status of ESA with regard to the EU.

    There are common goals between ESA and the EU. ESA has an EU liaison office in Brussels. On certain projects, the EU and ESA co-operate, such as the upcoming Galileo satellite navigation system. Space policy has since December 2009 been an area for voting in the European Council. Under the European Space Policy of 2007, the EU, ESA and its Member States committed themselves to increasing co-ordination of their activities and programmes and to organising their respective roles relating to space.

    The Lisbon Treaty of 2009 reinforces the case for space in Europe and strengthens the role of ESA as an R&D space agency. Article 189 of the Treaty gives the EU a mandate to elaborate a European space policy and take related measures, and provides that the EU should establish appropriate relations with ESA.

    Former Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni, during his tenure as a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009, stressed the importance of the European Union as a driving force for space exploration, “…since other players are coming up such as India and China it is becoming ever more important that Europeans can have an independent access to space. We have to invest more into space research and technology in order to have an industry capable of competing with other international players.”

    The first EU-ESA International Conference on Human Space Exploration took place in Prague on 22 and 23 October 2009. A road map which would lead to a common vision and strategic planning in the area of space exploration was discussed. Ministers from all 29 EU and ESA members as well as members of parliament were in attendance.

    National space organisations of member states:

    The Centre National d’Études Spatiales(FR) (CNES) (National Centre for Space Study) is the French government space agency (administratively, a “public establishment of industrial and commercial character”). Its headquarters are in central Paris. CNES is the main participant on the Ariane project. Indeed, CNES designed and tested all Ariane family rockets (mainly from its centre in Évry near Paris)
    The UK Space Agency is a partnership of the UK government departments which are active in space. Through the UK Space Agency, the partners provide delegates to represent the UK on the various ESA governing bodies. Each partner funds its own programme.
    The Italian Space Agency A.S.I. – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana was founded in 1988 to promote, co-ordinate and conduct space activities in Italy. Operating under the Ministry of the Universities and of Scientific and Technological Research, the agency cooperates with numerous entities active in space technology and with the president of the Council of Ministers. Internationally, the ASI provides Italy’s delegation to the Council of the European Space Agency and to its subordinate bodies.
    The German Aerospace Center (DLR)[Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V.] is the national research centre for aviation and space flight of the Federal Republic of Germany and of other member states in the Helmholtz Association. Its extensive research and development projects are included in national and international cooperative programmes. In addition to its research projects, the centre is the assigned space agency of Germany bestowing headquarters of German space flight activities and its associates.
    The Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)(ES) (National Institute for Aerospace Technique) is a Public Research Organization specialised in aerospace research and technology development in Spain. Among other functions, it serves as a platform for space research and acts as a significant testing facility for the aeronautic and space sector in the country.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency(US)

    ESA has a long history of collaboration with NASA. Since ESA’s astronaut corps was formed, the Space Shuttle has been the primary launch vehicle used by ESA’s astronauts to get into space through partnership programmes with NASA. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Spacelab programme was an ESA-NASA joint research programme that had ESA develop and manufacture orbital labs for the Space Shuttle for several flights on which ESA participate with astronauts in experiments.

    In robotic science mission and exploration missions, NASA has been ESA’s main partner. Cassini–Huygens was a joint NASA-ESA mission, along with the Infrared Space Observatory, INTEGRAL, SOHO, and others. Also, the Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project of NASA and ESA. Future ESA-NASA joint projects include the James Webb Space Telescope and the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. NASA has committed to provide support to ESA’s proposed MarcoPolo-R mission to return an asteroid sample to Earth for further analysis. NASA and ESA will also likely join together for a Mars Sample Return Mission. In October 2020 the ESA entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NASA to work together on the Artemis program, which will provide an orbiting lunar gateway and also accomplish the first manned lunar landing in 50 years, whose team will include the first woman on the Moon. Astronaut selection announcements are expected within two years of the 2024 scheduled launch date.

    Cooperation with other space agencies

    Since China has started to invest more money into space activities, the Chinese Space Agency(CN) has sought international partnerships. ESA is, beside the Russian Space Agency, one of its most important partners. Two space agencies cooperated in the development of the Double Star Mission. In 2017, ESA sent two astronauts to China for two weeks sea survival training with Chinese astronauts in Yantai, Shandong.

    ESA entered into a major joint venture with Russia in the form of the CSTS, the preparation of French Guiana spaceport for launches of Soyuz-2 rockets and other projects. With India, ESA agreed to send instruments into space aboard the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 in 2008. ESA is also co-operating with Japan, the most notable current project in collaboration with JAXA is the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

    Speaking to reporters at an air show near Moscow in August 2011, ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain said ESA and Russia’s Roskosmos space agency would “carry out the first flight to Mars together.”

     
  • richardmitnick 10:23 am on April 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Imagining What a Metal Volcano Would Look Like", , , , , Ferrovolcanism, Geology,   

    From Eos: “Imagining What a Metal Volcano Would Look Like” 

    From AGU
    Eos news bloc

    From Eos

    21 April 2021
    Kimberly M. S. Cartier

    1
    Researchers explored what happens when silicate lava and metallic lava mix—or, as it turned out, don’t. Credit: Soldati et al., 2021.

    In 2018, designs for NASA’s Psyche mission to explore the metal asteroid of the same name were being finalized, awaiting approval to be built in a facility in California.

    Meanwhile, across the country, Arianna Soldati was conducting large-scale experiments that involved melting metal-rich basaltic rocks in a furnace, pouring the lava out, and studying how it flowed.

    “During our last pour of the day, I saw this metal come out and I made the connection,” said Soldati, a volcanologist at North Carolina State University (US) at Raleigh. Asteroid Psyche, thought to be a shard of a failed planet’s metallic core, was likely partially molten at one point.

    “To be honest, I didn’t set out saying, ‘Oh, I’m going to study ferrovolcanism. Let me design an experiment to do that.’ It was more opportunistic than that,” Soldati said. That summer, “the Psyche mission…was definitely fresh on my mind.” What would those flows of molten metal have looked like, Soldati wondered, and what features would they have left behind for us to study?

    “We’ve never seen a ferrovolcanic eruption. We’re not even sure if there is one,” Soldati said. “We’re trying to imagine what something that we’re not even sure exists could look like.”

    From Out of the Crucible

    “Ferrovolcanism is a very recent term—it’s only been around for a few years,” and it refers to volcanism that occurs on a metallic body, Soldati explained. The magma that erupts could be entirely metallic (type I in Soldati’s classification) or some combination of rock and metal (type II).

    The first scenario describes what could have taken place on a mostly metallic asteroid like Psyche, but the second scenario might not be unknown on Earth: There’s an open debate among scientists whether the large iron deposit near El Laco volcano in Chile was the result of ferrovolcanism.

    Soldati and her colleagues tested a ferrovolcanism scenario involving both silicate rock and metal. Using one of the furnaces at the Lava Project at Syracuse University in New York, the team melted metal-rich basaltic rock in a silicon carbide crucible. Under heat, the crucible degraded and released carbon which combined with oxygen to form carbon monoxide. The carbon monoxide then chemically reacted with the basaltic melt and separated it into a silicate melt and a denser metallic melt. When the crucible was poured out, the silicate melt flowed first, and the metallic one followed (see video below).


    Ferrovolcanism flow experiment.

    The scientists went into the experiment with few expectations. “There have been no previous experiments that we’re aware of with two materials that are so different and trying to get them to flow together,” Soldati said. “We weren’t sure what would happen.”

    They found that the metallic flow was about 3 times denser and about 100 times less viscous and traveled about 10 times faster than the silicate flow at the same temperature—all in line with fluid dynamics theories. “But it was surprising how independent the two flows remained,” Soldati said. “The silicate flow started earlier, and then the metallic one followed, but it went underneath the rock flow and did its own thing. There was not a lot of interaction between the two. They remained fairly sharply separated.”

    When the metallic flow reached the front edge of the rock flow, it burst out and started flowing freely. “It allowed us to study not only type II but also type I,” Soldati said. “For every experiment, we could get out information on two different types of ferrovolcanism.” On its own, the purely metallic flow was very turbulent: Thin streams separated and braided themselves together like a river delta, and ribbons and beads of metal broke off from the flow completely, only to be subsumed into the silicate flow. The results were published in March in Nature Communications.

    2
    Silicate lava (black) and metallic lava (silver) remained largely separate as they flowed from the lava furnace. Denser and faster flowing metallic lava traveled underneath slower moving and less dense silicate lava and remained unmixed as both cooled. Credit: Soldati et al., 2021.

    “The experiments demonstrate a mingling but inefficient mixing between silicate and metallic lavas,” explained planetary volcanologist Pranabendu Moitra. “It provides better insights to the flow behavior and morphology of dense, less viscous and turbulent metallic melts,” which behave very differently than silicate flow. Moitra, at the University of Arizona in Tucson, was not involved with the study.

    Imagining the Unknown

    If a ferrovolcano did exist, what would it look like? This experiment could help give a very basic idea. “Metal, because it is very dense and [of] very low viscosity, forms low-relief topography,” Soldati said. “There’s not going to be a tall ferrovolcano. There’s not going to be a Mount Fuji made of metal. The topography is going to be very shallow, with flows that will extend very far away from the vents. And these flows are probably going to be extremely braided, with many tiny channels.”

    “These are gorgeous experiments! I would have loved to see them happen,” said Lindy Elkins-Tanton, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University in Tempe and principal investigator of the Psyche mission who was not involved with this research. But as this particular experiment involved both rock and metal, “I’m not confident they apply to Psyche; we can’t think of a circumstance when metal—really, it would likely be sulfide, FeS—and silicate magma would be erupting at the same time. Still, we’ll look for those textures.”

    Soldati and her team will be going back to the Syracuse Lava Project later this year to conduct more experiments, including some that will explore purely metallic lava flows with different types of metals and under different flow conditions. “The experimental results could further validate lava flow models,” Moitra said. “It will be interesting to explore the effects of various experimental parameters such as the slope, and the lava and ambient temperature, etc., on the speed and morphology of metallic lava flows as compared to the silicate ones.”

    Experiments like these, said Soldati, offer volcanologists the rare opportunity to come up with a theory first and then go out and see whether they were right or wrong. “When the paper was in review, a comment from one of the reviewers corrected the spelling of the title, changing it from ‘Imagining Ferrovolcanism’ to ‘Imaging Ferrovolcanism.’ But the point of the study was not to image something. It was really to imagine what a certain landscape could look like, which, I think, is still an important part of science, especially in volcanology, which is such an observation-based scientific field.”

    “We have to put in the imagination work first so we can compare with our observations later.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Eos is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:35 pm on April 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Unlocking the secrets of Earth's early atmosphere", , , Approximately 4.5 billion years ago scientists believe that Earth collided with a planet the size of Mars [Theia], As magma cools and turns into rock it locks in a record of what the atmosphere was at that time., , Clues to Earth's early atmosphere were buried in our oldest rocks., , , Four-and-a-half billion years ago the magma—the molten rock that now lies beneath the Earth's crust—constantly exchanged gases with the overlying atmosphere., Geology, Not only do these samples provide a way to measure the composition of Earth's ancient atmosphere. They also put some geological constraints on a popular theory of the origin of life., Now an international team of scientists have found that our atmosphere was once very similar to thatr found on Venus and Mars today [Curious-Mars and Venus are nothing alike].,   

    From DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US): “Unlocking the secrets of Earth’s early atmosphere” 

    Argonne Lab

    From DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US)

    April 28, 2021
    Liz Thompson

    1
    Scientists studying Earth’s early atmosphere have found that it was very similar to the atmosphere found on Venus today. Credit: Tobias Stierli/NCCR PlanetS (CH)

    Research partly conducted at the Advanced Photon Source [below] helped scientists discover the composition of Earth’s first atmosphere. What they found raises questions about the origin of life on Earth.

    A long time ago, as our solar system was forming into the planets we know today, Earth was essentially a giant ball of molten lava. Approximately 4.5 billion years ago scientists believe that Earth collided with a planet the size of Mars [Theia].

    The energy from this catastrophic collision blew Earth’s existing atmosphere into space, created our Moon, and caused the entire planet to melt.

    Over time, this worldwide magma ocean released gases such as nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon and oxygen, creating a new atmosphere, the oldest version of the one we have today. But what, exactly, was that early atmosphere like? And why is our atmosphere now so different from those of our cosmic neighbors? These questions have perplexed scientists for generations, but the answers have eluded us until recently.

    Now an international team of scientists exploring the origins of Earth’s atmosphere have found that ours was once very similar to the atmosphere found on Venus and Mars today [Curious-Mars and Venus are nothing alike]. Their findings, recently published in the journal Science Advances, have implications that go well beyond the chemical composition of Earth’s early atmosphere, as the results poke holes in a popular theory of the evolution of life itself.

    It turns out clues to Earth’s early atmosphere were buried in our oldest rocks. What it took to uncover them was a laser furnace, a levitating ball of lava and the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

    The research team, led by Paolo Sossi, now a senior research fellow at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich](CH) and the Swiss National Science Foundation [Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung [Fonds nation]al suisse de la recherche scientifique] (CH), set out to unlock these secrets. Although they had no way of measuring Earth’s ancient atmosphere directly, they found a way to measure the exact composition of the atmosphere when Earth’s oldest rocks were formed.

    “Four-and-a-half billion years ago the magma—the molten rock that now lies beneath the Earth’s crust—constantly exchanged gases with the overlying atmosphere,” Sossi explained. “The air and the magma influenced each other. So, you can learn about one from the other.”

    As magma cools and turns into rock it locks in a record of what the atmosphere was at that time. Magma is rich in iron, and the oxidation state of iron in the rocks (essentially the chemical composition of its rust) gives scientists an indication of what the Earth’s early atmosphere was like, and how much oxygen was available at the time. When there is more oxygen in the atmosphere, iron bonds with oxygen in a 2:3 ratio, and the atmosphere is rich in nitrogen and carbon dioxide. When less oxygen is available, the ratio is 1:1, and the atmosphere contains more methane and ammonia.

    However, to understand the exact composition of Earth’s early atmosphere, the scientists essentially needed to create a miniature version of the early Earth (and its atmosphere) in the lab. To do this, they assembled the elemental components of the Earth’s early mantle (known to geologists at peridotite), heated it with a laser until it became molten lava and then levitated this ball of molten lava in a stream of gas meant to represent Earth’s earliest atmosphere.

    When the lava cooled, the marble-sized glass ball that remained had trapped a record of the chemical reaction between the lava and the atmosphere in the iron it contained. The technological advances that made this experiment possible only came about recently. In order to melt peridotite, you have to get it very, very hot—nearly 2000°C—and then quench it quickly to preserve the chemistry at high temperatures. The ability to do this was made possible with the development of a new laser furnace technique.

    The scientists repeated the experiment a number of times using various chemical compositions of gases that could have existed in the early atmosphere, then studied the iron oxidation state in the samples, looking for ones that most closely resembled those found in Earth’s mantle rocks. Comparing the iron oxidation state in natural rocks with the ones formed in the lab gave the scientists an idea of which one of their gas mixtures matched Earth’s early atmosphere.

    “We found that the atmosphere we calculated to have been present on Earth billions of years ago was similar in composition to what we find on Venus and Mars today,” said Sossi, who knew he had the correct atmospheric composition when the iron oxidation state in their sample matched those found in ancient rocks from Earth’s mantle. “When you have an atmosphere produced from magma at the right oxidation state, you get one made up of about 97 percent carbon dioxide and 3 percent nitrogen once it cools down, the same ratio found today on Venus and Mars.”

    For years, geologists have turned to the APS to study the composition of rocks and the oxidation state of the iron contained within them. One particular beamline at the APS managed by scientists from the University of Chicago (US), GeoSoilEnviroCARS (13-ID-E), has become a world leader in this type of research and analysis. When the time came for the scientists to have their samples analyzed, there was an obvious place to go.

    “The APS gives us the ability to make very small beams that we can do this type of analysis with,” said Matt Newville, a senior research associate and beamline scientist at the APS and an author on the paper. The beamline he works on can focus its beams to as small as 1 micron across—about 50 times smaller than the width of a human hair—giving scientists the ability to make very precise and accurate measurements of their samples.

    “We do this type of analysis on rocks all the time, but these were amazingly well-created samples,” said Newville. “That they were able to get these samples that were very good at simulating the effect of the early atmosphere is really incredible.”

    Not only do these samples provide a way to measure the composition of Earth’s ancient atmosphere. They also put some geological constraints on a popular theory of the origin of life. In the 1950s, Stanley Miller conducted a groundbreaking experiment at the University of Chicago showing that amino acids—the building blocks of life—would form in an environment with liquid water and air rich in methane and ammonia when zapped with electricity to simulate lightning. At the time, these were the conditions believed to exist on the early Earth.

    However, if Earth’s early atmosphere was instead rich in carbon dioxide and nitrogen as this new research indicates, it would make it more difficult for these amino acids to form.

    These experiments also helped answer questions as to why Earth’s current atmosphere is so different from our neighboring planets. On Earth, liquid water formed out of this magma-made atmosphere, pulling carbon dioxide out of the air and into newly forming oceans. Sossi said that because all three planets—Earth, Venus and Mars—were formed from similar materials, it was the combined effects of both the Earth’s large mass and its particular distance from the Sun that enabled it to retain liquid water on its surface, which then caused a carbon dioxide drawdown. Whereas that wasn’t the case on Venus because it was too hot, or on Mars because it was too cold.

    Now that Sossi has figured out what type of atmosphere forms from a magma-Earth, he is setting his sights on the stars. Using a modification of this experimental technique, he hopes to find a way to measure atmospheric composition using infrared so that one day we can use satellites to study magma worlds that may actually exist in other solar systems today.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US) seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their is a science and engineering research national laboratory operated by UChicago Argonne LLC for the United States Department of Energy. The facility is located in Lemont, Illinois, outside of Chicago, and is the largest national laboratory by size and scope in the Midwest.

    Argonne had its beginnings in the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University of Chicago, formed in part to carry out Enrico Fermi’s work on nuclear reactors for the Manhattan Project during World War II. After the war, it was designated as the first national laboratory in the United States on July 1, 1946. In the post-war era the lab focused primarily on non-weapon related nuclear physics, designing and building the first power-producing nuclear reactors, helping design the reactors used by the United States’ nuclear navy, and a wide variety of similar projects. In 1994, the lab’s nuclear mission ended, and today it maintains a broad portfolio in basic science research, energy storage and renewable energy, environmental sustainability, supercomputing, and national security.

    UChicago Argonne, LLC, the operator of the laboratory, “brings together the expertise of the University of Chicago (the sole member of the LLC) with Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.” Argonne is a part of the expanding Illinois Technology and Research Corridor. Argonne formerly ran a smaller facility called Argonne National Laboratory-West (or simply Argonne-West) in Idaho next to the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. In 2005, the two Idaho-based laboratories merged to become the DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory.
    What would become Argonne began in 1942 as the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago, which had become part of the Manhattan Project. The Met Lab built Chicago Pile-1, the world’s first nuclear reactor, under the stands of the University of Chicago sports stadium. Considered unsafe, in 1943, CP-1 was reconstructed as CP-2, in what is today known as Red Gate Woods but was then the Argonne Forest of the Cook County Forest Preserve District near Palos Hills. The lab was named after the surrounding forest, which in turn was named after the Forest of Argonne in France where U.S. troops fought in World War I. Fermi’s pile was originally going to be constructed in the Argonne forest, and construction plans were set in motion, but a labor dispute brought the project to a halt. Since speed was paramount, the project was moved to the squash court under Stagg Field, the football stadium on the campus of the University of Chicago. Fermi told them that he was sure of his calculations, which said that it would not lead to a runaway reaction, which would have contaminated the city.

    Other activities were added to Argonne over the next five years. On July 1, 1946, the “Metallurgical Laboratory” was formally re-chartered as Argonne National Laboratory for “cooperative research in nucleonics.” At the request of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, it began developing nuclear reactors for the nation’s peaceful nuclear energy program. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the laboratory moved to a larger location in unincorporated DuPage County, Illinois and established a remote location in Idaho, called “Argonne-West,” to conduct further nuclear research.

    In quick succession, the laboratory designed and built Chicago Pile 3 (1944), the world’s first heavy-water moderated reactor, and the Experimental Breeder Reactor I (Chicago Pile 4), built-in Idaho, which lit a string of four light bulbs with the world’s first nuclear-generated electricity in 1951. A complete list of the reactors designed and, in most cases, built and operated by Argonne can be viewed in the, Reactors Designed by Argonne page. The knowledge gained from the Argonne experiments conducted with these reactors 1) formed the foundation for the designs of most of the commercial reactors currently used throughout the world for electric power generation and 2) inform the current evolving designs of liquid-metal reactors for future commercial power stations.

    Conducting classified research, the laboratory was heavily secured; all employees and visitors needed badges to pass a checkpoint, many of the buildings were classified, and the laboratory itself was fenced and guarded. Such alluring secrecy drew visitors both authorized—including King Leopold III of Belgium and Queen Frederica of Greece—and unauthorized. Shortly past 1 a.m. on February 6, 1951, Argonne guards discovered reporter Paul Harvey near the 10-foot (3.0 m) perimeter fence, his coat tangled in the barbed wire. Searching his car, guards found a previously prepared four-page broadcast detailing the saga of his unauthorized entrance into a classified “hot zone”. He was brought before a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to obtain information on national security and transmit it to the public, but was not indicted.

    Not all nuclear technology went into developing reactors, however. While designing a scanner for reactor fuel elements in 1957, Argonne physicist William Nelson Beck put his own arm inside the scanner and obtained one of the first ultrasound images of the human body. Remote manipulators designed to handle radioactive materials laid the groundwork for more complex machines used to clean up contaminated areas, sealed laboratories or caves. In 1964, the “Janus” reactor opened to study the effects of neutron radiation on biological life, providing research for guidelines on safe exposure levels for workers at power plants, laboratories and hospitals. Scientists at Argonne pioneered a technique to analyze the moon’s surface using alpha radiation, which launched aboard the Surveyor 5 in 1967 and later analyzed lunar samples from the Apollo 11 mission.

    In addition to nuclear work, the laboratory maintained a strong presence in the basic research of physics and chemistry. In 1955, Argonne chemists co-discovered the elements einsteinium and fermium, elements 99 and 100 in the periodic table. In 1962, laboratory chemists produced the first compound of the inert noble gas xenon, opening up a new field of chemical bonding research. In 1963, they discovered the hydrated electron.

    High-energy physics made a leap forward when Argonne was chosen as the site of the 12.5 GeV Zero Gradient Synchrotron, a proton accelerator that opened in 1963. A bubble chamber allowed scientists to track the motions of subatomic particles as they zipped through the chamber; in 1970, they observed the neutrino in a hydrogen bubble chamber for the first time.

    Meanwhile, the laboratory was also helping to design the reactor for the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus, which steamed for more than 513,550 nautical miles (951,090 km). The next nuclear reactor model was Experimental Boiling Water Reactor, the forerunner of many modern nuclear plants, and Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II), which was sodium-cooled, and included a fuel recycling facility. EBR-II was later modified to test other reactor designs, including a fast-neutron reactor and, in 1982, the Integral Fast Reactor concept—a revolutionary design that reprocessed its own fuel, reduced its atomic waste and withstood safety tests of the same failures that triggered the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters. In 1994, however, the U.S. Congress terminated funding for the bulk of Argonne’s nuclear programs.

    Argonne moved to specialize in other areas, while capitalizing on its experience in physics, chemical sciences and metallurgy. In 1987, the laboratory was the first to successfully demonstrate a pioneering technique called plasma wakefield acceleration, which accelerates particles in much shorter distances than conventional accelerators.[18] It also cultivated a strong battery research program.

    Following a major push by then-director Alan Schriesheim, the laboratory was chosen as the site of the Advanced Photon Source, a major X-ray facility which was completed in 1995 and produced the brightest X-rays in the world at the time of its construction.

    On 19 March 2019, it was reported in the Chicago Tribune that the laboratory was constructing the world’s most powerful supercomputer. Costing $500 million it will have the processing power of 1 quintillion flops. Applications will include the analysis of stars and improvements in the power grid.

    With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more visit http://www.anl.gov.

    About the Advanced Photon Source

    The U. S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory is one of the world’s most productive X-ray light source facilities. The APS provides high-brightness X-ray beams to a diverse community of researchers in materials science, chemistry, condensed matter physics, the life and environmental sciences, and applied research. These X-rays are ideally suited for explorations of materials and biological structures; elemental distribution; chemical, magnetic, electronic states; and a wide range of technologically important engineering systems from batteries to fuel injector sprays, all of which are the foundations of our nation’s economic, technological, and physical well-being. Each year, more than 5,000 researchers use the APS to produce over 2,000 publications detailing impactful discoveries, and solve more vital biological protein structures than users of any other X-ray light source research facility. APS scientists and engineers innovate technology that is at the heart of advancing accelerator and light-source operations. This includes the insertion devices that produce extreme-brightness X-rays prized by researchers, lenses that focus the X-rays down to a few nanometers, instrumentation that maximizes the way the X-rays interact with samples being studied, and software that gathers and manages the massive quantity of data resulting from discovery research at the APS.

    With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more visit http://www.anl.gov.

    Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science

    Argonne Lab Campus

     
  • richardmitnick 3:39 pm on April 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Flare Ups and Crustal removal in North East Japan", , Early Warning Labs, , , , , From Tohoku University [東北大学](JP), Geology, , , Subduction causes tectonic erosion as the Pacific plate grinds away the base of the continental crust., Subduction erosion found in Northeast Japan has permanently destroyed crucial pieces of information to understand our planet., The crustal record is the geologist's book for studying the history of the Earth., The Japanese Islands are at the juncture between the Pacific and Asian plates which is the locus of continental growth through volcanic activity and is also the site of recycling of the Earth's crust., The Pacific plate dives beneath the Asian continental crust., The tectonic erosion of the continental crust has been related to the occurrence of megathrust earthquakes.,   

    From Tohoku University [東北大学](JP): “Flare Ups and Crustal removal in North East Japan” 

    From Tohoku University [東北大学](JP)
    2021-04-16 [Just now in social media.]

    1
    Rocks in the Northeast of Japan. Credit: Daniel Pastor-Galán and Tatsuki Tsujimori.

    The crustal record is the geologist’s book for studying the history of the Earth. It contains information to understand important aspects such as when the earliest crustal rocks separated from the mantle; the origin and evolution of life; the inception and development of plate tectonics, oceans, atmosphere and the magnetic field.

    Unfortunately, this information is disrupted and fragmented due to growth and recession. Subduction erosion found in Northeast Japan has permanently destroyed crucial pieces of information to understand our planet.

    The Japanese Islands are at the juncture between the Pacific and Asian plates which is the locus of continental growth through volcanic activity and is also the site of recycling of the Earth’s crust as the Pacific plate dives beneath the Asian continental crust. This process, known as subduction, not only recycles the Pacific oceanic crust, but also causes tectonic erosion as the Pacific plate grinds away the base of the continental crust. The tectonic erosion of the continental crust has been related to the occurrence of megathrust earthquakes.

    2
    Rocks in the Northeast of Japan.Ⓒ Daniel Pastor-Galán and Tatsuki Tsujimori.

    An international research team led by Daniel Pastor-Galán, assistant professor at the Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences (FRIS) at Tohoku University, and Tatsuki Tsujimori, professor at the Center for Northeast Asian Studies (CNEAS), has defined the events that punctuated the crustal history of Northeast Japan. The study has revealed the main ages of the events that shaped the geological roots of Japan.

    Science paper:
    Earth and Planetary Science Letters

    The results show a fierce history of periodic magmatic flare-ups; subduction erosion when the Pacific slab destroyed the Japanese continental crust; the complete removal and substitution of the original Japanese crust roughly 270 million years ago; and the total melting of such crust around 110 million years ago.

    Understanding the history of subduction, the processes associated with it and the mechanisms operating at the base of the crust are crucial to understanding the history of the continental crust and the trends in potential geohazards. Pastor-Galán says “the study represents a landmark towards understanding the origin and evolution of the geological roots of Japan, and the mechanisms operating at subduction zones in deep time.”
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Earthquake Alert

    1

    Earthquake Alert

    Earthquake Network project is a research project which aims at developing and maintaining a crowdsourced smartphone-based earthquake warning system at a global level. Smartphones made available by the population are used to detect the earthquake waves using the on-board accelerometers. When an earthquake is detected, an earthquake warning is issued in order to alert the population not yet reached by the damaging waves of the earthquake.

    The project started on January 1, 2013 with the release of the homonymous Android application Earthquake Network. The author of the research project and developer of the smartphone application is Francesco Finazzi of the University of Bergamo, Italy.

    Get the app in the Google Play store.

    3
    Smartphone network spatial distribution (green and red dots) on December 4, 2015

    Meet The Quake-Catcher Network

    QCN bloc

    Quake-Catcher Network

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers. With your help, the Quake-Catcher Network can provide better understanding of earthquakes, give early warning to schools, emergency response systems, and others. The Quake-Catcher Network also provides educational software designed to help teach about earthquakes and earthquake hazards.

    After almost eight years at Stanford, and a year at CalTech, the QCN project is moving to the University of Southern California Dept. of Earth Sciences. QCN will be sponsored by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a distributed computing network that links volunteer hosted computers into a real-time motion sensing network. QCN is one of many scientific computing projects that runs on the world-renowned distributed computing platform Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC).

    The volunteer computers monitor vibrational sensors called MEMS accelerometers, and digitally transmit “triggers” to QCN’s servers whenever strong new motions are observed. QCN’s servers sift through these signals, and determine which ones represent earthquakes, and which ones represent cultural noise (like doors slamming, or trucks driving by).

    There are two categories of sensors used by QCN: 1) internal mobile device sensors, and 2) external USB sensors.

    Mobile Devices: MEMS sensors are often included in laptops, games, cell phones, and other electronic devices for hardware protection, navigation, and game control. When these devices are still and connected to QCN, QCN software monitors the internal accelerometer for strong new shaking. Unfortunately, these devices are rarely secured to the floor, so they may bounce around when a large earthquake occurs. While this is less than ideal for characterizing the regional ground shaking, many such sensors can still provide useful information about earthquake locations and magnitudes.

    USB Sensors: MEMS sensors can be mounted to the floor and connected to a desktop computer via a USB cable. These sensors have several advantages over mobile device sensors. 1) By mounting them to the floor, they measure more reliable shaking than mobile devices. 2) These sensors typically have lower noise and better resolution of 3D motion. 3) Desktops are often left on and do not move. 4) The USB sensor is physically removed from the game, phone, or laptop, so human interaction with the device doesn’t reduce the sensors’ performance. 5) USB sensors can be aligned to North, so we know what direction the horizontal “X” and “Y” axes correspond to.

    If you are a science teacher at a K-12 school, please apply for a free USB sensor and accompanying QCN software. QCN has been able to purchase sensors to donate to schools in need. If you are interested in donating to the program or requesting a sensor, click here.

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

    Earthquake safety is a responsibility shared by billions worldwide. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) provides software so that individuals can join together to improve earthquake monitoring, earthquake awareness, and the science of earthquakes. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) links existing networked laptops and desktops in hopes to form the worlds largest strong-motion seismic network.

    Below, the QCN Quake Catcher Network map
    QCN Quake Catcher Network map

    ShakeAlert: An Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast of the United States

    The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) along with a coalition of State and university partners is developing and testing an earthquake early warning (EEW) system called ShakeAlert for the west coast of the United States. Long term funding must be secured before the system can begin sending general public notifications, however, some limited pilot projects are active and more are being developed. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018.

    Watch a video describing how ShakeAlert works in English or Spanish.

    The primary project partners include:

    United States Geological Survey
    California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES)
    California Geological Survey
    California Institute of Technology
    University of California Berkeley
    University of Washington
    University of Oregon
    Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

    The Earthquake Threat

    Earthquakes pose a national challenge because more than 143 million Americans live in areas of significant seismic risk across 39 states. Most of our Nation’s earthquake risk is concentrated on the West Coast of the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has estimated the average annualized loss from earthquakes, nationwide, to be $5.3 billion, with 77 percent of that figure ($4.1 billion) coming from California, Washington, and Oregon, and 66 percent ($3.5 billion) from California alone. In the next 30 years, California has a 99.7 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake and the Pacific Northwest has a 10 percent chance of a magnitude 8 to 9 megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone.

    Part of the Solution

    Today, the technology exists to detect earthquakes, so quickly, that an alert can reach some areas before strong shaking arrives. The purpose of the ShakeAlert system is to identify and characterize an earthquake a few seconds after it begins, calculate the likely intensity of ground shaking that will result, and deliver warnings to people and infrastructure in harm’s way. This can be done by detecting the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, which rarely causes damage. Using P-wave information, we first estimate the location and the magnitude of the earthquake. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated and a warning is provided to local populations. The method can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, bringing the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage.

    Studies of earthquake early warning methods in California have shown that the warning time would range from a few seconds to a few tens of seconds. ShakeAlert can give enough time to slow trains and taxiing planes, to prevent cars from entering bridges and tunnels, to move away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments and to take cover under a desk, or to automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems. Taking such actions before shaking starts can reduce damage and casualties during an earthquake. It can also prevent cascading failures in the aftermath of an event. For example, isolating utilities before shaking starts can reduce the number of fire initiations.

    System Goal

    The USGS will issue public warnings of potentially damaging earthquakes and provide warning parameter data to government agencies and private users on a region-by-region basis, as soon as the ShakeAlert system, its products, and its parametric data meet minimum quality and reliability standards in those geographic regions. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018. Product availability will expand geographically via ANSS regional seismic networks, such that ShakeAlert products and warnings become available for all regions with dense seismic instrumentation.

    Current Status

    The West Coast ShakeAlert system is being developed by expanding and upgrading the infrastructure of regional seismic networks that are part of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS); the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) is made up of the Southern California Seismic Network, SCSN) and the Northern California Seismic System, NCSS and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). This enables the USGS and ANSS to leverage their substantial investment in sensor networks, data telemetry systems, data processing centers, and software for earthquake monitoring activities residing in these network centers. The ShakeAlert system has been sending live alerts to “beta” users in California since January of 2012 and in the Pacific Northwest since February of 2015.

    In February of 2016 the USGS, along with its partners, rolled-out the next-generation ShakeAlert early warning test system in California joined by Oregon and Washington in April 2017. This West Coast-wide “production prototype” has been designed for redundant, reliable operations. The system includes geographically distributed servers, and allows for automatic fail-over if connection is lost.

    This next-generation system will not yet support public warnings but does allow selected early adopters to develop and deploy pilot implementations that take protective actions triggered by the ShakeAlert notifications in areas with sufficient sensor coverage.

    Authorities

    The USGS will develop and operate the ShakeAlert system, and issue public notifications under collaborative authorities with FEMA, as part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, as enacted by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7704 SEC. 2.

    For More Information

    Robert de Groot, ShakeAlert National Coordinator for Communication, Education, and Outreach
    rdegroot@usgs.gov
    626-583-7225

    Learn more about EEW Research

    ShakeAlert Fact Sheet

    ShakeAlert Implementation Plan

    QuakeAlertUSA

    1

    About Early Warning Labs, LLC

    Early Warning Labs, LLC (EWL) is an Earthquake Early Warning technology developer and integrator located in Santa Monica, CA. EWL is partnered with industry leading GIS provider ESRI, Inc. and is collaborating with the US Government and university partners.

    EWL is investing millions of dollars over the next 36 months to complete the final integration and delivery of Earthquake Early Warning to individual consumers, government entities, and commercial users.

    EWL’s mission is to improve, expand, and lower the costs of the existing earthquake early warning systems.

    EWL is developing a robust cloud server environment to handle low-cost mass distribution of these warnings. In addition, Early Warning Labs is researching and developing automated response standards and systems that allow public and private users to take pre-defined automated actions to protect lives and assets.

    EWL has an existing beta R&D test system installed at one of the largest studios in Southern California. The goal of this system is to stress test EWL’s hardware, software, and alert signals while improving latency and reliability.

    Earthquake Early Warning Introduction

    The United States Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with state agencies, university partners, and private industry, is developing an earthquake early warning system (EEW) for the West Coast of the United States called ShakeAlert. The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program aims to mitigate earthquake losses in the United States. Citizens, first responders, and engineers rely on the USGS for accurate and timely information about where earthquakes occur, the ground shaking intensity in different locations, and the likelihood is of future significant ground shaking.

    The ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System recently entered its first phase of operations. The USGS working in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is now allowing for the testing of public alerting via apps, Wireless Emergency Alerts, and by other means throughout California.

    ShakeAlert partners in Oregon and Washington are working with the USGS to test public alerting in those states sometime in 2020.

    ShakeAlert has demonstrated the feasibility of earthquake early warning, from event detection to producing USGS issued ShakeAlerts ® and will continue to undergo testing and will improve over time. In particular, robust and reliable alert delivery pathways for automated actions are currently being developed and implemented by private industry partners for use in California, Oregon, and Washington.

    Earthquake Early Warning Background

    The objective of an earthquake early warning system is to rapidly detect the initiation of an earthquake, estimate the level of ground shaking intensity to be expected, and issue a warning before significant ground shaking starts. A network of seismic sensors detects the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, and the location and the magnitude of the earthquake is rapidly determined. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated. The system can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, which brings the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage. Warnings will be distributed to local and state public emergency response officials, critical infrastructure, private businesses, and the public. EEW systems have been successfully implemented in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and other nations with varying degrees of sophistication and coverage.

    Earthquake early warning can provide enough time to:

    Instruct students and employees to take a protective action such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On
    Initiate mass notification procedures
    Open fire-house doors and notify local first responders
    Slow and stop trains and taxiing planes
    Install measures to prevent/limit additional cars from going on bridges, entering tunnels, and being on freeway overpasses before the shaking starts
    Move people away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments
    Shut down gas lines, water treatment plants, or nuclear reactors
    Automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems

    However, earthquake warning notifications must be transmitted without requiring human review and response action must be automated, as the total warning times are short depending on geographic distance and varying soil densities from the epicenter.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Tohoku University (東北大学] , located in Sendai, Miyagi in the Tōhoku Region, Japan, is a Japanese national university. It was the third Imperial University in Japan, the top three Designated National University along with the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University and selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government. In 2020, the Times Higher Education ranked Tohoku University the top university in Japan.

    In 2016, Tohoku University had 10 faculties, 16 graduate schools and 6 research institutes, with a total enrollment of 17,885 students. The university’s three core values are “Research First (研究第一主義),” “Open-Doors (門戸開放),” and “Practice-Oriented Research and Education (実学尊重).”

     
  • richardmitnick 2:09 pm on April 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New data provides clearer picture of historic volcano collapse", , , Geology, ,   

    From University of Rhode Island : “New data provides clearer picture of historic volcano collapse” 

    From University of Rhode Island

    April 27, 2021

    Neil Nachbar
    neil_nachbar@uri.edu
    401-874-9519

    URI Professor Stéphan Grilli is keeping a close eye on volcanoes closer to the U.S.

    1
    No caption or credit.

    The Anak Krakatau volcano flank collapse, triggered by an eruption on December 22, 2018 provided a deadly reminder of how vulnerable and unprepared we are when it comes to natural disasters.

    The tsunami created by the flank collapse hit the coast of Indonesia with waves as tall as 5 meters, leaving 420 people dead and 40,000 people displaced from their homes.

    New Data Used for Modeling

    Ever since the eruption occurred, scientists have been collecting evidence to determine exactly how it happened, just as crime scene investigators attempt to recreate a crime scene.

    “Up until now, a lot of the information we had was based on satellite images and conjecture,” said University of Rhode Island Distinguished Engineering Professor Stéphan Grilli. “Until there was real data, nobody could do any better.”

    By combining new synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images, field observations from a marine geology underwater survey, and aerial photographs taken by drones, a more accurate model can now be created of the volcano before and after it collapsed.

    New high-resolution seafloor and sub-seafloor hydroacoustic surveys have provided a comprehensive view of what the landslide deposits look like underwater.

    “The renderings show how deep the sediment slid underwater and how large the pieces were that collapsed,” said Grilli.

    Published Findings

    The data collected by Grilli and his colleagues will appear in Nature Communications, which is considered one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary science journals.

    “For many researchers working in the natural sciences, publishing a paper in one of Nature’s journals is really an honor and a sign that one’s work is being recognized by the scientific community,” said Grilli. “This also brings great visibility to the work, which is important because as we improve our understanding and modeling of how tsunamis are generated by natural hazards, we can improve our mitigation of their effects in coastal areas and hopefully save lives.”

    Grilli’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation (US). Other co-project investigators at URI were Annette Grilli, associate professor of ocean engineering and Steve Carey, professor of oceanography.

    Most of Stéphan Grilli’s peers who are co-authors on the Nature article are from the United Kingdom and were funded by its Natural Environment Research Council (UK).

    Closer to Home

    As devastating as the tsunami caused by Anak Krakatau was, a potentially much greater threat exists closer to the United States.

    According to Grilli, if one of the volcanos in the Canary Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Northwest Africa was to erupt and suffer a large flank collapse, the results would be catastrophic.

    “Our sights are on the Canary Islands because that volcano shows signs of becoming unstable and an eruption could cause a major landslide on one of its flanks, which studies have shown could be up to 2,000 times larger than what we saw in Indonesia,” said Grilli. “That could create a mega-tsunami, with the potential to cause inundations along the East Coast of the United State, in some areas twice as large as a category five hurricane. It could mean major destruction along the East Coast.”

    On a smaller scale, but within the United States, Hawaii’s volcanos pose a constant threat of eruption and flank collapses.

    “If a piece of one of Hawaii’s volcanos was to break off, it could create a significant tsunami,” said Grilli.

    Not Much Warning

    Despite advances in technology, there is still very little warning when a volcano is on the verge of eruption or a tsunami is forming as a result of it.

    “We have high-frequency radar and systems that can monitor surface currents, including those caused by tsunamis, but we’re still a long way from being able to predict when an earthquake, volcano eruption or tsunami may occur,” said Grilli.

    After Japan was struck by an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 in 2011, resulting in a tsunami and a nuclear power-plant accident, which left close to 18,000 people dead, the country spent $12 billion to build 42-foot-high concrete seawalls.

    The walls block the view of the ocean, but experts say the barriers are worth it, as they should minimize damage and buy time for evacuation. In some areas of the United States, such as along the Cascadia subduction zone off of Northern California, Oregon, and Washington, there would be very little time to retreat to safe ground should a large earthquake and tsunami occur.

    “In Oregon, people are worried about evacuation if we had ‘The Big One,’” said Grilli. “Even though people have built artificial hills for a vertical evacuation, at most there would be a 15-minute tsunami warning. There just wouldn’t be enough time to get everyone to safety.”


    Krakatau Wave Slide
    3D rendering of pre- and post-collapse (likeliest scenario) of Anak Krakatau and the surrounding islands based on available pre-event data outside of the Krakatau Islands and field survey data from August 2019. 3D rendering courtesy of Stéphan Grilli.


    Drone footage of Anak Krakatau, taken on January 10-11, 2019, after the collapse and eruption of the volcano. YouTube video by Earth Uncut TV.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Rhode Island is a diverse and dynamic community whose members are connected by a common quest for knowledge.

    As a major research university defined by innovation and big thinking, URI offers its undergraduate, graduate, and professional students distinctive educational opportunities designed to meet the global challenges of today’s world and the rapidly evolving needs of tomorrow. That’s why we’re here.

    The University of Rhode Island, commonly referred to as URI, is the flagship public research as well as the land grant and sea grant university for the state of Rhode Island. Its main campus is located in the village of Kingston in southern Rhode Island. Additionally, smaller campuses include the Feinstein Campus in Providence, the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center in Providence, the Narragansett Bay Campus in Narragansett, and the W. Alton Jones Campus in West Greenwich.

    The university offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees in 80 undergraduate and 49 graduate areas of study through eight academic colleges. These colleges include Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education and Professional Studies, Engineering, Health Sciences, Environment and Life Sciences, Nursing and Pharmacy. Another college, University College for Academic Success, serves primarily as an advising college for all incoming undergraduates and follows them through their first two years of enrollment at URI.

    The University enrolled about 13,600 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students in Fall 2015.[2] U.S. News & World Report classifies URI as a tier 1 national university, ranking it tied for 161st in the U.S.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:04 am on April 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Overdue? The future of large earthquakes in California", , , , , , Geology, , , ,   

    From temblor : “Overdue? The future of large earthquakes in California” 

    1

    From temblor

    April 21, 2021
    Krystal Vasquez (@CaffeinatedKrys)

    With hundreds of known faults running through the state, California is no stranger to earthquakes. In fact, one occurs about every three minutes, though the majority of these are too small to be felt. But even with all this seismic activity, the state’s three major fault lines have remained eerily quiet. Evidence shows that the San Andreas Fault (US), San Jacinto and Hayward faults should produce a major earthquake roughly three or four times per century (Biasi and Scherer, 2019). Yet, the last one struck in 1918.

    This might not seem like a bad thing. After all, no one wants to experience a big earthquake. But seismologists know that with each passing year, these faults will continue to accumulate stress. Eventually, this stress will be released through a major earthquake — or maybe even several of them. It’s not a matter of if, but rather when this will happen. And given the state’s unusual shortage of large earthquakes, one could easily surmise that California’s well overdue.

    However, David Jackson, a geophysicist at the University of California-Los Angeles (US), is not quite convinced. “It may be just luck” that there has not been a major earthquake, he admits. Alternatively, there might be some unknown interaction between the fault lines that has gifted the state with a relatively peaceful century. But at the 2021 Seismological Society of America (US) Annual Meeting today, Jackson advocated for another possibility: perhaps this so-called “anomalous hiatus” doesn’t actually exist.

    Digging into Earth’s past

    The oft-spoken phrase, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it,” applies to earthquakes, too. Studying California’s past earthquakes can help scientists get a better idea of how much shaking the state might see in the future.

    They do this by digging trenches along active fault lines and searching for evidence of ground displacements or marks left behind on the shaken landscape. The gaps between these displacements tell a “micro-geologic story,” says Glenn Biasi, a geophysicist from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), who was not involved with the study. In other words, these trenches are used to reconstruct a timeline of past seismic events, which scientists can then use to calculate the likelihood that a major earthquake could occur within a subsequent time frame.

    1
    Digging a paleoseismic trench along the Hayward Fault. Credit: USGS.

    That’s why scientists have dug numerous trenches along California faults. “We have 31 places where we think we know about past earthquakes,” Biasi explains. “Those places have not produced an earthquake in 100 years.” Based on the data from these locations, it turns out the likelihood that there would be no evidence of a major earthquake in these locations during this timeframe is extremely low. “Many of us think that must mean something.”

    But in his presentation, Jackson casts some doubt on these “paleoseismological” studies. He says that not all earthquakes leave their marks and, on the flip side, “there may be other things that also give you a similar kind of displacement.” He specifically points to a study led by Nathan Onderdonk, a geologist at California State University-Long Beach (US), where Onderdonk concludes that one particular displacement might have been the result of a nearby earthquake or groundwater movement, among several other possibilities (Onderdonk et al., 2013). Based on this, Jackson argues that some displacements might be attributed to earthquakes even though weren’t actually caused by them. This would, in turn, cause scientists to overestimate the rate these events occurred in the past. “If, say the rate is only once a century or maybe once every 75 years, then if you go 100 years without having any event” our earthquake hiatus makes a lot more sense.

    His main conclusion, though, is that large earthquakes never stopped occurring. By combining instrumental seismic data (e.g. seismographs) and personal accounts of shaking, Jackson points out that there have actually been nine magnitude-7.0 earthquakes in the state since 1918 — they just don’t show up in the paleoseismic records. Biasi, however, says that comparing these different types of data is like comparing “apples and oranges” and explains that paleoseismic data look at specific points on the fault line, whereas the data Jackson used describes a much broader area.

    “We said that these [specific] sites on our biggest faults have a hiatus, not that there’s a general hiatus…These places haven’t broken in 100 years. Over there,” Biasi points to somewhere in the distance, “I don’t know.”

    2
    Annotated photograph (left) and cartoon (right) of offset sedimentary layers in a paleoseismic trench wall that cuts through a section of the San Andreas Fault. Credit: Kate Scharer, USGS.

    Don’t get complacent

    It seems the jury might still be out on what this gap in the paleoseismic record might mean. Are the California fault lines overdue? Maybe. But maybe “overdue” is the wrong way to frame this question.

    “The potential for strong shaking over most of California is real,” says Biasi, “and the probabilities are high enough that you can’t discount that it will happen in your lifetime.”

    Similarly, Jackson ends his presentation with: “We don’t need the compelling word ‘overdue’ to compel action,” and separately says that he doesn’t want to be interpreted as saying there’s no danger. Instead, he offers the following advice: “Make a plan…and then every time you hear the word earthquake, or you feel an earthquake, look at your plan and make an improvement… If you hear the word earthquake, and you don’t do something, then you’re overdue.”

    References

    Biasi, G. P., & Scharer, K. M. (2019). The Current Unlikely Earthquake Hiatus at California’s Transform Boundary Paleoseismic Sites. Seismological Research Letters, 90(3), 1168-1176

    Onderdonk, N. W., Rockwell, T. K., McGill, S. F., & Marliyani, G. I. (2013). Evidence for Seven Surface Ruptures in the Past 1600 Years on the Claremont Fault at Mystic Lake, Northern San Jacinto Fault Zone, California. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 103(1), 519–541

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Earthquake Alert

    1

    Earthquake Alert

    Earthquake Network project is a research project which aims at developing and maintaining a crowdsourced smartphone-based earthquake warning system at a global level. Smartphones made available by the population are used to detect the earthquake waves using the on-board accelerometers. When an earthquake is detected, an earthquake warning is issued in order to alert the population not yet reached by the damaging waves of the earthquake.

    The project started on January 1, 2013 with the release of the homonymous Android application Earthquake Network. The author of the research project and developer of the smartphone application is Francesco Finazzi of the University of Bergamo, Italy.

    Get the app in the Google Play store.

    3
    Smartphone network spatial distribution (green and red dots) on December 4, 2015

    Meet The Quake-Catcher Network

    QCN bloc

    Quake-Catcher Network

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers. With your help, the Quake-Catcher Network can provide better understanding of earthquakes, give early warning to schools, emergency response systems, and others. The Quake-Catcher Network also provides educational software designed to help teach about earthquakes and earthquake hazards.

    After almost eight years at Stanford, and a year at CalTech, the QCN project is moving to the University of Southern California Dept. of Earth Sciences. QCN will be sponsored by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a distributed computing network that links volunteer hosted computers into a real-time motion sensing network. QCN is one of many scientific computing projects that runs on the world-renowned distributed computing platform Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC).

    The volunteer computers monitor vibrational sensors called MEMS accelerometers, and digitally transmit “triggers” to QCN’s servers whenever strong new motions are observed. QCN’s servers sift through these signals, and determine which ones represent earthquakes, and which ones represent cultural noise (like doors slamming, or trucks driving by).

    There are two categories of sensors used by QCN: 1) internal mobile device sensors, and 2) external USB sensors.

    Mobile Devices: MEMS sensors are often included in laptops, games, cell phones, and other electronic devices for hardware protection, navigation, and game control. When these devices are still and connected to QCN, QCN software monitors the internal accelerometer for strong new shaking. Unfortunately, these devices are rarely secured to the floor, so they may bounce around when a large earthquake occurs. While this is less than ideal for characterizing the regional ground shaking, many such sensors can still provide useful information about earthquake locations and magnitudes.

    USB Sensors: MEMS sensors can be mounted to the floor and connected to a desktop computer via a USB cable. These sensors have several advantages over mobile device sensors. 1) By mounting them to the floor, they measure more reliable shaking than mobile devices. 2) These sensors typically have lower noise and better resolution of 3D motion. 3) Desktops are often left on and do not move. 4) The USB sensor is physically removed from the game, phone, or laptop, so human interaction with the device doesn’t reduce the sensors’ performance. 5) USB sensors can be aligned to North, so we know what direction the horizontal “X” and “Y” axes correspond to.

    If you are a science teacher at a K-12 school, please apply for a free USB sensor and accompanying QCN software. QCN has been able to purchase sensors to donate to schools in need. If you are interested in donating to the program or requesting a sensor, click here.

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

    Earthquake safety is a responsibility shared by billions worldwide. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) provides software so that individuals can join together to improve earthquake monitoring, earthquake awareness, and the science of earthquakes. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) links existing networked laptops and desktops in hopes to form the worlds largest strong-motion seismic network.

    Below, the QCN Quake Catcher Network map
    QCN Quake Catcher Network map

    ShakeAlert: An Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast of the United States

    The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) along with a coalition of State and university partners is developing and testing an earthquake early warning (EEW) system called ShakeAlert for the west coast of the United States. Long term funding must be secured before the system can begin sending general public notifications, however, some limited pilot projects are active and more are being developed. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018.

    Watch a video describing how ShakeAlert works in English or Spanish.

    The primary project partners include:

    United States Geological Survey
    California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES)
    California Geological Survey
    California Institute of Technology
    University of California Berkeley
    University of Washington
    University of Oregon
    Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

    The Earthquake Threat

    Earthquakes pose a national challenge because more than 143 million Americans live in areas of significant seismic risk across 39 states. Most of our Nation’s earthquake risk is concentrated on the West Coast of the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has estimated the average annualized loss from earthquakes, nationwide, to be $5.3 billion, with 77 percent of that figure ($4.1 billion) coming from California, Washington, and Oregon, and 66 percent ($3.5 billion) from California alone. In the next 30 years, California has a 99.7 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake and the Pacific Northwest has a 10 percent chance of a magnitude 8 to 9 megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone.

    Part of the Solution

    Today, the technology exists to detect earthquakes, so quickly, that an alert can reach some areas before strong shaking arrives. The purpose of the ShakeAlert system is to identify and characterize an earthquake a few seconds after it begins, calculate the likely intensity of ground shaking that will result, and deliver warnings to people and infrastructure in harm’s way. This can be done by detecting the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, which rarely causes damage. Using P-wave information, we first estimate the location and the magnitude of the earthquake. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated and a warning is provided to local populations. The method can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, bringing the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage.

    Studies of earthquake early warning methods in California have shown that the warning time would range from a few seconds to a few tens of seconds. ShakeAlert can give enough time to slow trains and taxiing planes, to prevent cars from entering bridges and tunnels, to move away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments and to take cover under a desk, or to automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems. Taking such actions before shaking starts can reduce damage and casualties during an earthquake. It can also prevent cascading failures in the aftermath of an event. For example, isolating utilities before shaking starts can reduce the number of fire initiations.

    System Goal

    The USGS will issue public warnings of potentially damaging earthquakes and provide warning parameter data to government agencies and private users on a region-by-region basis, as soon as the ShakeAlert system, its products, and its parametric data meet minimum quality and reliability standards in those geographic regions. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018. Product availability will expand geographically via ANSS regional seismic networks, such that ShakeAlert products and warnings become available for all regions with dense seismic instrumentation.

    Current Status

    The West Coast ShakeAlert system is being developed by expanding and upgrading the infrastructure of regional seismic networks that are part of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS); the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) is made up of the Southern California Seismic Network, SCSN) and the Northern California Seismic System, NCSS and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). This enables the USGS and ANSS to leverage their substantial investment in sensor networks, data telemetry systems, data processing centers, and software for earthquake monitoring activities residing in these network centers. The ShakeAlert system has been sending live alerts to “beta” users in California since January of 2012 and in the Pacific Northwest since February of 2015.

    In February of 2016 the USGS, along with its partners, rolled-out the next-generation ShakeAlert early warning test system in California joined by Oregon and Washington in April 2017. This West Coast-wide “production prototype” has been designed for redundant, reliable operations. The system includes geographically distributed servers, and allows for automatic fail-over if connection is lost.

    This next-generation system will not yet support public warnings but does allow selected early adopters to develop and deploy pilot implementations that take protective actions triggered by the ShakeAlert notifications in areas with sufficient sensor coverage.

    Authorities

    The USGS will develop and operate the ShakeAlert system, and issue public notifications under collaborative authorities with FEMA, as part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, as enacted by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7704 SEC. 2.

    For More Information

    Robert de Groot, ShakeAlert National Coordinator for Communication, Education, and Outreach
    rdegroot@usgs.gov
    626-583-7225

    Learn more about EEW Research

    ShakeAlert Fact Sheet

    ShakeAlert Implementation Plan

    QuakeAlertUSA

    1

    About Early Warning Labs, LLC

    Early Warning Labs, LLC (EWL) is an Earthquake Early Warning technology developer and integrator located in Santa Monica, CA. EWL is partnered with industry leading GIS provider ESRI, Inc. and is collaborating with the US Government and university partners.

    EWL is investing millions of dollars over the next 36 months to complete the final integration and delivery of Earthquake Early Warning to individual consumers, government entities, and commercial users.

    EWL’s mission is to improve, expand, and lower the costs of the existing earthquake early warning systems.

    EWL is developing a robust cloud server environment to handle low-cost mass distribution of these warnings. In addition, Early Warning Labs is researching and developing automated response standards and systems that allow public and private users to take pre-defined automated actions to protect lives and assets.

    EWL has an existing beta R&D test system installed at one of the largest studios in Southern California. The goal of this system is to stress test EWL’s hardware, software, and alert signals while improving latency and reliability.

    Earthquake Early Warning Introduction

    The United States Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with state agencies, university partners, and private industry, is developing an earthquake early warning system (EEW) for the West Coast of the United States called ShakeAlert. The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program aims to mitigate earthquake losses in the United States. Citizens, first responders, and engineers rely on the USGS for accurate and timely information about where earthquakes occur, the ground shaking intensity in different locations, and the likelihood is of future significant ground shaking.

    The ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System recently entered its first phase of operations. The USGS working in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is now allowing for the testing of public alerting via apps, Wireless Emergency Alerts, and by other means throughout California.

    ShakeAlert partners in Oregon and Washington are working with the USGS to test public alerting in those states sometime in 2020.

    ShakeAlert has demonstrated the feasibility of earthquake early warning, from event detection to producing USGS issued ShakeAlerts ® and will continue to undergo testing and will improve over time. In particular, robust and reliable alert delivery pathways for automated actions are currently being developed and implemented by private industry partners for use in California, Oregon, and Washington.

    Earthquake Early Warning Background

    The objective of an earthquake early warning system is to rapidly detect the initiation of an earthquake, estimate the level of ground shaking intensity to be expected, and issue a warning before significant ground shaking starts. A network of seismic sensors detects the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, and the location and the magnitude of the earthquake is rapidly determined. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated. The system can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, which brings the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage. Warnings will be distributed to local and state public emergency response officials, critical infrastructure, private businesses, and the public. EEW systems have been successfully implemented in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and other nations with varying degrees of sophistication and coverage.

    Earthquake early warning can provide enough time to:

    Instruct students and employees to take a protective action such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On
    Initiate mass notification procedures
    Open fire-house doors and notify local first responders
    Slow and stop trains and taxiing planes
    Install measures to prevent/limit additional cars from going on bridges, entering tunnels, and being on freeway overpasses before the shaking starts
    Move people away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments
    Shut down gas lines, water treatment plants, or nuclear reactors
    Automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems

    However, earthquake warning notifications must be transmitted without requiring human review and response action must be automated, as the total warning times are short depending on geographic distance and varying soil densities from the epicenter.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

     
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