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  • richardmitnick 5:11 pm on February 9, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Precise magma locations aid volcanic eruption forecasts", , , , , , , , Vulcanology   

    From The College of Engineering At Cornell University Via “The Chronicle”: “Precise magma locations aid volcanic eruption forecasts” 


    From The College of Engineering


    Cornell University


    “The Chronicle”

    Blaine Friedlander

    After five decades of dormancy, the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands began erupting on Sept. 19, 2021. This image is from October 2021. Credit: Esteban Gazel/Provided.

    Cornell researchers have unearthed precise, microscopic clues to where magma is stored, offering scientists – and government officials in populated areas – a way to better assess the risk of volcanic eruptions.

    The new research was published Feb. 8 in Science Advances [below].

    In recent years, scientists have used satellite imagery, earthquake data and GPS to search for ground deformation near active volcanoes, but those techniques can be inaccurate in locating the depth of magma storage. By finding microscopic, carbon dioxide-rich fluids encased in cooled volcanic crystals, scientists can determine accurately, within one hundred meters, where magma is located.

    Carbon dioxide fluid trapped in microscopic olivine crystals offer clues to where magma is located and when it may erupt in a volcano. Gazel Laboratory/Provided.

    “A fundamental question is where magma is stored in Earth’s crust and mantle,” said lead author Esteban Gazel, the Charles N. Mellowes Professor in Engineering, in Cornell Engineering. “That location matters because you can gauge the risk of an eruption by pinpointing the specific location of magma, instead of other signals like hydrothermal system of a volcano.”

    Gazel said speed and precision are essential. “We’re demonstrating the enormous potential of this improved technique in terms of its rapidity and unprecedented accuracy,” he said. “We can produce data within days of the samples arriving from a site, which provides better, near real-time results.”

    In volcanic events, magma reaches the Earth’s surface and it erupts as lava and – depending on how much gas it contains – it could be explosive in nature. When deposited as part of the fallout of the eruption, fragmented fine-grained material – called tephra – can be collected and quickly evaluated.

    Gazel and doctoral student Kyle Dayton, the first author of the paper, “Deep Magma Storage During the 2021 La Palma Eruption,” deduced how to use inclusions of carbon dioxide-rich fluids trapped within olivine crystals to precisely indicate depth, as the carbon dioxide density of these inclusions is controlled by pressure.

    These fluids can be measured quickly using a calibrated Raman spectroscopy instrument to determine – in terms of kilometers – how far down the magma was stored and the depth of the scorching reservoir.

    More precise Raman spectroscopy methods were developed in the Gazel lab. “We improved the precision by an order of magnitude from available geobarometers, from kilometers to meters,” he said, “but also the spatial resolution of inclusion measurements from tens of microns, down to one micron compared to previously available microthermometry techniques.”

    After five decades of dormancy, new vents in the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands opened and began erupting Sept. 19, 2021. Weeks later, Gazel and Dayton joined a small, elite team of international researchers to study the volcano.

    This Canary Islands research led to Gazel and Dayton to pick through tephra to find crystals, which in turn provide data to improve eruption models and forecasts.

    “We’re finding how deep magma is stored before an eruption through what the volcano brings up,” Dayton said.

    “As these volcanic crystals grow, they occasionally, accidentally trap little bubbles of carbon dioxide fluid,” she said. “These crystals get exhumed during the volcanic eruption and we search the tephra and look for crystals containing fluid inclusions. Through these tiny accidents we can uncover some of Earth’s volcanic secrets from the deep to better understand and prepare for future eruptions.”

    The co-authors are: Penny Wieser, University of California, Berkeley; Valentin R. Troll and Frances M. Deegan, Uppsala University, Sweden; Juan Carlos Carracedo and Francisco J. Perez-Torrado, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; Hector La Madrid, University of Missouri; Diana C. Roman, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington; Jamison Ward, University of Minnesota; Meritxell Aulinas and Guillem Gisbert, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain; and Harri Geiger, University of Freiburg, Germany.

    The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and a NASA Interdisciplinary Science grant.

    Science Advances

    Fig. 1. Seismicity and La Palma 2021.
    A) Canary Islands. (B) Geologic map of La Palma (18). (C) Details of the historical eruptions of La Palma including the recent 2021 eruption (18). (D) The 2021 eruption earthquakes colored by depth. (E) Earthquake history of the 2021 eruption (28). Notice very shallow events just before the beginning (September 9), a bimodal swarm of deep (~20 to 25 km) and shallower (~6 to 12 km) events during the eruption, and a predominately aseismic gap in between. LM denotes the location of the stratigraphic section in the town of Las Manchas.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Cornell University College of Engineering is a division of Cornell University that was founded in 1870 as the Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanic Arts. It is one of four private undergraduate colleges at Cornell that are not statutory colleges.

    It currently grants bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in a variety of engineering and applied science fields, and is the third largest undergraduate college at Cornell by student enrollment. The college offers over 450 engineering courses, and has an annual research budget exceeding US$112 million.

    The College of Engineering was founded in 1870 as the Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanic Arts. The program was housed in Sibley Hall on what has since become the Arts Quad, both of which are named for Hiram Sibley, the original benefactor whose contributions were used to establish the program. The college took its current name in 1919 when the Sibley College merged with the College of Civil Engineering. It was housed in Sibley, Lincoln, Franklin, Rand, and Morse Halls. In the 1950s the college moved to the southern end of Cornell’s campus.

    The college is known for a number of firsts. In 1889, the college took over electrical engineering from the Department of Physics, establishing the first department in the United States in this field. The college awarded the nation’s first doctorates in both electrical engineering and industrial engineering. The Department of Computer Science, established in 1965 jointly under the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences, is also one of the oldest in the country.

    For many years, the college offered a five-year undergraduate degree program. However, in the 1960s, the course was shortened to four years for a B.S. degree with an optional fifth year leading to a masters of engineering degree. From the 1950s to the 1970s, Cornell offered a Master of Nuclear Engineering program, with graduates gaining employment in the nuclear industry. However, after the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island, employment opportunities in that field dimmed and the program was dropped. Cornell continued to operate its on-campus nuclear reactor as a research facility following the close of the program. For most of Cornell’s history, Geology was taught in the College of Arts and Sciences. However, in the 1970s, the department was shifted to the engineering college and Snee Hall was built to house the program. After World War II, the Graduate School of Aerospace Engineering was founded as a separate academic unit, but later merged into the engineering college.

    Cornell Engineering is home to many teams that compete in student design competitions and other engineering competitions. Presently, there are teams that compete in the Baja SAE, Automotive X-Prize (see Cornell 100+ MPG Team), UNP Satellite Program, DARPA Grand Challenge, AUVSI Unmanned Aerial Systems and Underwater Vehicle Competition, Formula SAE, RoboCup, Solar Decathlon, Genetically Engineered Machines, and others.

    Cornell’s College of Engineering is currently ranked 12th nationally by U.S. News and World Report, making it ranked 1st among engineering schools/programs in the Ivy League. The engineering physics program at Cornell was ranked as being No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report in 2008. Cornell’s operations research and industrial engineering program ranked fourth in nation, along with the master’s program in financial engineering. Cornell’s computer science program ranks among the top five in the world, and it ranks fourth in the quality of graduate education.

    The college is a leader in nanotechnology. In a survey done by a nanotechnology magazine Cornell University was ranked as being the best at nanotechnology commercialization, 2nd best in terms of nanotechnology facilities, the 4th best at nanotechnology research and the 10th best at nanotechnology industrial outreach.

    Departments and schools

    With about 3,000 undergraduates and 1,300 graduate students, the college is the third-largest undergraduate college at Cornell by student enrollment. It is divided into twelve departments and schools:

    School of Applied and Engineering Physics
    Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering
    Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering
    Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    School of Civil & Environmental Engineering
    Department of Computer Science
    Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
    School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Department of Materials Science and Engineering
    Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
    School of Operations Research and Information Engineering
    Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
    Department of Systems Engineering

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

    Cornell University is a private, statutory, Ivy League and land-grant research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell’s founding principle, a popular 1868 quotation from founder Ezra Cornell: “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”

    The university is broadly organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions at its main Ithaca campus, with each college and division defining its specific admission standards and academic programs in near autonomy. The university also administers two satellite medical campuses, one in New York City and one in Education City, Qatar, and Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute 8in New York City, a graduate program that incorporates technology, business, and creative thinking. The program moved from Google’s Chelsea Building in New York City to its permanent campus on Roosevelt Island in September 2017.

    Cornell is one of the few private land-grant universities in the United States. Of its seven undergraduate colleges, three are state-supported statutory or contract colleges through the SUNY – The State University of New York system, including its Agricultural and Human Ecology colleges as well as its Industrial Labor Relations school. Of Cornell’s graduate schools, only the veterinary college is state-supported. As a land grant college, Cornell operates a cooperative extension outreach program in every county of New York and receives annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions. The Cornell University Ithaca Campus comprises 745 acres, but is much larger when the Cornell Botanic Gardens (more than 4,300 acres) and the numerous university-owned lands in New York City are considered.

    Alumni and affiliates of Cornell have reached many notable and influential positions in politics, media, and science. As of January 2021, 61 Nobel laureates, four Turing Award winners and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with Cornell. Cornell counts more than 250,000 living alumni, and its former and present faculty and alumni include 34 Marshall Scholars, 33 Rhodes Scholars, 29 Truman Scholars, 7 Gates Scholars, 55 Olympic Medalists, 10 current Fortune 500 CEOs, and 35 billionaire alumni. Since its founding, Cornell has been a co-educational, non-sectarian institution where admission has not been restricted by religion or race. The student body consists of more than 15,000 undergraduate and 9,000 graduate students from all 50 American states and 119 countries.


    Cornell University was founded on April 27, 1865; the New York State (NYS) Senate authorized the university as the state’s land grant institution. Senator Ezra Cornell offered his farm in Ithaca, New York, as a site and $500,000 of his personal fortune as an initial endowment. Fellow senator and educator Andrew Dickson White agreed to be the first president. During the next three years, White oversaw the construction of the first two buildings and traveled to attract students and faculty. The university was inaugurated on October 7, 1868, and 412 men were enrolled the next day.

    Cornell developed as a technologically innovative institution, applying its research to its own campus and to outreach efforts. For example, in 1883 it was one of the first university campuses to use electricity from a water-powered dynamo to light the grounds. Since 1894, Cornell has included colleges that are state funded and fulfill statutory requirements; it has also administered research and extension activities that have been jointly funded by state and federal matching programs.

    Cornell has had active alumni since its earliest classes. It was one of the first universities to include alumni-elected representatives on its Board of Trustees. Cornell was also among the Ivies that had heightened student activism during the 1960s related to cultural issues; civil rights; and opposition to the Vietnam War, with protests and occupations resulting in the resignation of Cornell’s president and the restructuring of university governance. Today the university has more than 4,000 courses. Cornell is also known for the Residential Club Fire of 1967, a fire in the Residential Club building that killed eight students and one professor.

    Since 2000, Cornell has been expanding its international programs. In 2004, the university opened the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. It has partnerships with institutions in India, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China. Former president Jeffrey S. Lehman described the university, with its high international profile, a “transnational university”. On March 9, 2004, Cornell and Stanford University laid the cornerstone for a new ‘Bridging the Rift Center’ to be built and jointly operated for education on the Israel–Jordan border.


    Cornell, a research university, is ranked fourth in the world in producing the largest number of graduates who go on to pursue PhDs in engineering or the natural sciences at American institutions, and fifth in the world in producing graduates who pursue PhDs at American institutions in any field. Research is a central element of the university’s mission; in 2009 Cornell spent $671 million on science and engineering research and development, the 16th highest in the United States.
    Cornell is a member of the Association of American Universities and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

    For the 2016–17 fiscal year, the university spent $984.5 million on research. Federal sources constitute the largest source of research funding, with total federal investment of $438.2 million. The agencies contributing the largest share of that investment are the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Science Foundation, accounting for 49.6% and 24.4% of all federal investment, respectively. Cornell was on the top-ten list of U.S. universities receiving the most patents in 2003, and was one of the nation’s top five institutions in forming start-up companies. In 2004–05, Cornell received 200 invention disclosures; filed 203 U.S. patent applications; completed 77 commercial license agreements; and distributed royalties of more than $4.1 million to Cornell units and inventors.

    Since 1962, Cornell has been involved in unmanned missions to Mars. In the 21st century, Cornell had a hand in the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Cornell’s Steve Squyres, Principal Investigator for the Athena Science Payload, led the selection of the landing zones and requested data collection features for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. NASA-JPL/Caltech engineers took those requests and designed the rovers to meet them. The rovers, both of which have operated long past their original life expectancies, are responsible for the discoveries that were awarded 2004 Breakthrough of the Year honors by Science. Control of the Mars rovers has shifted between National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s JPL-Caltech and Cornell’s Space Sciences Building.

    Further, Cornell researchers discovered the rings around the planet Uranus, and Cornell built and operated the telescope at Arecibo Observatory located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico until 2011, when they transferred the operations to SRI International, the Universities Space Research Association and the Metropolitan University of Puerto Rico [Universidad Metropolitana de Puerto Rico].

    The Automotive Crash Injury Research Project was begun in 1952. It pioneered the use of crash testing, originally using corpses rather than dummies. The project discovered that improved door locks; energy-absorbing steering wheels; padded dashboards; and seat belts could prevent an extraordinary percentage of injuries.

    In the early 1980s, Cornell deployed the first IBM 3090-400VF and coupled two IBM 3090-600E systems to investigate coarse-grained parallel computing. In 1984, the National Science Foundation began work on establishing five new supercomputer centers, including the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing, to provide high-speed computing resources for research within the United States. As an National Science Foundation center, Cornell deployed the first IBM Scalable Parallel supercomputer.

    In the 1990s, Cornell developed scheduling software and deployed the first supercomputer built by Dell. Most recently, Cornell deployed Red Cloud, one of the first cloud computing services designed specifically for research. Today, the center is a partner on the National Science Foundation XSEDE-Extreme Science Engineering Discovery Environment supercomputing program, providing coordination for XSEDE architecture and design, systems reliability testing, and online training using the Cornell Virtual Workshop learning platform.

    Cornell scientists have researched the fundamental particles of nature for more than 70 years. Cornell physicists, such as Hans Bethe, contributed not only to the foundations of nuclear physics but also participated in the Manhattan Project. In the 1930s, Cornell built the second cyclotron in the United States. In the 1950s, Cornell physicists became the first to study synchrotron radiation.

    During the 1990s, the Cornell Electron Storage Ring, located beneath Alumni Field, was the world’s highest-luminosity electron-positron collider. After building the synchrotron at Cornell, Robert R. Wilson took a leave of absence to become the founding director of DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, which involved designing and building the largest accelerator in the United States.

    Cornell’s accelerator and high-energy physics groups are involved in the design of the proposed ILC-International Linear Collider(JP) and plan to participate in its construction and operation. The International Linear Collider(JP), to be completed in the late 2010s, will complement the The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] <a href="http://“>Large Hadron Collider(CH) and shed light on questions such as the identity of dark matter and the existence of extra dimensions.

    As part of its research work, Cornell has established several research collaborations with universities around the globe. For example, a partnership with the University of Sussex(UK) (including the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex) allows research and teaching collaboration between the two institutions.

  • richardmitnick 11:14 pm on February 6, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Magma observed taking an unexpected route beneath volcanoes", , , , , Vulcanology   

    From Imperial College London (UK) : “Magma observed taking an unexpected route beneath volcanoes” 

    From Imperial College London (UK)

    Caroline Brogan

    Imperial researchers have observed magma taking an unexpected route beneath volcanoes, shedding light on the processes behind eruptions.

    The findings [Science Advances (below)] were based on data from a tectonic plate boundary in the Eastern Caribbean region. The results help us understand what drives the type and rate of volcanic eruptions, as well as the make-up of erupted magma. They could also help us understand why some volcanoes are more active than others, and why volcanic activity changes over time.

    Fig. 1. Seismotectonic context of the Lesser Antilles arc, with S-wave ray-path coverage and path-averaged t*S results.
    The red box on the inset map shows the extent of the main map. Island names are labeled in italic; tectonic features are in bold. Ray-paths in the map (top) and cross-sectional view (bottom) are traced in a three-dimensional (3D) velocity model (42), with ray-path colors showing the path-averaged attenuation operator (t*pathave). Orange paths have strong attenuation; green paths have weak attenuation. The orientation of the 2D model spanning the northern LAA shown in Fig. 2 is given by the red dashed line labeled X-X′. On the cross-sectional view, representative 8-s-long S waveforms on thetransverse component are given for back-arc ray-paths (orange) and a fore-arc path (green) from the same intraslab earthquake at 180 km in depth (details in fig. S1).

    When two huge tectonic plates collide, one plate can sink, or subduct, beneath the other, plunging into Earth’s mantle to release water and melt. As the plates rub together and the melted material rises to form magma, these subduction zones are responsible for some of Earth’s most hazardous earthquakes and explosive volcanic eruptions.

    However, it remains poorly understood how magma forms underground and what controls the exact position of volcanoes on top of the overlying plate.

    Now, a new study published in Science Advances [below] shows how rising magma, which eventually erupts, does not always take the shortest, most direct path available to reach volcanoes at the surface.

    Lead author Dr Stephen Hicks, who undertook the work at Imperial’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering and now works at UCL, said: “Scientific views in this much-debated subject have traditionally fallen into two tribes. Some believe the subducting plate mostly controls where the volcanoes are, and some think the overlying plate plays the biggest role. But in our study, we show that the interplay of these two driving forces over hundreds of millions of years is key to controlling where eruptions occur today.”

    Under pressure

    Subducting oceanic plates act as giant reservoirs, transporting water into the deep Earth. These fluids enter the plate through fractures and faults formed during its birth and where it later bends beneath Earth’s deep ocean trenches. Water gets locked into fractures and bound into minerals within the plate.

    Subducting plates are subjected to high pressures and temperatures as they plunge to between ten and 100 kilometres deep. These extreme conditions cause the locked-in water, and other volatile elements, to be driven off. These fluids, which melt the warm mantle above, are the key ingredient of magma that eventually erupts around arcs of volcanoes at the edges of Earth’s oceans, such as the Pacific Ring of Fire.

    Yet the pathways that fluids and melt take deep within the Earth, from the subducting plate to the volcanic arc, cannot be directly seen nor easily inferred from what is erupted.

    To carry out the study, the researchers used earthquake data to map seismic absorption in 3D, similar to how a CT scan maps the internal structure of our bodies. When seismic energy from earthquakes travels through different materials, the waves either slow down or speed up. Along with these speed changes, the energy of waves also dissipates. Hot and molten rock is particularly attenuating: it zaps energy from seismic waves as they travel through it.

    The team collected seismic data from a subduction zone in the Eastern Caribbean that resulted in the Lesser Antilles’ volcanic islands, by using ocean-bottom seismometers to build an accurate 3D picture of the subsurface.

    Unusually, the study found that the zone of strongest seismic attenuation at depth was offset sideways from beneath the volcanoes. These images led the authors to conclude that once water is expelled from the subducting plate, it is carried further downwards, leading to mantle melting behind the volcanic front. Melt then pools at the base of the overriding plate before it is likely transported back toward the volcanic arc.

    The researchers used earthquake data to map seismic absorption in 3D, similar to how a CT scan maps our bodies.

    Study co-author Professor Saskia Goes, also of the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial, said: “Our knowledge of fluid and melt pathways has traditionally been focussed on subduction zones around the Pacific. We decided to study the subduction of the Atlantic instead because the oceanic plate there was formed much more slowly, accompanied by more faulting, and it subducts more slowly than in the Pacific. We felt these more extreme conditions would make fluid and melt pathways more imageable using seismic waves.

    “Our findings give us important clues about the processes behind volcanic eruptions, and could help us to better understand where the magma reservoirs below volcanoes get formed and replenished.”

    The published paper results from an international collaboration between scientists from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and Trinidad.

    The study was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), part of UKRI – UK Research and Innovation(UK)

    Science Advances
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Imperial College London (UK) is a science-based university with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Consistently rated amongst the world’s best universities, Imperial is committed to developing the next generation of researchers, scientists and academics through collaboration across disciplines. Located in the heart of London, Imperial is a multidisciplinary space for education, research, translation and commercialization, harnessing science and innovation to tackle global challenges.

    Imperial College London (legally Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine) is a public research university in London. Imperial grew out of Prince Albert’s vision of an area for culture, including the Royal Albert Hall; Imperial Institute; numerous museums and the Royal Colleges that would go on to form the college. In 1907, Imperial College was established by Royal Charter, merging the Royal College of Science; Royal School of Mines; and City and Guilds College. In 1988, the Imperial College School of Medicine was formed by combining with St Mary’s Hospital Medical School. In 2004, Queen Elizabeth II opened the Imperial College Business School.

    The college focuses exclusively on science; technology; medicine; and business. The college’s main campus is located in South Kensington, and it has an innovation campus in White City; a research field station at Silwood Park; and teaching hospitals throughout London. The college was a member of the University of London(UK) from 1908, becoming independent on its centenary in 2007. Imperial has an international community, with more than 59% of students from outside the UK and 140 countries represented on campus. Student, staff, and researcher affiliations include 14 Nobel laureates; 3 Fields Medalists; 2 Breakthrough Prize winners; 1 Turing Award winner; 74 Fellows of the Royal Society; 87 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering; and 85 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.


    19th century

    The earliest college that led to the formation of Imperial was the Royal College of Chemistry founded in 1845 with the support of Prince Albert and parliament. This was merged in 1853 into what became known as the Royal School of Mines. The medical school has roots in many different schools across London, the oldest of which being Charing Cross Hospital Medical School which can be traced back to 1823 followed by teaching starting at Westminster Hospital in 1834 and St Mary’s Hospital in 1851.

    In 1851 the Great Exhibition was organized as an exhibition of culture and industry by Henry Cole and by Prince Albert- husband of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom Queen Victoria. An enormously popular and financial success proceeds from the Great Exhibition were designated to develop an area for cultural and scientific advancement in South Kensington. Within the next 6 years the Victoria and Albert Museum and Science Museum had opened joined by new facilities in 1871 for the Royal College of Chemistry and in 1881 for the Royal School of Mines; the opening of the Natural History Museum in 1881; and in 1888 the Imperial Institute.

    In 1881 the Normal School of Science was established in South Kensington under the leadership of Thomas Huxley taking over responsibility for the teaching of the natural sciences and agriculture from the Royal School of Mines. The school was renamed the Royal College of Science by royal consent in 1890. The Central Institution of the City and Guilds of London Institute was opened as a technical education school on Exhibition Road by the Prince of Wales in early 1885.

    20th century

    At the start of the 20th century, there was a concern that Britain was falling behind Germany in scientific and technical education. A departmental committee was set up at the Board of Education in 1904, to look into the future of the Royal College of Science. A report released in 1906 called for the establishment of an institution unifying the Royal College of Science and the Royal School of Mines, as well as – if an agreement could be reached with the City and Guilds of London Institute – their Central Technical College.

    On 8 July 1907 King Edward VII granted a Royal Charter establishing the Imperial College of Science and Technology. This incorporated the Royal School of Mines and the Royal College of Science. It also made provisions for the City and Guilds College to join once conditions regarding its governance were met as well as for Imperial to become a college of The University of London. The college joined the University of London on 22 July 1908 with the City and Guilds College joining in 1910. The main campus of Imperial College was constructed beside the buildings of the Imperial Institute- the new building for the Royal College of Science having opened across from it in 1906 and the foundation stone for the Royal School of Mines building being laid by King Edward VII in July 1909.

    As students at Imperial had to study separately for London degrees in January 1919 students and alumni voted for a petition to make Imperial a university with its own degree awarding powers independent of the University of London. In response the University of London changed its regulations in 1925 so that the courses taught only at Imperial would be examined by the university enabling students to gain a BSc.

    In October 1945 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Imperial to commemorate the centenary of the Royal College of Chemistry which was the oldest of the institutions that united to form Imperial College. “Commemoration Day” named after this visit is held every October as the university’s main graduation ceremony. The college also acquired a biology field station at Silwood Park near Ascot, Berkshire in 1947.

    Following the Second World War, there was again concern that Britain was falling behind in science – this time to the United States. The Percy Report of 1945 and Barlow Committee in 1946 called for a “British MIT”-equivalent backed by influential scientists as politicians of the time including Lord Cherwell; Sir Lawrence Bragg; and Sir Edward Appleton. The University Grants Committee strongly opposed however. So, a compromise was reached in 1953 where Imperial would remain within the university but double in size over the next ten years. The expansion led to a number of new buildings being erected. These included the Hill building in 1957 and the Physics building in 1960 and the completion of the East Quadrangle built in four stages between 1959 and 1965. The building work also meant the demolition of the City and Guilds College building in 1962–63 and the Imperial Institute’s building by 1967. Opposition from the Royal Fine Arts Commission and others meant that Queen’s Tower was retained with work carried out between 1966 and 1968 to make it free standing. New laboratories for biochemistry established with the support of a £350,000 grant from the Wolfson Foundation were opened by the Queen in 1965.

    In 1988 Imperial merged with St Mary’s Hospital Medical School under the Imperial College Act 1988. Amendments to the royal charter changed the formal name of the institution to The Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine and made St Mary’s a constituent college. This was followed by mergers with the National Heart and Lung Institute in 1995 and the Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School; Royal Postgraduate Medical School; and the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1997 with the Imperial College Act 1997 formally establishing the Imperial College School of Medicine.

    21st century

    In 2003, Imperial was granted degree-awarding powers in its own right by the Privy Council. In 2004, the Imperial College Business School and a new main entrance on Exhibition Road were opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The UK Energy Research Centre was also established in 2004 and opened its headquarters at Imperial. On 9 December 2005, Imperial announced that it would commence negotiations to secede from the University of London. Imperial became fully independent of the University of London in July 2007.

    In April 2011 Imperial and King’s College London joined the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation as partners with a commitment of £40 million each to the project. The centre was later renamed The Francis Crick Institute (UK) and opened on 9 November 2016. It is the largest single biomedical laboratory in Europe. The college began moving into the new White City campus in 2016 with the launching of the Innovation Hub. This was followed by the opening of the Molecular Sciences Research Hub for the Department of Chemistry officially opened by Mayor of London- Sadiq Khan in 2019. The White City campus also includes another biomedical centre funded by a £40 million donation by alumnus Sir Michael Uren.


    Imperial submitted a total of 1,257 staff across 14 units of assessment to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment. This found that 91% of Imperial’s research is “world-leading” (46% achieved the highest possible 4* score) or “internationally excellent” (44% achieved 3*) giving an overall GPA of 3.36. In rankings produced by Times Higher Education based upon the REF results Imperial was ranked 2nd overall. Imperial is also widely known to have been a critical contributor of the discovery of penicillin; the invention of fiber optics; and the development of holography. The college promotes research commercialization partly through its dedicated technology transfer company- Imperial Innovations- which has given rise to a large number of spin-out companies based on academic research. Imperial College has a long-term partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that dates back from World War II. The United States is the college’s top collaborating foreign country with more than 15,000 articles co-authored by Imperial and U.S.-based authors over the last 10 years.

    In January 2018 the mathematics department of Imperial and the CNRS-The National Center for Scientific Research[Centre national de la recherche scientifique](FR) launched UMI Abraham de Moivre at Imperial- a joint research laboratory of mathematics focused on unsolved problems and bridging British and French scientific communities. The Fields medallists Cédric Villani and Martin Hairer hosted the launch presentation. The CNRS-Imperial partnership started a joint PhD program in mathematics and further expanded in June 2020 to include other departments. In October 2018, Imperial College launched the Imperial Cancer Research UK Center- a research collaboration that aims to find innovative ways to improve the precision of cancer treatments inaugurated by former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden as part of his Biden Cancer Initiative.

    Imperial was one of the ten leading contributors to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration InSight Mars lander which landed on planet Mars in November 2018, with the college logo appearing on the craft. InSight’s Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure, developed at Imperial, measured the first likely marsquake reading in April 2019. In 2019 it was revealed that the Blackett Laboratory would be constructing an instrument for the European Space (EU) Solar Orbiter in a mission to study the Sun, which launched in February 2020. The laboratory is also designing part of the DUNE/LBNF Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

    In early 2020 immunology research at the Faculty of Medicine focused on SARS-CoV-2 under the leadership of Professor Robin Shattock as part of the college’s COVID-19 Response Team including the search of a cheap vaccine which started human trials on 15 June 2020. Professor Neil Ferguson’s 16 March report entitled Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID- 19 mortality and healthcare demand was described in a 17 March The New York Times article as the coronavirus “report that jarred the U.S. and the U.K. to action”. Since 18 May 2020 Imperial College’s Dr. Samir Bhatt has been advising the state of New York for its reopening plan. Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo said that “the Imperial College model- as we’ve been following this for weeks- was the best most accurate model.” The hospitals from the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust which have been caring for COVID-19 infected patients partnered with Microsoft to use their HoloLens when treating those patients reducing the amount of time spent by staff in high-risk areas by up to 83% as well as saving up to 700 items of PPE per ward, per week.

  • richardmitnick 2:05 pm on January 31, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Researching and learning and adapting", A thick belt of tiny particles, also known as aerosols - a notorious air pollutant- formed in the atmosphere above this otherwise virtually unspoiled region., , , Clouds act like an umbrella for the Earth cooling it down., Emissions that affect the climate fall into two groups: greenhouse gases and aerosols. Greenhouse gases heat up the planet while aerosols counteract this effect mainly through cloud formation., In autumn 2014 Iceland’s Holuhraun volcano erupted spewing daily about 120000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide into the air at its peak., People: Yu Wang, Since aerosols can promote the formation of cloud droplets they are an important factor in projecting climate change but we still know very little about it., , Vulcanology, Wang admits that this was just a pilot study and that a single volcanic eruption is not an adequate foundation., What the scientists did was to apply a machine learning method that can tell them what the clouds are like under certain weather conditions., When Iceland had its volcanic eruption climate researchers jumped at the chance to study the effects of the aerosols released during this event.   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) : “Researching and learning and adapting” People: Yu Wang 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH)

    Barbara Vonarburg

    One of the greatest unknowns in climate change is the question of how particulate matter affects clouds. Yu Wang is using machine learning and satellite data to investigate the surprising role of these tiny particles in the atmosphere.

    “Clouds act like an umbrella for the Earth, cooling it down.” Yu Wang investigates how precisely aerosols and the cooling effect of clouds work. (Photograph: Nicola Pitaro/ETH Zürich.

    In autumn 2014 Iceland’s Holuhraun volcano erupted, spewing daily about 120,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide into the air at its peak.

    Lava fountains of the fissure eruption in Holuhraun, northeast of Bárðarbunga (Iceland). The fountains on the photo are of the fissure’s main crater and were about 70-90 meters high at the time of the photo. Credit: Joschenbacher

    A thick belt of tiny particles, also known as aerosols – a notorious air pollutant- formed in the atmosphere above this otherwise virtually unspoiled region. This volcanic eruption served as a very good natural experiment that allowed climate researchers to study how the sudden upwelling of particulate matter affected clouds. “Since aerosols can promote the formation of cloud droplets, they are an important factor in projecting climate change but we still know very little about it,” Wang explains. Since September 2021, the 30-​year-old environmental scientist has been an ETH Zürich Fellow at the university’s Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, working as a member of the group run by Ulrike Lohmann, Professor of Atmospheric Physics.

    Wang talks enthusiastically about a study – published recently in Nature Geoscience [below]– that she, her husband Ying Chen and Ulrike Lohmann co-​authored along with other researchers from the British Met office, the Universities of Exeter, Cambridge, Leeds (UK), and Munich and NASA. She laughs warmly from time to time, clearly delighted by the interest being shown in her results. “I’m really excited about my work,” she says. “Emissions that affect the climate essentially fall into two groups: greenhouse gases and aerosols.” Greenhouse gases heat up the planet, while aerosols counteract this effect mainly through cloud formation.

    “Clouds act like an umbrella for the Earth cooling it down,” Wang says, spreading her arms wide to illustrate her point. But the problem, she adds, is that we are unable to quantify with precision how aerosols and the cooling effect of clouds work. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), aerosols are the primary source of uncertainty when it comes to understanding how humanity has impacted the current climate.

    So when Iceland had its volcanic eruption climate researchers jumped at the chance to study the effects of the aerosols released during this event: they compared the clouds over the North Atlantic in autumn 2014 with the situation in the years before and after. But this comparison proved inconclusive because cloud formation also depends largely on the weather, which was different during the eruption from that in the other years.

    Machine-​made meteorologists

    “We also used the volcanic eruption in our work,” Wang says. “But what we did was to apply a machine learning method that can tell us what the clouds are like under certain weather conditions.” This makes it possible to use data from the “clean” years to determine what the cloud situation would have been in 2014 had there been no eruption. “It’s like having a weather forecast,” Wang says. By comparing the machine learning forecast for the cloud situation minus the Holuhraun eruption with data of clouds in the same months in years before and after the eruption, it’s possible to say that the difference is due entirely to the aerosols.

    The result of this study surprised the researchers because it contradicts previous notions. “It’s also important to know,” Wang says, “that interactions between aerosols and clouds produce two different effects.” An increase in emissions results in a higher number of cloud droplets, but these are smaller. This makes the clouds brighter, which means they reflect more sunlight away from the Earth. A higher number of smaller droplets also means that the clouds can retain more water before it rains, meaning the clouds last longer. “People used to think that it was cloud brightness that dominated the cooling effect, but we discovered that a cloud’s lifespan or the formation of new clouds is more important,” Wang says. Overall, the aerosols released by the volcanic eruption increased cloud cover by around 10 percent.

    Wang became interested in particulates long before she became a climate researcher. “I was born near Beijing, where the air is very polluted,” she says. “I wanted to know why the air quality in my hometown was so much worse than in Europe or the United States.” She studied environmental sciences in Changchun and Beijing and decided to use her Master’s thesis to find out why the pollutant concentration responsible for Beijing’s air pollution is so high. “During my field observations, I noticed that the situation in the real atmosphere was so complex that gaining a better understanding would mean working in the lab,” Wang says.

    From China to the United Kingdom

    For her doctoral studies, Wang was accepted at the University of Manchester; she moved from China to the UK in 2017. “A massive step,” she notes with a sigh, before beaming again and adding: “I’m always excited to discover new things.” In Manchester she worked with an experiment chamber, into which she pumped gas to observe the formation of aerosols. “It was then that I realized that, in addition to being air pollutants, aerosols encourage cloud formation and thus influence the climate,” she says. “That was the moment I started doing climate research.”

    Wang points out that her recently published study on interactions between aerosols and clouds was a departure from her previous work because it was based on machine learning methods rather than on climate models. As input, the research team used satellite observations of cloud cover. They fed the machine with data collected by instruments on board two NASA satellites over a period of more than 20 years. NASA handled both data processing and analysis. “To use machine learning, we require a massive dataset,” Wang says. “The observations made between 2000 and 2020 make us very confident that our method works.”

    The team’s next step will be to try to channel their new findings into existing climate models. “We want to encourage the entire research community to adapt their models to accommodate our observations,” Wang says. She hopes that this will yield better climate models capable of providing more reliable forecasts.

    But Wang admits that this was just a pilot study and that a single volcanic eruption is not an adequate foundation. Therefore, the researchers are also working on other events that triggered an increase or decrease in aerosol emissions, such as observations made before and during the coronavirus pandemic. “We hope our efforts will provide more evidence in near future and make the findings more precise,” Wang says.

    Mentioning the coronavirus has a sobering effect on Wang. Before the pandemic, her parents and friends could visit her in the UK, and she would travel to China during the holidays. “It’s now been three years since we’ve seen each other,” she says. “I find that tough.” She is happy to plan the trip to meet them again soon now that China has eased the restrictions. But for the time being, she and her husband – a climate researcher at the Paul Scherrer Institute – feel at home in Europe.

    Drawing inspiration on the move

    To get new inspiration, Wang likes to go hiking or take trips with her husband. It was on a trip to the seaside of Teignmouth near Exeter that they came up with the idea of using machine learning as part of this exciting climate research.

    As a cloud specialist, people often ask Wang if it would be possible to slow global warming by artificially creating clouds. “This falls under geoengineering,” she says, and names two proposals currently being discussed: the first is to inject aerosols into the stratosphere; the second involves pumping sea salt particles into clouds over the oceans. “But these would be more like giving the world a painkiller rather than an actual cure.” What’s more, the Earth is such a complex system that these interventions could prove very dangerous. “That’s why all geoengineering projects have been shelved,” she says.

    But Wang remains optimistic and believes that almost every situation has its silver lining – even the extreme floods, droughts and heatwaves that are becoming more and more frequent. “Even global warming sceptics are now starting to see how important this issue is,” she says, adding that her motto is “we research, we learn and we adapt”.

    Nature Geoscience

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ETH Zurich campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Like its sister institution The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH) , it is part of The Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain)) , part of the The Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research [EAER][Eidgenössisches Departement für Wirtschaft, Bildung und Forschung] [Département fédéral de l’économie, de la formation et de la recherche] (CH).

    The university is an attractive destination for international students thanks to low tuition fees of 809 CHF per semester, PhD and graduate salaries that are amongst the world’s highest, and a world-class reputation in academia and industry. There are currently 22,200 students from over 120 countries, of which 4,180 are pursuing doctoral degrees. In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings ETH Zürich is ranked 6th in the world and 8th by the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2020. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings by subject it is ranked 4th in the world for engineering and technology (2nd in Europe) and 1st for earth & marine science.

    As of November 2019, 21 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 2 Pritzker Prize winners, and 1 Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the Institute, including Albert Einstein. Other notable alumni include John von Neumann and Santiago Calatrava. It is a founding member of the IDEA League and the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and a member of the CESAER network.

    ETH Zürich was founded on 7 February 1854 by the Swiss Confederation and began giving its first lectures on 16 October 1855 as a polytechnic institute (eidgenössische polytechnische schule) at various sites throughout the city of Zurich. It was initially composed of six faculties: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, forestry, and an integrated department for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, literature, and social and political sciences.

    It is locally still known as Polytechnikum, or simply as Poly, derived from the original name eidgenössische polytechnische schule, which translates to “federal polytechnic school”.

    ETH Zürich is a federal institute (i.e., under direct administration by the Swiss government), whereas The University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ] (CH) is a cantonal institution. The decision for a new federal university was heavily disputed at the time; the liberals pressed for a “federal university”, while the conservative forces wanted all universities to remain under cantonal control, worried that the liberals would gain more political power than they already had. In the beginning, both universities were co-located in the buildings of the University of Zürich.

    From 1905 to 1908, under the presidency of Jérôme Franel, the course program of ETH Zürich was restructured to that of a real university and ETH Zürich was granted the right to award doctorates. In 1909 the first doctorates were awarded. In 1911, it was given its current name, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. In 1924, another reorganization structured the university in 12 departments. However, it now has 16 departments.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    Reputation and ranking

    ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings place the institution as the best university in continental Europe and ETH Zürich is consistently ranked among the top 1-5 universities in Europe, and among the top 3-10 best universities of the world.

    Historically, ETH Zürich has achieved its reputation particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics. There are 32 Nobel laureates who are associated with ETH Zürich, the most recent of whom is Richard F. Heck, awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2010. Albert Einstein is perhaps its most famous alumnus.

    In 2018, the QS World University Rankings placed ETH Zürich at 7th overall in the world. In 2015, ETH Zürich was ranked 5th in the world in Engineering, Science and Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of Cambridge (UK). In 2015, ETH Zürich also ranked 6th in the world in Natural Sciences, and in 2016 ranked 1st in the world for Earth & Marine Sciences for the second consecutive year.

    In 2016, Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked ETH Zürich 9th overall in the world and 8th in the world in the field of Engineering & Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Cambridge(UK), Imperial College London(UK) and University of Oxford(UK) .

    In a comparison of Swiss universities by swissUP Ranking and in rankings published by CHE comparing the universities of German-speaking countries, ETH Zürich traditionally is ranked first in natural sciences, computer science and engineering sciences.

    In the survey CHE Excellence Ranking on the quality of Western European graduate school programs in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, ETH Zürich was assessed as one of the three institutions to have excellent programs in all the considered fields, the other two being Imperial College London (UK) and the University of Cambridge (UK), respectively.

  • richardmitnick 9:40 am on January 19, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A geochemical journey from the center of the Earth", , At magma hotspots the ratios of tungsten and helium isotopes are inconsistent with their ratios within Earth’s rocky middle layer known as the mantle., , Earth’s mantle convection processes were so vigorous during Earth’s early years that it is highly unlikely helium could be trapped in reservoirs originating in the mantle., , , Hotspots-plumes of magma that come from deep inside the Earth and erupt at the surface-have helped form large volcanic islands such as Hawaii and Iceland., One of the clues for hotspot formation involves isotopes of tungsten and helium found in crystallized magmas at these hotspots., , The ratios of tungsten and helium isotopes found are consistent with isotopes found much deeper — at the planet’s tungsten-rich metallic core., The research also may help scientists understand the evolution of areas in Earth’s interior that have been hidden from view for billions of years., The research has far-reaching implications for understanding early Earth conditions such as the extent of magma oceans., The scientific community has explained these isotope ratios had never been exposed to the surface where helium and other gases escape into the atmosphere. Yale scientists disagree., The scientists developed a computer model showing how the tungsten and helium isotopes could make the journey from the center of the Earth., The scientists posit that isotopic diffusion-the movement of atoms within a material based on temperature and the size of the particles-can create something of a hotspot highway., Vulcanology, Where hotspots come from and what makes magma hotspots so unique is not fully understood.,   

    From The Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences At Yale University: “A geochemical journey from the center of the Earth” 

    From The Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences


    Yale University

    By Jim Shelton

    Media Contact
    Michael Greenwood

    Hawaii and Iceland are tourist hotspots — and it turns out they’re popular with geochemical travelers as well.

    A new Yale study suggests that throughout Earth’s history, natural processes propelled measurable geochemical signals from deep inside Earth’s metallic core, up through its thick, middle layer, and all the way to the surface, emerging at what are known as magma “hotspots.”

    The new theory could answer longstanding questions about the nature of these hotspots, which help create some of the most beautiful places on Earth.

    Hotspots, which are plumes of magma that come from deep inside the Earth and erupt at the surface, have helped form large, volcanic islands such as Hawaii and Iceland.

    “Magma hotspots are home to some of the most unique geochemistry found on the Earth’s surface,” said Amy Ferrick, lead author of a new study in the journal PNAS [below]. She is a graduate student in Yale’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and a member of the lab of Jun Korenaga, a professor of Earth and planetary sciences in Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

    “Where hotspots come from, and what makes magma hotspots so unique is not fully understood, but studying their geochemistry can give us clues,” Ferrick said.

    The new theory could answer longstanding questions about the nature of these hotspots, which help create some of the most beautiful places on Earth.

    “Where hotspots come from, and what makes magma hotspots so unique is not fully understood, but studying their geochemistry can give us clues,” Ferrick said.

    One of those clues involves isotopes of tungsten and helium found in crystallized magmas at these hotspots. Isotopes are two or more types of an atom with the same atomic number but different numbers of neutrons.

    At magma hotspots the ratios of tungsten and helium isotopes are inconsistent with their ratios within Earth’s rocky middle layer known as the mantle. Rather, the ratios are consistent with isotopes found much deeper — at the planet’s tungsten-rich, metallic core.

    Traditionally, the scientific community has explained these isotope ratios, especially the helium isotope ratio, by suggesting that some rocks from Earth’s middle layer simply had never been exposed to the surface, where helium and other gases escape into the atmosphere.

    But there is a problem with that notion, Ferrick and Korenaga noted: Earth’s mantle convection processes are so vigorous — and were particularly so during Earth’s early years, when it was hotter and partially molten — that it is highly unlikely helium could be trapped in reservoirs originating in the mantle.

    For the new study, Ferrick and Korenaga developed a computer model showing how the tungsten and helium isotopes could make the journey from the center of the Earth. They posit that isotopic diffusion, the movement of atoms within a material based on temperature and the size of the particles being moved, can create something of a hotspot highway.

    “I initially thought that diffusion might be too slow to be effective, so I was surprised when Amy showed that this process was more than sufficient to explain the anomalous tungsten and helium compositions of ocean island basalts,” Korenaga said.

    The research has far-reaching implications for understanding early Earth conditions such as the extent of magma oceans. It also may help scientists understand the evolution of areas in Earth’s interior that have been hidden from view for billions of years.

    The research was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation.


    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.


    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation , Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences , 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton,

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

  • richardmitnick 2:31 pm on January 18, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "What’s Earth cooking? Stanford’s Ayla Pamukçu wants to know", , , , , , Vulcanology   

    From The School of Earth & Energy & Environmental Sciences At Stanford University: “What’s Earth cooking? Stanford’s Ayla Pamukçu wants to know” 


    From The School of Earth & Energy & Environmental Sciences


    Stanford University Name

    Stanford University

    Danielle Torrent Tucker

    As a young adult, Ayla Pamukçu found herself at a crossroads between college and culinary school. Thanks in part to an influential box of rocks, she chose a research path that eventually led to a career studying the inner workings of the Earth.

    Ayla Pamukçu (Image credit: Andrew Brodhead)

    Ayla Pamukçu, an assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences, first became interested in geology because of a simple contribution to her curiosity: A family friend gifted her a box of rocks and minerals. As a 7-year-old, she found the sparkling, colorful, complex collection fascinating.

    As she grew older, Pamukçu kept turning back to that collection, eventually learning enough about its contents to create a display at her local public library. She recalled adding to the assortment over time as a side project while she pursued other interests.

    “Minerals have this really beautiful symmetry and I ultimately realized that I liked the symmetry,” Pamukçu said. “I also liked that they’re basically the result of chemistry – they formed without influence from human hands, and their colors and symmetry came from complex chemical processes.”

    In her office at Stanford, Pamukçu is surrounded by samples from around the world. Bearing basalt in her ears and a quartz crystal around her neck, she lights up when discussing their origins and doesn’t hesitate to name her (many) favorites. Having found a connection to Earth sciences at a young age, she has made it her mission to help the next generation find their box of rocks – literal or metaphorical.

    “Many years later, the person that gave me the box of rocks told me he’d given such boxes to lots of kids before, but I was the one that did something with it,” she recalled. “So many kids find rocks and minerals exciting. I really want to understand why that fascination goes away, so I am passionate about interacting with K through 12 students and fostering their curiosity about geology and the natural world around them.”

    Understanding Earth

    As part of the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department in the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, Pamukçu sits amongst researchers working to fathom the history of the Earth and other planets. Their efforts lay the foundation for insights into present-day sustainability issues like sea-level rise, climate change, natural resources, biodiversity, natural hazards, and more.

    While many faculty in the department explore parts of our history that have had profound evolutionary consequences over geological time, Pamukçu mainly focuses on volcanic activity that has arguably had some of the most immediate impacts on Earth’s past: supereruptions. These gigantic, explosive volcanic eruptions release so much magma that the Earth below collapses, and a crater-like caldera is left in its wake.

    Supereruptions have occurred many times in Earth’s history, according to the rock record, but not in recorded human history. Experts in the field are working to understand what might be going on underneath the Earth’s surface today and what it can tell us about future supereruptions.

    “Usually when we think of eruptions, we think of volcanoes like those on the Big Island of Hawai’i or Mount St. Helens. Typical eruptions from these volcanoes can have big impacts, but they are actually relatively small eruptions,” Pamukçu said. “The main difference is the amount of magma that gets erupted – a supereruption involves three to four orders of magnitude more magma than the more common eruptions we are used to hearing about in the news.”

    Defined by violent outbursts of hundreds to thousands of cubic miles of magma over a period of days to a year, a supereruption could bury vast areas in thick ash and saturate the atmosphere with gases that drastically affect the global climate. While supereruptions have occurred worldwide, scientists say the likelihood of one occurring imminently is extremely low.

    But any kind of eruption is exciting to a volcanologist.

    “There’s nothing as impactful as seeing magma come out of a volcano – you see the inside of the Earth coming out. It’s truly awe-inspiring,” Pamukçu said. “And every time there’s a volcanic eruption, I’m jealous that I’m not there. I promised my mother at some point that I would focus on systems that are extinct, or at least dormant, for her sanity. And those systems are exciting – there’s still so much to learn. But, secretly, I’d love to work on the active ones, too.”

    Venturing afield

    Pamukçu’s work has taken her to places nearby, such as Long Valley in Bishop, California, and far from home, including to Taupō in New Zealand and even Antarctica. One new aspect of her research involves figuring out the similarities and differences between the more typical eruptions and supereruptions.

    “Understanding the small eruptions is in some ways what we care about more because those are the ones we encounter most frequently,” Pamukçu said. “I am interested in understanding if and how supereruptions are related to smaller eruptions and how our understanding of each type of eruption informs us about the other.”

    One of her recent publications [Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology (below)] explored two different-sized ancient eruptions in the Taupō Volcanic Center in New Zealand. The team’s findings showed that the magmas that produced both eruptions sat in the crust for roughly the same amount of time before erupting.

    “It suggests that a shorter magma residence time doesn’t mean it will be a smaller eruption. It seems that there’s something else that controls whether or not it’s going to be a gigantic eruption or a smaller one,” she said.

    Crystals like the ones Pamukçu collected as a kid make projects like this one possible. By measuring the sizes and compositions of crystals in volcanic rocks, as well as the compositions and shapes of their inclusions – little blebs of magma and other minerals trapped inside them, scientists can estimate conditions such as the magma’s temperature, the depth at which the magma was stored underground, and the time over which it was stored before being erupted.

    “We can take a crystal and cut it in half and image it, and then we can analyze different parts of the crystal and estimate temperatures and pressures and also look at changes in the magma through time,” she said. “When we do that with many different crystals, we can see trends and patterns and complexities.”

    Founding a technique

    Another tool used in Pamukçu’s lab is one that she helped to conceive as an undergraduate – and that also fueled her passion to continue research in geology.

    “I didn’t actually think I would go into geology, but my in my first quarter, my academic advisor recommended that I try the geology intro sequence,” said Pamukçu, who earned a BS from the University of Chicago. “I did terrible in those classes, but I really liked the department. It was similar to the department here, in that it was a small student-to-faculty ratio, so you could easily get involved in research and interact with faculty and graduate students.”

    Pamukçu’s undergraduate research involved regular visits to the Advanced Photon Source at the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, a 30-minute drive from the University of Chicago.

    Her work at the synchrotron there – a machine that creates high-intensity x-rays from an accelerated beam of electrons traveling around a large ring – helped pioneer the application of a technique known as x-ray tomography or Micro-CT to investigate rocks and crystals in 3D. Now, it’s a critical tool in her wheelhouse.

    “We’re basically doing CAT scans like they would do at a hospital, but on a rock or crystal instead of a person. The technique enables us to look inside a material and get three-dimensional data without having to destroy the sample,” she said. “It allows us to see things inside of rocks and crystals and get really precise constraints on textures – shapes, sizes, and positions – of things we see in ways that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to do using more traditional techniques.”

    Paying it forward

    With these increasingly sophisticated toolsets, more of Earth’s history can be revealed. And, Pamukçu hopes, more students will find their way to the Earth sciences.

    For her, that journey involved exploring several of her passions. When it was time to graduate high school, Pamukçu was nearly as interested in cooking and archaeology as she was in rocks and minerals. After deciding to keep her kitchen experiments casual, she took a similar approach to learning about rocks: Before committing to life in academia, she followed her curiosity.

    In high school, she had an opportunity to work in a fluorite mine for a summer. As an undergrad, she got involved in research on magmas in her department and did research on the crystallization of rubies in Myanmar during a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at the American Museum of Natural History. Finally, when a Fulbright grant brought her to Turkey, Pamukçu explored the intersection of archaeology and geology for a year.

    “They were all awesome experiences that did and continue to influence and shape me,” she said, “but I ultimately decided that I wanted to pursue graduate school in geology because there was just still so much more about magmas and minerals that I wanted to learn.”

    Pamukçu wants other people to see what geology has to offer and for kids enamored with rocks and minerals to keep at it. So, she is involved with several programs aimed at exposing a diversity of students to geology, including Skype a Scientist, Letters to a Pre-Scientist, the Bay Area Science Festival, and the Sustainability Undergraduate Research in Geoscience and Engineering Program (SURGE).

    “I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by an enormous diversity of people who exposed me to so much,” Pamukçu said, “In turn, I want to expose as many people as I can to the excitement that rocks can bring.”

    She also sees opportunities for students already studying disciplines like computer science, chemistry, materials science, and biology to find intersections with geology. “One of the things I love about geology is that it’s an applied science. We can take fundamentals from fields like physics and chemistry and biology and apply them to understand Earth’s past and get ideas about what might happen to the Earth in the future,” she said.

    “We go out to the field, we do experiments in the laboratory, we use instruments to analyze materials from the macro to micro scale, we do things with computers like image processing and numerical models. There’s a place for every type of interest in this realm of research and we can collaborate with such a wide variety of people – I want students to see that.”

    Science paper:
    Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 2020

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Stanford University

    The Stanford University School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences

    The School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences

    The School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences (formerly the School of Earth Sciences) lists courses under the subject code EARTH on the Stanford Bulletin’s ExploreCourses web site. Courses offered by the School’s departments and inter-departmental programs are linked on their separate sections, and are available at the ExploreCourses web site.

    The School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences includes the departments of Geological Sciences, Geophysics, Energy Resources Engineering, and Earth System Science; and three interdisciplinary programs: the Earth Systems undergraduate B.S. and coterminal M.A. and M.S. programs, the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) with Ph.D. and joint M.S, and the Sustainability and Science Practice Program with coterminal M.A. and M.S. programs.

    The aims of the school and its programs are:

    to prepare students for careers in the fields of agricultural science and policy, biogeochemistry, climate science, energy resource engineering, environmental science and policy, environmental communications, geology, geobiology, geochemistry, geomechanics, geophysics, geostatistics, sustainability science, hydrogeology, land science, oceanography, paleontology, petroleum engineering, and petroleum geology;

    to conduct disciplinary and interdisciplinary research on a range of questions related to Earth, its resources and its environment;

    to provide opportunities for Stanford undergraduate and graduate students to learn about the planet’s history, to understand the energy and resource bases that support humanity, to address the geological and geophysical, and human-caused hazards that affect human societies, and to understand the challenges and develop solutions related to environment and sustainability.

    To accomplish these objectives, the school offers a variety of programs adaptable to the needs of the individual student:

    four-year undergraduate programs leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

    five-year programs leading to the coterminal Bachelor of Science and Master of Science (M.S.)

    five-year programs leading to the coterminal Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts (M.A.)

    graduate programs offering the degrees of Master of Science, Engineer, and Doctor of Philosophy.

    Details of individual degree programs are found in the section for each department or program.
    Undergraduate Programs in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences

    Any undergraduate admitted to the University may declare a major in one of the school’s departments or the Earth Systems Program by contacting the appropriate department or program office.

    Requirements for the B.S. degree are listed in each department or program section. Departmental academic advisers work with students to define a career or academic goal and assure that the student’s curricular choices are appropriate to the pursuit of that goal. Advisers can help devise a sensible and enjoyable course of study that meets degree requirements and provides the student with opportunities to experience advanced courses, seminars, and research projects. To maximize such opportunities, students are encouraged to complete basic science and mathematics courses in high school or during their freshman year.
    Coterminal Master’s Degrees in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences

    The Stanford coterminal degree program enables an undergraduate to embark on an integrated program of study leading to the master’s degree before requirements for the bachelor’s degree have been completed. This may result in more expeditious progress towards the advanced degree than would otherwise be possible, making the program especially important to Earth scientists because the master’s degree provides an excellent basis for entry into the profession. The coterminal plan permits students to apply for admission to a master’s program after earning 120 units, completion of six non-summer quarters, and declaration of an undergraduate major, but no later than the quarter prior to the expected completion of the undergraduate degree.

    The student may meet the degree requirements in the more advantageous of the following two ways: by first completing the 180 units required for the B.S. degree and then completing the three quarters required for the M.S. or the M.A. degree; or by completing a total of 15 quarters during which the requirements for the two degrees are completed concurrently. In either case, the student has the option of receiving the B.S. degree upon meeting all the B.S. requirements or of receiving both degrees at the end of the coterminal program.

    Students earn degrees in the same department or program, in two different departments, or even in different schools; for example, a B.S. in Physics and an M.S. in Geological Sciences. Students are encouraged to discuss the coterminal program with their advisers during their junior year. Additional information is available in the individual department offices.

    University requirements for the coterminal master’s degree are described in the “Coterminal Master’s Program” section. University requirements for the master’s degree are described in the “Graduate Degrees” section of this bulletin.
    Graduate Programs in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences

    Admission to the Graduate Program

    A student who wishes to enroll for graduate work in the school must be qualified for graduate standing in the University and also must be accepted by one of the school’s four departments or the E-IPER Ph.D. program. One requirement for admission is submission of scores on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam. Admission to one department of the school does not guarantee admission to other departments.

    Faculty Adviser

    Upon entering a graduate program, the student should report to the head of the department or program who arranges with a member of the faculty to act as the student’s adviser. Alternatively, in several of the departments, advisers are established through student-faculty discussions prior to admission. The student, in consultation with the adviser(s), then arranges a course of study for the first quarter and ultimately develops a complete plan of study for the degree sought.

    Financial Aid
    Detailed information on scholarships, fellowships, and research grants is available from the school’s individual departments and programs.

    Stanford University campus

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded Stanford University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members.

    Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private research university located in Stanford, California. Stanford was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. Stanford is consistently ranked as among the most prestigious and top universities in the world by major education publications. It is also one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.

    Leland Stanford was a U.S. senator and former governor of California who made his fortune as a railroad tycoon. The school admitted its first students on October 1, 1891, as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Stanford University struggled financially after the death of Leland Stanford in 1893 and again after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, provost Frederick Terman supported faculty and graduates’ entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would later be known as Silicon Valley.

    The university is organized around seven schools: three schools consisting of 40 academic departments at the undergraduate level as well as four professional schools that focus on graduate programs in law, medicine, education, and business. All schools are on the same campus. Students compete in 36 varsity sports, and the university is one of two private institutions in the Division I FBS Pac-12 Conference. It has gained 126 NCAA team championships, and Stanford has won the NACDA Directors’ Cup for 24 consecutive years, beginning in 1994–1995. In addition, Stanford students and alumni have won 270 Olympic medals including 139 gold medals.

    As of October 2020, 84 Nobel laureates, 28 Turing Award laureates, and eight Fields Medalists have been affiliated with Stanford as students, alumni, faculty, or staff. In addition, Stanford is particularly noted for its entrepreneurship and is one of the most successful universities in attracting funding for start-ups. Stanford alumni have founded numerous companies, which combined produce more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, roughly equivalent to the 7th largest economy in the world (as of 2020). Stanford is the alma mater of one president of the United States (Herbert Hoover), 74 living billionaires, and 17 astronauts. It is also one of the leading producers of Fulbright Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, and members of the United States Congress.

    Stanford University was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford, dedicated to Leland Stanford Jr, their only child. The institution opened in 1891 on Stanford’s previous Palo Alto farm.

    Jane and Leland Stanford modeled their university after the great eastern universities, most specifically Cornell University. Stanford opened being called the “Cornell of the West” in 1891 due to faculty being former Cornell affiliates (either professors, alumni, or both) including its first president, David Starr Jordan, and second president, John Casper Branner. Both Cornell and Stanford were among the first to have higher education be accessible, nonsectarian, and open to women as well as to men. Cornell is credited as one of the first American universities to adopt this radical departure from traditional education, and Stanford became an early adopter as well.

    Despite being impacted by earthquakes in both 1906 and 1989, the campus was rebuilt each time. In 1919, The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace was started by Herbert Hoover to preserve artifacts related to World War I. The Stanford Medical Center, completed in 1959, is a teaching hospital with over 800 beds. The DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory(originally named the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), established in 1962, performs research in particle physics.


    Most of Stanford is on an 8,180-acre (12.8 sq mi; 33.1 km^2) campus, one of the largest in the United States. It is located on the San Francisco Peninsula, in the northwest part of the Santa Clara Valley (Silicon Valley) approximately 37 miles (60 km) southeast of San Francisco and approximately 20 miles (30 km) northwest of San Jose. In 2008, 60% of this land remained undeveloped.

    Stanford’s main campus includes a census-designated place within unincorporated Santa Clara County, although some of the university land (such as the Stanford Shopping Center and the Stanford Research Park) is within the city limits of Palo Alto. The campus also includes much land in unincorporated San Mateo County (including the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve), as well as in the city limits of Menlo Park (Stanford Hills neighborhood), Woodside, and Portola Valley.

    Non-central campus

    Stanford currently operates in various locations outside of its central campus.

    On the founding grant:

    Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is a 1,200-acre (490 ha) natural reserve south of the central campus owned by the university and used by wildlife biologists for research.
    <https://www6.slac.stanford.edu/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a facility west of the central campus operated by the university for the Department of Energy. It contains the longest linear particle accelerator in the world, 2 miles (3.2 km) on 426 acres (172 ha) of land.

    Golf course and a seasonal lake: The university also has its own golf course and a seasonal lake (Lake Lagunita, actually an irrigation reservoir), both home to the vulnerable California tiger salamander. As of 2012 Lake Lagunita was often dry and the university had no plans to artificially fill it.

    Off the founding grant:

    Hopkins Marine Station, in Pacific Grove, California, is a marine biology research center owned by the university since 1892.
    Study abroad locations: unlike typical study abroad programs, Stanford itself operates in several locations around the world; thus, each location has Stanford faculty-in-residence and staff in addition to students, creating a “mini-Stanford”.

    Redwood City campus for many of the university’s administrative offices located in Redwood City, California, a few miles north of the main campus. In 2005, the university purchased a small, 35-acre (14 ha) campus in Midpoint Technology Park intended for staff offices; development was delayed by The Great Recession. In 2015 the university announced a development plan and the Redwood City campus opened in March 2019.

    The Bass Center in Washington, DC provides a base, including housing, for the Stanford in Washington program for undergraduates. It includes a small art gallery open to the public.

    China: Stanford Center at Peking University, housed in the Lee Jung Sen Building, is a small center for researchers and students in collaboration with Beijing University [北京大学](CN) (Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University(CN) (KIAA-PKU).

    Administration and organization

    Stanford is a private, non-profit university that is administered as a corporate trust governed by a privately appointed board of trustees with a maximum membership of 38. Trustees serve five-year terms (not more than two consecutive terms) and meet five times annually.[83] A new trustee is chosen by the current trustees by ballot. The Stanford trustees also oversee the Stanford Research Park, the Stanford Shopping Center, the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University Medical Center, and many associated medical facilities (including the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital).

    The board appoints a president to serve as the chief executive officer of the university, to prescribe the duties of professors and course of study, to manage financial and business affairs, and to appoint nine vice presidents. The provost is the chief academic and budget officer, to whom the deans of each of the seven schools report. Persis Drell became the 13th provost in February 2017.

    As of 2018, the university was organized into seven academic schools. The schools of Humanities and Sciences (27 departments), Engineering (nine departments), and Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (four departments) have both graduate and undergraduate programs while the Schools of Law, Medicine, Education and Business have graduate programs only. The powers and authority of the faculty are vested in the Academic Council, which is made up of tenure and non-tenure line faculty, research faculty, senior fellows in some policy centers and institutes, the president of the university, and some other academic administrators, but most matters are handled by the Faculty Senate, made up of 55 elected representatives of the faculty.

    The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) is the student government for Stanford and all registered students are members. Its elected leadership consists of the Undergraduate Senate elected by the undergraduate students, the Graduate Student Council elected by the graduate students, and the President and Vice President elected as a ticket by the entire student body.

    Stanford is the beneficiary of a special clause in the California Constitution, which explicitly exempts Stanford property from taxation so long as the property is used for educational purposes.

    Endowment and donations

    The university’s endowment, managed by the Stanford Management Company, was valued at $27.7 billion as of August 31, 2019. Payouts from the Stanford endowment covered approximately 21.8% of university expenses in the 2019 fiscal year. In the 2018 NACUBO-TIAA survey of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, only Harvard University, the University of Texas System, and Yale University had larger endowments than Stanford.

    In 2006, President John L. Hennessy launched a five-year campaign called the Stanford Challenge, which reached its $4.3 billion fundraising goal in 2009, two years ahead of time, but continued fundraising for the duration of the campaign. It concluded on December 31, 2011, having raised a total of $6.23 billion and breaking the previous campaign fundraising record of $3.88 billion held by Yale. Specifically, the campaign raised $253.7 million for undergraduate financial aid, as well as $2.33 billion for its initiative in “Seeking Solutions” to global problems, $1.61 billion for “Educating Leaders” by improving K-12 education, and $2.11 billion for “Foundation of Excellence” aimed at providing academic support for Stanford students and faculty. Funds supported 366 new fellowships for graduate students, 139 new endowed chairs for faculty, and 38 new or renovated buildings. The new funding also enabled the construction of a facility for stem cell research; a new campus for the business school; an expansion of the law school; a new Engineering Quad; a new art and art history building; an on-campus concert hall; a new art museum; and a planned expansion of the medical school, among other things. In 2012, the university raised $1.035 billion, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.

    Research centers and institutes

    DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    Stanford Research Institute, a center of innovation to support economic development in the region.
    Hoover Institution, a conservative American public policy institution and research institution that promotes personal and economic liberty, free enterprise, and limited government.
    Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, a multidisciplinary design school in cooperation with the Hasso Plattner Institute of University of Potsdam [Universität Potsdam](DE) that integrates product design, engineering, and business management education).
    Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, which grew out of and still contains the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project.
    John S. Knight Fellowship for Professional Journalists
    Center for Ocean Solutions
    Together with UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, Stanford is part of the Biohub, a new medical science research center founded in 2016 by a $600 million commitment from Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and pediatrician Priscilla Chan.

    Discoveries and innovation

    Natural sciences

    Biological synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) – Arthur Kornberg synthesized DNA material and won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1959 for his work at Stanford.
    First Transgenic organism – Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer were the first scientists to transplant genes from one living organism to another, a fundamental discovery for genetic engineering. Thousands of products have been developed on the basis of their work, including human growth hormone and hepatitis B vaccine.
    Laser – Arthur Leonard Schawlow shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics with Nicolaas Bloembergen and Kai Siegbahn for his work on lasers.
    Nuclear magnetic resonance – Felix Bloch developed new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements, which are the underlying principles of the MRI.

    Computer and applied sciences

    ARPANETStanford Research Institute, formerly part of Stanford but on a separate campus, was the site of one of the four original ARPANET nodes.

    Internet—Stanford was the site where the original design of the Internet was undertaken. Vint Cerf led a research group to elaborate the design of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP/IP) that he originally co-created with Robert E. Kahn (Bob Kahn) in 1973 and which formed the basis for the architecture of the Internet.

    Frequency modulation synthesis – John Chowning of the Music department invented the FM music synthesis algorithm in 1967, and Stanford later licensed it to Yamaha Corporation.

    Google – Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford. They were working on the Stanford Digital Library Project (SDLP). The SDLP’s goal was “to develop the enabling technologies for a single, integrated and universal digital library” and it was funded through the National Science Foundation, among other federal agencies.

    Klystron tube – invented by the brothers Russell and Sigurd Varian at Stanford. Their prototype was completed and demonstrated successfully on August 30, 1937. Upon publication in 1939, news of the klystron immediately influenced the work of U.S. and UK researchers working on radar equipment.

    RISCARPA funded VLSI project of microprocessor design. Stanford and University of California- Berkeley are most associated with the popularization of this concept. The Stanford MIPS would go on to be commercialized as the successful MIPS architecture, while Berkeley RISC gave its name to the entire concept, commercialized as the SPARC. Another success from this era were IBM’s efforts that eventually led to the IBM POWER instruction set architecture, PowerPC, and Power ISA. As these projects matured, a wide variety of similar designs flourished in the late 1980s and especially the early 1990s, representing a major force in the Unix workstation market as well as embedded processors in laser printers, routers and similar products.
    SUN workstation – Andy Bechtolsheim designed the SUN workstation for the Stanford University Network communications project as a personal CAD workstation, which led to Sun Microsystems.

    Businesses and entrepreneurship

    Stanford is one of the most successful universities in creating companies and licensing its inventions to existing companies; it is often held up as a model for technology transfer. Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing is responsible for commercializing university research, intellectual property, and university-developed projects.

    The university is described as having a strong venture culture in which students are encouraged, and often funded, to launch their own companies.

    Companies founded by Stanford alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, equivalent to the 10th-largest economy in the world.

    Some companies closely associated with Stanford and their connections include:

    Hewlett-Packard, 1939, co-founders William R. Hewlett (B.S, PhD) and David Packard (M.S).
    Silicon Graphics, 1981, co-founders James H. Clark (Associate Professor) and several of his grad students.
    Sun Microsystems, 1982, co-founders Vinod Khosla (M.B.A), Andy Bechtolsheim (PhD) and Scott McNealy (M.B.A).
    Cisco, 1984, founders Leonard Bosack (M.S) and Sandy Lerner (M.S) who were in charge of Stanford Computer Science and Graduate School of Business computer operations groups respectively when the hardware was developed.[163]
    Yahoo!, 1994, co-founders Jerry Yang (B.S, M.S) and David Filo (M.S).
    Google, 1998, co-founders Larry Page (M.S) and Sergey Brin (M.S).
    LinkedIn, 2002, co-founders Reid Hoffman (B.S), Konstantin Guericke (B.S, M.S), Eric Lee (B.S), and Alan Liu (B.S).
    Instagram, 2010, co-founders Kevin Systrom (B.S) and Mike Krieger (B.S).
    Snapchat, 2011, co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy (B.S).
    Coursera, 2012, co-founders Andrew Ng (Associate Professor) and Daphne Koller (Professor, PhD).

    Student body

    Stanford enrolled 6,996 undergraduate and 10,253 graduate students as of the 2019–2020 school year. Women comprised 50.4% of undergraduates and 41.5% of graduate students. In the same academic year, the freshman retention rate was 99%.

    Stanford awarded 1,819 undergraduate degrees, 2,393 master’s degrees, 770 doctoral degrees, and 3270 professional degrees in the 2018–2019 school year. The four-year graduation rate for the class of 2017 cohort was 72.9%, and the six-year rate was 94.4%. The relatively low four-year graduation rate is a function of the university’s coterminal degree (or “coterm”) program, which allows students to earn a master’s degree as a 1-to-2-year extension of their undergraduate program.

    As of 2010, fifteen percent of undergraduates were first-generation students.


    As of 2016 Stanford had 16 male varsity sports and 20 female varsity sports, 19 club sports and about 27 intramural sports. In 1930, following a unanimous vote by the Executive Committee for the Associated Students, the athletic department adopted the mascot “Indian.” The Indian symbol and name were dropped by President Richard Lyman in 1972, after objections from Native American students and a vote by the student senate. The sports teams are now officially referred to as the “Stanford Cardinal,” referring to the deep red color, not the cardinal bird. Stanford is a member of the Pac-12 Conference in most sports, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in several other sports, and the America East Conference in field hockey with the participation in the inter-collegiate NCAA’s Division I FBS.

    Its traditional sports rival is the University of California, Berkeley, the neighbor to the north in the East Bay. The winner of the annual “Big Game” between the Cal and Cardinal football teams gains custody of the Stanford Axe.

    Stanford has had at least one NCAA team champion every year since the 1976–77 school year and has earned 126 NCAA national team titles since its establishment, the most among universities, and Stanford has won 522 individual national championships, the most by any university. Stanford has won the award for the top-ranked Division 1 athletic program—the NACDA Directors’ Cup, formerly known as the Sears Cup—annually for the past twenty-four straight years. Stanford athletes have won medals in every Olympic Games since 1912, winning 270 Olympic medals total, 139 of them gold. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, and 2016 Summer Olympics, Stanford won more Olympic medals than any other university in the United States. Stanford athletes won 16 medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics (12 gold, two silver and two bronze), and 27 medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics.


    The unofficial motto of Stanford, selected by President Jordan, is Die Luft der Freiheit weht. Translated from the German language, this quotation from Ulrich von Hutten means, “The wind of freedom blows.” The motto was controversial during World War I, when anything in German was suspect; at that time the university disavowed that this motto was official.
    Hail, Stanford, Hail! is the Stanford Hymn sometimes sung at ceremonies or adapted by the various University singing groups. It was written in 1892 by mechanical engineering professor Albert W. Smith and his wife, Mary Roberts Smith (in 1896 she earned the first Stanford doctorate in Economics and later became associate professor of Sociology), but was not officially adopted until after a performance on campus in March 1902 by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
    “Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman”: Stanford does not award honorary degrees, but in 1953 the degree of “Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman” was created to recognize individuals who give rare and extraordinary service to the University. Technically, this degree is awarded by the Stanford Associates, a voluntary group that is part of the university’s alumni association. As Stanford’s highest honor, it is not conferred at prescribed intervals, but only when appropriate to recognize extraordinary service. Recipients include Herbert Hoover, Bill Hewlett, Dave Packard, Lucile Packard, and John Gardner.
    Big Game events: The events in the week leading up to the Big Game vs. UC Berkeley, including Gaieties (a musical written, composed, produced, and performed by the students of Ram’s Head Theatrical Society).
    “Viennese Ball”: a formal ball with waltzes that was initially started in the 1970s by students returning from the now-closed Stanford in Vienna overseas program. It is now open to all students.
    “Full Moon on the Quad”: An annual event at Main Quad, where students gather to kiss one another starting at midnight. Typically organized by the Junior class cabinet, the festivities include live entertainment, such as music and dance performances.
    “Band Run”: An annual festivity at the beginning of the school year, where the band picks up freshmen from dorms across campus while stopping to perform at each location, culminating in a finale performance at Main Quad.
    “Mausoleum Party”: An annual Halloween Party at the Stanford Mausoleum, the final resting place of Leland Stanford Jr. and his parents. A 20-year tradition, the “Mausoleum Party” was on hiatus from 2002 to 2005 due to a lack of funding, but was revived in 2006. In 2008, it was hosted in Old Union rather than at the actual Mausoleum, because rain prohibited generators from being rented. In 2009, after fundraising efforts by the Junior Class Presidents and the ASSU Executive, the event was able to return to the Mausoleum despite facing budget cuts earlier in the year.
    Former campus traditions include the “Big Game bonfire” on Lake Lagunita (a seasonal lake usually dry in the fall), which was formally ended in 1997 because of the presence of endangered salamanders in the lake bed.

    Award laureates and scholars

    Stanford’s current community of scholars includes:

    19 Nobel Prize laureates (as of October 2020, 85 affiliates in total)
    171 members of the National Academy of Sciences
    109 members of National Academy of Engineering
    76 members of National Academy of Medicine
    288 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    19 recipients of the National Medal of Science
    1 recipient of the National Medal of Technology
    4 recipients of the National Humanities Medal
    49 members of American Philosophical Society
    56 fellows of the American Physics Society (since 1995)
    4 Pulitzer Prize winners
    31 MacArthur Fellows
    4 Wolf Foundation Prize winners
    2 ACL Lifetime Achievement Award winners
    14 AAAI fellows
    2 Presidential Medal of Freedom winners

    Stanford University Seal

  • richardmitnick 12:46 pm on January 16, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , "Surprise magma chamber growing under Mediterranean volcano", , , , , Vulcanology   

    From The American Geophysical Union Via “phys.org” : “Surprise magma chamber growing under Mediterranean volcano” 

    AGU bloc

    From The American Geophysical Union



    Kirsten Steinke

    Submarine volcanic activity along a section of the Kolumbo crater on the seafloor, observed with SANTORY monitoring equipment. Credit: SANTORY.

    Using a novel imaging technique for volcanoes that produces high-resolution pictures of seismic wave properties, a new study reveals a large, previously undetected body of mobile magma underneath Kolumbo, an active submarine volcano near Santorini, Greece. The presence of the magma chamber increases the chances of a future eruption, prompting the researchers to recommend real-time hazard monitoring stations near other active submarine volcanoes to improve estimations of when an eruption might be likely to occur.

    Nearly four hundred years ago, in 1650 C.E., Kolumbo breached the sea surface and erupted, killing 70 people in Santorini. This eruption, not to be confused with the catastrophic Thera (Santorini) volcanic eruption that occurred around 1600 B.C.E., was triggered by growing magma reservoirs beneath the surface of Kolumbo. Now researchers say the molten rock in the chamber is reaching a similar volume.

    The study, published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems [below], was the first to use full-waveform inversion seismic imaging to look for changes in magmatic activity beneath the surface of submarine volcanoes along the Hellenic Arc, where Kolumbo is located.

    Full-waveform inversion technology is applied to seismic profiles—recordings of ground motions along kilometers-long lines—and assesses differences in wave velocities that may indicate subsurface anomalies. The study showed that full-waveform inversion technology can be used in volcanic regions to find potential locations, sizes and melt rates of mobile magma bodies. Seismic profiles were constructed after the researchers fired air-gun shots from aboard a research vessel cruising over the volcanic region, triggering seismic waves that were recorded by ocean bottom seismometers located along the arc.

    “Full-waveform inversion is similar to a medical ultrasound,” said M. Paulatto, a volcanologist at Imperial College London and second author of the study. “It uses sound waves to construct an image of the underground structure of a volcano.”

    According to the study, a significantly decreased velocity of seismic waves that travel beneath the seafloor indicates the presence of a mobile magma chamber underneath Kolumbo. The characteristics of the wave anomalies were used to develop a better idea of the potential hazards the magma chamber may present.

    According to Kajetan Chrapkiewicz, geophysicist at Imperial College London and lead author of the study, existing data for submarine volcanoes in the region were sparse and blurry, but the dense array of seismic profiles and full-waveform inversion has allowed them to obtain much sharper images than before. These were used to identify a large magma chamber that has been growing at an average rate of roughly 4 million cubic meters per year since Kolumbo’s last eruption in 1650 C.E.

    The total volume of melt that has accumulated in the magma reservoir beneath Kolumbo is 1.4 cubic kilometers, the study found. According to Chrapkiewicz, if the current rate of magma chamber growth continues, sometime in the next 150 years Kolumbo could reach the 2 cubic kilometers of melt volume that was estimated to be ejected during the 1650 C.E. eruption. Although volcanic melt volumes can be estimated, there is no way to tell for sure when Kolumbo will erupt next.

    Data-misfit across iterations. (a) Objective function defined as L2-norm misfit of normalized waveforms, averaged over ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs), shown as a black line between 1 gray bounds; stations 177 and 178 with the largest misfit, along with a more typical station 105, are highlighted in color; inset: phase residual of four OBSs (annotated stars) at 3 Hz for starting (top) and final (bottom) model. (b) Observed versus synthetic waveforms at OBS 105, line 27 for starting (top) and final (bottom) model; reduction velocity on the vertical axis is 5 km/s. Credit: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (2022).

    Preparing for submarine explosive events

    The characteristics of the magmatic system at Kolumbo indicates a highly explosive eruption, similar but of a lesser magnitude than the recent Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption in the future, according to the study’s authors. Although danger doesn’t appear to be imminent, an explosion at the Kolumbo volcano could be more disastrous than the Tongan eruption due to its proximity to the population center of Santorini, Greece, located only 7 kilometers (4 miles) from the volcano.

    Kolumbo is found in a relatively shallow part of the Mediterranean Sea at around 500 meters (1600 feet) deep, which according to current estimations, is likely to enhance its explosivity. A tsunami and an eruptive column tens of kilometers high with large amounts of ashfall are predicted to occur when Kolumbo erupts.

    Jens Karstens, a geophysicist at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel who was not involved in the study, underscored the importance of the recent findings. “With studies like this, we can learn more about how volcanic structures work, what to expect and where to expect it, and can use that to design monitoring systems for underwater volcanoes.”

    The study adds to the growing knowledge base of Kolumbo—the most active submarine volcano in the Mediterranean—and the hazards it poses. According to the researchers, full-waveform inversion technology can be used to identify similar magma reservoirs hiding beneath other active submarine volcanoes, but it can be a spatially restrictive and time-consuming process that would be best used in combination with other techniques, such as volcanic sediment drilling and seismographic monitoring, to help form a better idea of what’s really going on under submarine volcanoes.

    Over the last several years, an international team of scientists has been working on establishing SANTORini’s seafloor volcanic observatorY, or SANTORY, a seafloor observatory outfitted with scientific instruments that will be able to measure progressions in Kolumbo’s volcanic activity. SANTORY is still under development, but according to Chrapkiewicz, it is a good example of what a submarine volcanic monitoring station can potentially look like.

    As Paulatto points out, there are more land-based monitoring stations for continental volcanoes than there are for submarine volcanoes. Monitoring volcanic activity underneath the ocean surface is more complicated and expensive than it is on land. However, that doesn’t make it less important, Paulatto said. The researchers hope that this study, in combination with the data collected by SANTORY and the International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 398 sediment drilling cruise, will help convince policymakers of the critical importance for real-time monitoring stations on submarine volcanoes.

    “We need better data on what’s actually beneath these volcanoes,” Chrapkiewicz said. “Continuous monitoring systems would allow us to have a better estimation of when an eruption might occur. With these systems, we would likely know about an eruption a few days before it happens, and people would be able to evacuate and stay safe.”

    Science paper:
    Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems

    See the full post here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The purpose of the The American Geophysical Union is to promote discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity.

    To achieve this mission, AGU identified the following core values and behaviors.

    Core Principles

    As an organization, AGU holds a set of guiding core values:

    The scientific method
    The generation and dissemination of scientific knowledge
    Open exchange of ideas and information
    Diversity of backgrounds, scientific ideas and approaches
    Benefit of science for a sustainable future
    International and interdisciplinary cooperation
    Equality and inclusiveness
    An active role in educating and nurturing the next generation of scientists
    An engaged membership
    Unselfish cooperation in research
    Excellence and integrity in everything we do

    When we are at our best as an organization, we embody these values in our behavior as follows:

    We advance Earth and space science by catalyzing and supporting the efforts of individual scientists within and outside the membership.
    As a learned society, we serve the public good by fostering quality in the Earth and space science and by publishing the results of research.
    We welcome all in academic, government, industry and other venues who share our interests in understanding the Earth, planets and their space environment, or who seek to apply this knowledge to solving problems facing society.
    Our scientific mission transcends national boundaries.
    Individual scientists worldwide are equals in all AGU activities.
    Cooperative activities with partner societies of all sizes worldwide enhance the resources of all, increase the visibility of Earth and space science, and serve individual scientists, students, and the public.
    We are our members.
    Dedicated volunteers represent an essential ingredient of every program.
    AGU staff work flexibly and responsively in partnership with volunteers to achieve our goals and objectives.

  • richardmitnick 9:54 am on January 16, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Looking back at the eruption that shook the world", , , , Hunga Tonga eruption, , Vulcanology   

    From The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU): “Looking back at the eruption that shook the world” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)

    From The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)


    One year ago, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted, causing widespread destruction to the Pacific Island Nation of Tonga, spewing volcanic material up to 58 km into the atmosphere. It brought a nearly 15 m tsunami that crashed ashore, destroying villages, and creating a sonic boom that rippled around the world – twice. Satellites orbiting Earth scrambled to capture images and data of the aftermath of the disaster. Almost a year later, you can now listen to a sonification of the largest eruption of the 21st Century, created using wind data from ESA’s Aeolus mission. © Jamie Perera/Midjourney.

    One year ago, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted, causing widespread destruction to the Pacific Island Nation of Tonga, spewing volcanic material up to 58 km into the atmosphere. It brought a nearly 15 m tsunami that crashed ashore, destroying villages, and creating a sonic boom that rippled around the world – twice.

    Fig. 1: Evolution of Hunga volcanic cloud top height (CTH) on the day of eruption (15 January 2022).
    [a] CTH time evolution from stereoscopic retrieval using Himawary-8 and GOES-17 geostationary imagers. [b] Hovmoller diagram of the maximum CTH (note the inverted time axis). Superimposed lines are color-coded by altitude and represent linear trajectories released from the volcano location at different heights indicated in the panel. The circles color-coded by altitude indicate the detections of water vapour and aerosol plumes respectively by MLS and CALIOP (see panel e). The black-encountered circles indicate the detection of hydrated layers by COSMIC-2 (see panel d). Note the color correspondence between the trajectories and downwind detections of the plume confirming the CTH retrieval. [c] Temperature and zonal wind profiles averaged over 5° × 5° box centered at the volcano location from European Center of Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). [d] water vapour profiles inside the volcanic plume (locations shown in panel b) retrieved from COSMIC-2 radio occultations (using ECMWF temperature) and the corresponding saturation mixing ratio profiles (black dashed lines) from ECMWF analysis. The dashed black curves provide an approximate range of uncertainty from the median of the retrievals ±3 standard deviations on the day before the eruption (January 14). [e] Latitude-altitude cross section of water vapour from MLS (color map) and depolarization ratio from CALIOP (contours, first contour is 0.05, interval is 0.05, last contour is 0.25). The time and longitude of MLS and CALIOP plume measurements are given in panel b.

    Satellites orbiting Earth scrambled to capture images and data of the aftermath of the disaster. Almost a year later, you can now listen to a sonification of the largest eruption of the 21st Century, created using wind data from ESA’s Aeolus mission.

    The volcano had erupted sporadically since 2009, but activity ramped up in late December 2021 as a series of eruptions sent bursts of volcanic gases spewing from the vent. The intense series of explosions began on 15 January 2022 and generated atmospheric shock waves, sonic booms and tsunami waves that travelled across the world. It also created a massive plume of water vapour that shot into Earth’s stratosphere – enough to fill more than 58 000 Olympic-size swimming pools.

    Several Earth-observing satellites collected data before, during and after the eruption. Scientists working on the Aeolus Data Science Innovation Cluster used data from ESA’s Aeolus mission to track the volcanic explosion, thanks to near-real time data from the Aeolus Virtual Research Environment.

    In an interview with Wild Alchemy, ESA’s Tommaso Parrinello commented, “One of the most impressive aspects of the Aeolus mission is how quickly the data is with scientists – almost all of it in less than three hours. The data is displayed on a beautiful and user-friendly interface virtual research environment, called ViRES, from which we can easily detect trends.

    With the Hunga Tonga eruption, the plume essentially blocked the satellite signal in the area of the eruption as they were injected into the otherwise ‘clean’ upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.”

    Tonga volcanic ash plume leaves its mark in Aeolus data. Credit: ESA.

    A huge blip, or drop, in the Aeolus signal over the region of the eruption suggested the plume of volcanic ash must have reached an altitude above the range of Aeolus. The range of the Aeolus measurements was raised from 21 km to 30 km later on in January 2022, after which the satellite’s cloud observations clearly reflected the location of the ash plume in the stratosphere.

    Tommaso explains, “Adjusting the satellite’s range slightly, added to its global coverage, meant our colleagues at European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts were able to track the transport of this plume as it travelled west in almost-real time. Thanks to the sensitivity of Aeolus to the volcanic particles, it was possible to see the effects even some months later.”

    In a recent paper published in Communications Earth & Environment [below], a team of scientists showed the unprecedented increase in the global stratospheric water mass by 13% (relative to climatological levels) and a five-fold increase of stratospheric aerosol load – the highest in the last three decades.

    Using a combination of satellite data, including data from ESA’s Aeolus satellite, and ground-based observations, the team found that due to the extreme altitude, the volcanic plume circumnavigated the Earth in just one week and dispersed nearly pole-to-pole in three months.

    The unique nature and magnitude of the global stratospheric perturbation by the Hunga eruption ranks it among the most remarkable natural events in the modern observation era.

    Even one year on, interest in the extraordinary explosive eruption remains. A sound artist has recently recreated the sonification of the underwater volcanic eruption using Rayleigh wind intensity signals provided by the ViRES platform.

    Using wind data obtained on one of its overpasses over the ash cloud of the Hunga Tonga explosion, Jamie Perera used an audio sample of one of the shock waves, time-stretched it into a ghostly tone, and assigned it to harmonic values transcribed from 90 Aeolus readings taken over a duration of approximately 15 minutes.

    The listener hears one reading every two seconds, in a harmonic range that spans six piano octaves, the highest of which can be heard at around 01:18 minutes when the readings show the eruption’s dust plume at its highest peak (over 20.5 km). The artistic intention behind the sonification was to evoke the otherworldly landscape of Hunga Tonga and other volcanoes.

    Jamie commented, “It was important for me to work with the sound of the Hunga Tonga shockwaves, applied to the Aeolus data. I’m curious about how listening to the data can help us explore events like this from both factual and emotional perspectives.”

    Science paper:
    Communications Earth & Environment
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](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 The National Aeronautics and Space Agency 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.


    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 Organization) . 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.

    ESA Infrared Space Observatory.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration Solar Orbiter annotated.

    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.

    ESA/Huygens Probe from Cassini landed on Titan.

    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, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JP), Indian Space Research Organization (IN), 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 programs 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.


    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.”


    According to the ESA website, the activities are:

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


    Copernicus Programme
    Cosmic Vision
    Horizon 2000
    Living Planet Programme

    Every member country must contribute to these programs:

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


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

    Earth Observation
    Human Spaceflight and Exploration
    Space Situational Awareness


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

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

    Membership and contribution to ESA

    By 2015, ESA was an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states. Member states participate to varying degrees in the mandatory (25% of total expenditures in 2008) and optional space programs (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
    Since 2016, Slovenia has been an associated member of the ESA.

    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.

    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 [Agence spatiale canadienne, ASC] (CA) takes part in ESA’s deliberative bodies and decision-making and also in ESA’s programs and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts to work on programs. 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).


    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 programs, 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.


    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 organization 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 organizations

    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 programs and to organizing 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 organizations 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 programs. 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 specialized 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

    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 programs 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.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/ASI Italian Space Agency [Agenzia Spaziale Italiana](IT) Cassini Spacecraft.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Integral spacecraft

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization] (EU)/National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationSOHO satellite. Launched in 1995.

    Also, the Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project of NASA and ESA.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency[La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Hubble Space Telescope

    ESA-NASA joint projects include the James Webb Space Telescope and the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization]Canadian Space Agency [Agence Spatiale Canadienne](CA) James Webb Space Telescope annotated. Scheduled for launch in December 2021.

    Gravity is talking. Lisa will listen. Dialogos of Eide.

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration eLISA space based, the future of gravitational wave research.

    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.

    NASA ARTEMIS spacecraft depiction.

    Cooperation with other space agencies

    Since China has started to invest more money into space activities, the Chinese Space Agency[中国国家航天局] (CN) has sought international partnerships. ESA is, beside, The Russian Federal Space Agency Государственная корпорация по космической деятельности «Роскосмос»](RU) 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.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency [国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構](JP) Bepicolumbo in flight illustration. Artist’s impression of BepiColombo – ESA’s first mission to Mercury. ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) will be operated from ESOC Germany.

    ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) will be operated from ESOC Germany.

    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 5:05 pm on January 8, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "University at Buffalo-led research in Death Valley suggests volcanic risk areas may be larger than previously thought", , , Findings from a study led by UB geologist Greg Valentine could lead to policy changes that help save lives and infrastructure., , , Vulcanology   

    From The University at Buffalo-SUNY: “University at Buffalo-led research in Death Valley suggests volcanic risk areas may be larger than previously thought” 

    SUNY Buffalo

    From The University at Buffalo-SUNY

    Barbara Branning
    Media Relations
    Tel: 716-645-6969

    Findings from a study led by UB geologist Greg Valentine could lead to policy changes that help save lives and infrastructure.

    Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley National Park. Credit: The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

    A study led by University at Buffalo geologist Greg A. Valentine on the potential reach of volcanic eruptions could have significant impact on how hazard assessments are conducted in areas prone to eruptions.

    The research was first published online in the American Geophysical Union’s Geophysical Research Letters [below] in October.

    Valentine, PhD, UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geology in UB’s College of Arts and Sciences, led a team of colleagues from the U.S. Geological Survey and University of Otago in New Zealand.

    Many explosive eruptions are caused by interaction of hot molten rock and groundwater. These can produce ground-hugging currents of gas and particles known as pyroclastic surges. Historically, geologists have assessed the risk posed by potential pyroclastic surges as extending between .1 to 4 miles from the eruption site. In other words, people, vegetation and infrastructure located within the range – called a runout – are at significant risk.

    These projections are based upon preserved geologic deposits from previous eruptions in the volcanic field.

    However, Valentine’s research in the Ubehebe Crater in California’s Death Valley measured the surge deposits as extending nearly six miles.

    Valentine noted that this was not an unusual eruption, but its deposits have been exceptionally preserved due to the dry and vegetation-poor environment. In addition, surges from magma-water explosions are likely to be cooler than other volcanic flows, which facilitates longer surge distances.

    “Previous studies of surge runout distance had used the best data that were available at the time, which were based on deposits of volcanoes where similar eruptions occurred,” Valentine said. “Most of these used a few kilometers, but here just because of the good preservation in Death Valley, we see evidence for a wider area of impact.”

    Valentine suggests that future hazard assessments in volcanic fields allow for runout up to about 9 miles, and that civic leaders should consider that number when planning evacuations when a volcano is expected to erupt.

    Even at low flow speeds and relatively low temperatures, volcanic surges pose a risk of asphyxiation and burns for humans and animals and can damage infrastructure such as air intakes and internal combustion engines. Therefore, using more realistic estimates of the potential reach of a surge is crucial to hazard assessments and emergency planning in areas that might be subjected to such volcanic activity.

    “If you live in a large city, having a hazard that extends 10 kilometers from a crater is verry different from one that extends only 2 kilometers from the crater,” Valentine said. “The volcano could affect a much larger populated area and much more infrastructure.”

    For the study, Valentine conducted numerical simulations at UB’s Center for Computational Research.

    The work was funded by U.S. National Science Foundation Grant EAR-2035260 to Valentine, the U.S. Geological Survey, and by support from DEVORA (Determining Volcanic Risk for Auckland). Field research was conducted with permission of Death Valley National Park. 

    Science paper:
    Geophysical Research Letters
    See the science paper for instructive material with images, tables and mathematics.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SUNY Buffalo Campus

    The University at Buffalo-SUNY is a public research university with campuses in Buffalo and Amherst, New York. The university was founded in 1846 as a private medical college and merged with the State University of New York system in 1962. It is one of four university centers in the system, in addition to The University at Albany-SUNY, The University at Binghampton-SUNY , and The University at Stony Brook-SUNY . As of fall 2020, the university enrolls 32,347 students in 13 colleges, making it the largest public university in the state of New York.

    Since its founding by a group which included future United States President Millard Fillmore, the university has evolved from a small medical school to a large research university. Today, in addition to the College of Arts and Sciences, the university houses the largest state-operated medical school, dental school, education school, business school, engineering school, and pharmacy school, and is also home to SUNY’s only law school. The University at Binghampton has the largest enrollment, largest endowment, and most research funding among the universities in the SUNY system. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in over 100 areas of study, as well as 205 master’s degrees, 84 doctoral degrees, and 10 professional degrees. The University at Buffalo and The University of Virginia are the only colleges founded by United States Presidents.

    The University at Buffalo is classified as an R1 University, meaning that it engages in a very high level of research activity. In 1989, UB was elected to The Association of American Universities, a selective group of major research universities in North America. University at Buffalo’s alumni and faculty have included five Nobel laureates, five Pulitzer Prize winners, one head of government, two astronauts, three billionaires, one Academy Award winner, one Emmy Award winner, and Fulbright Scholars.

    The University at Buffalo intercollegiate athletic teams are the Bulls. They compete in Division I of the NCAA, and are members of the Mid-American Conference.

    The University at Buffalo is organized into 13 academic schools and colleges.

    The School of Architecture and Planning is the only combined architecture and urban planning school in the State University of New York system, offers the only accredited professional master’s degree in architecture, and is one of two SUNY schools that offer an accredited professional master’s degree in urban planning. In addition, the Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning also awards the original undergraduate four year pre-professional degrees in architecture and environmental design in the SUNY system. Other degree programs offered by the Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning include a research-oriented Master of Science in architecture with specializations in historic preservation/urban design, inclusive design, and computing and media technologies; a PhD in urban and regional planning; and, an advanced graduate certificate in historic preservation.

    The College of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1915 and is the largest and most comprehensive academic unit at University at Buffalo with 29 degree-granting departments, 16 academic programs, and 23 centers and institutes across the humanities, arts, and sciences.

    The School of Dental Medicine was founded in 1892 and offers accredited programs in DDS, oral surgery, and other oral sciences.

    The Graduate School of Education was founded in 1931 and is one of the largest graduate schools at University at Buffalo. The school has four academic departments: counseling and educational psychology, educational leadership and policy, learning and instruction, and library and information science.

    The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences was founded in 1946 and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in six departments. It is the largest public school of engineering in the state of New York. University at Buffalo is the only public school in New York State to offer a degree in Aerospace Engineering.

    The School of Law was founded in 1887 and is the only law school in the SUNY system.

    The School of Management was founded in 1923 and offers AACSB-accredited undergraduate, MBA, and doctoral degrees.

    The School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is the founding faculty of the University at Buffalo and began in 1846. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the biomedical and biotechnical sciences as well as an MD program and residencies.

    The School of Nursing was founded in 1936 and offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in nursing practice and patient care.

    The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was founded in 1886, making it the second-oldest faculty at University at Buffalo and one of only two pharmacy schools in the SUNY system.

    The School of Public Health and Health Professions was founded in 2003 from the merger of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and the University at Buffalo School of Health Related Professions. The school offers a bachelor’s degree in exercise science as well as professional, master’s and PhD degrees.

    The School of Social Work offers graduate MSW and doctoral degrees in social work.

    The Roswell Park Graduate Division is an affiliated academic unit within the Graduate School of UB, in partnership with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, an independent NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Roswell Park Graduate Division offers five PhD programs and two MS programs in basic and translational biomedical research related to cancer. Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center was founded in 1898 by Dr. Roswell Park and was the world’s first cancer research institute.

    The University at Buffalo houses two New York State Centers of Excellence (out of the total 11): Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS) and Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI). Emphasis has been placed on developing a community of research scientists centered around an economic initiative to promote Buffalo and create the Center of Excellence for Bioinformatics and Life Sciences as well as other advanced biomedical and engineering disciplines.

    Total research expenditures for the fiscal year of 2017 were $401 million, ranking 59th nationally.

    SUNY’s administrative offices are in Albany, the state’s capital, with satellite offices in Manhattan and Washington, D.C.

    With 25,000 acres of land, SUNY’s largest campus is The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, which neighbors the State University of New York Upstate Medical University – the largest employer in the SUNY system with over 10,959 employees. While the SUNY system doesn’t officially recognize a flagship university, the University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University are sometimes treated as unofficial flagships.

    The State University of New York was established in 1948 by Governor Thomas E. Dewey, through legislative implementation of recommendations made by the Temporary Commission on the Need for a State University (1946–1948). The commission was chaired by Owen D. Young, who was at the time Chairman of General Electric. The system was greatly expanded during the administration of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, who took a personal interest in design and construction of new SUNY facilities across the state.

    Apart from units of the unrelated City University of New York (CUNY), SUNY comprises all state-supported institutions of higher education.

  • richardmitnick 10:05 am on January 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A large volcanic outburst on Jupiter’s moon Io", , , , Vulcanology   

    From “EarthSky” : “A large volcanic outburst on Jupiter’s moon Io” 


    From “EarthSky”

    Deborah Byrd

    IoIO image of Jovian sodium nebula in outburst – corresponding with the large volcanic outburst on Io – in fall, 2022. Image via Jeff Morgenthaler/ Planetary Science Institute.

    A large volcanic outburst on Io

    The Planetary Science Institute said yesterday (January 3, 2023) that astronomer Jeff Morgenthaler discovered a large volcanic outburst on Jupiter’s moon Io last fall. It was the largest yet, he said. Morgenthaler has been remotely operating a new observatory he set up in 2017, in the desert near Tucson, Arizona.

    Here’s the IoIO telescope, set up to be operated remotely from the desert near Tucson. A bright emission line of ionized sulfur is used to monitor material in Jupiter’s magnetosphere. Morgenthaler said: “The bright, extended nature of these emissions make them easily accessible to small-aperture telescopes developed for the high-end amateur astronomy market.” This telescope caught another large eruption on Io in 2018. And it has recorded images of Mercury’s sodium tail, and Comet NEOWISE in sodium. Image via Planetary Science Institute.

    His goal is to monitor changes in volcanic activity on Io. He has seen some sort of outburst nearly every year, but the outburst of northern hemisphere autumn, 2022, was the largest so far. Morgenthaler said his observations can be reproduced by any ambitious amateur astronomer.

    Io is the innermost of Jupiter’s four large moons and is the most volcanically active body in our solar system. It orbits so close to Jupiter that it is subject to gravitational stresses – or tidal forces – from the giant planet. Essentially, Jupiter squeezes Io like a rubber ball, creating Io’s volcanoes.

    Morgenthaler was using the Planetary Science Institute’s IoIO observatory. NASA and the National Science Foundation provide the funding for IoIO, which stands for Io Input/Output. Morgenthaler commented:

    One of the exciting things about these observations is that they can be reproduced by almost any small college or ambitious amateur astronomer. Almost all of the parts used to build IoIO are available at a high-end camera shop or telescope store.

    How IoIO works

    The Planetary Society explained:

    “IoIO uses a coronagraphic technique which dims the light coming from Jupiter to enable imaging of faint gases near the very bright planet. A brightening of two of these gases, sodium and ionized sulfur, began between July and September 2022 and lasted until December 2022. The ionized sulfur, which forms a donut-like structure that encircles Jupiter and is called the Io plasma torus, was curiously not nearly as bright in this outburst as previously seen.”

    Morgenthaler explained:

    “This could be telling us something about the composition of the volcanic activity that produced the outburst or it could be telling us that the torus is more efficient at ridding itself of material when more material is thrown into it.”

    Morgenthaler’s work involves studying changes in volcanic activity on Io to measure properties of Jupiter’s magnetosphere. A major goal of the project is to learn why ionized material from Io sticks close to Jupiter, rather than being flung out by Jupiter’s rapid rotation.

    What these observations mean for Juno

    While Morgenthaler has been scrutinizing Io from the ground, NASA’s Juno mission has been studying Jupiter from orbit.

    Juno has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016. Juno flew past Jupiter’s second moon outward, Europa, during the recent Io outburst. It is gradually approaching Io for a close flyby December 2023. The Planetary Society said:

    Several of Juno’s instruments are sensitive to changes in the plasma environment around Jupiter and Io that can be traced directly to the type of volcanic activity observed by IoIO.

    So, Juno’s measurements might be able to tell us if this volcanic outburst had a different composition than previous ones.

    More IoIOs?

    Morgenthaler said having one or more copies of IoIO running somewhere else would be very helpful in avoiding weather gaps and could potentially provide more time coverage each night of Jupiter’s highly dynamic Io plasma torus and sodium nebula. He said:

    “It would be great to see another IoIO come on line before Juno gets to Jupiter next December.”

    In addition to observing the Jovian sodium nebula, IoIO also observes Mercury’s sodium tail, bright comets and transiting extra-solar planets.

    IoIO time sequence of singly ionized sulfur in the Io plasma torus, showing how the structure rotates with Jupiter’s powerful magnetic field which, like Earth’s, is not perfectly aligned with the rotation axis of the planet. Image via Jeff Morgenthaler/ PSI.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. “Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers,” she says.

  • richardmitnick 4:46 pm on December 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Hawai‘i Earthquake Swarm Caused by Magma Moving Through ‘Sills'", , , Before this study scientists knew very little about how magma is stored and transported deep beneath Hawai‘i., , , , Magma pumping through a massive complex of flat interconnected chambers deep beneath volcanoes in Hawai‘i appears to be responsible for a swarm of tiny earthquakes over the past seven years., , The pancake-like chambers called "sills" channel magma laterally and upward to recharge the magma chambers of at least two of the island's active volcanoes: Mauna Loa and Kīlauea., Volcanic earthquakes are typically characterized by their small magnitude and frequent occurrence during magmatic unrest., Vulcanology   

    From The California Institute of Technology: “Hawai‘i Earthquake Swarm Caused by Magma Moving Through ‘Sills'” 

    Caltech Logo

    From The California Institute of Technology

    Robert Perkins
    (626) 395‑1862

    Mauna Loa’s Northeast Rift Zone fissure 3 vent and lava channel. Credit: L. Gallant/USGS.

    Magma pumping through a massive complex of flat, interconnected chambers deep beneath volcanoes in Hawai‘i appears to be responsible for an unexplained swarm of tiny earthquakes felt on the Big Island over the past seven years, in particular since the 2018 eruption and summit collapse of Kīlauea.

    The pancake-like chambers called “sills” channel magma laterally and upward to recharge the magma chambers of at least two of the island’s active volcanoes: Mauna Loa and Kīlauea. Using a machine-learning algorithm, geoscientists at Caltech were able to use data gathered from seismic stations on the island to chart out the structure of the sills, mapping them with never-before-seen precision and demonstrating that they link the volcanoes.

    Cartoon summarizing observations. Eruptions and intrusions at Kīlauea cause pressure gradients to rapidly propagate through the Kīlauea transport structure to the Pāhala sill complex. Magma is injected into the Pāhala sill complex from the underlying magma- bearing volume; the sills are proximal to the plagioclase-spinel phase boundary, possibly in a polyphase coexistence region. The sills are connected to Kīlauea and the decollement/Ka‘ōiki region within the Mauna Loa edifice along continuous bands of seismicity. Credit: Science (2022).

    Further, the researchers were able to monitor the progress of the magma as it pushed upward through the sills, and to link that to Kīlauea’s activity. They analyzed a period that ended in May 2022, so it is not yet possible to say whether they can spot the magma flow that led to the November 27 eruption of Mauna Loa, but the team intends to look at that next.

    “Before this study we knew very little about how magma is stored and transported deep beneath Hawai‘i. Now, we have a high-definition map of an important part of the plumbing system,” says John D. Wilding (MS ’22), Caltech graduate student and co-lead author of a paper describing the research that was published in the journal Science [below] on December 22. The study represents the first time scientists have been able to directly observe a magma structure located this deep underground. “We know pretty well what the magma is doing in the shallow part of the system above 15 kilometer depth, but until now, everything below that has just been the subject of speculation,” Wilding says.

    With data on more than 192,000 small temblors (less than magnitude 3.0) that occurred over the 3.5-year period from 2018 to mid-2022, the team was able to map out more than a dozen sills stacked on top of one another. The largest is about 6 kilometers by 7 kilometers. The sills tend to be around 300 meters thick, and are separated by a distance of about 500 meters.

    “Volcanic earthquakes are typically characterized by their small magnitude and frequent occurrence during magmatic unrest,” says Weiqiang Zhu, postdoctoral scholar research associate in geophysics and co-lead author of the Science paper. “We are excited about recent advances in machine learning, particularly deep learning, which are helping to accurately detect and locate these small seismic signals recorded by dense seismic networks. Machine learning can be an effective tool for seismologists to analyze large archived datasets, identify patterns in small earthquakes, and gain insights into underlying structures and physical mechanisms.”

    Wilding and Zhu worked with Jennifer Jackson, the William E. Leonhard Professor of Mineral Physics; and Zachary Ross, assistant professor of geophysics and William H. Hurt Scholar; who are both senior authors on the paper. In October, Ross was named one of the 2022 Packard Fellows for Science and Engineering, which will provide funding to support this research moving forward.

    The team did not have to place a single piece of hardware to do the study; rather, they relied on data gathered by United States Geological Survey seismometers on the island. However, the machine-learning algorithm developed in Ross’s lab gave them an unprecedented ability to separate signal from noise—that is, to clearly identify earthquakes and their locations, which create a sort of 3-D “point cloud” that illustrates the sills.

    “It’s analogous to taking a CT [computerized tomography] scan, the way a doctor can visualize the inside of a patient’s body,” Ross says. “But instead of using controlled sources with X-rays, we use passive sources, which are earthquakes.”

    The team was able to catalog about 10 times as many earthquakes as was previously possible, and they were able to pinpoint their locations with a margin of error of less than a kilometer; previous locations were determined with error margins of a few kilometers. The work was accomplished using a deep-learning algorithm that had been taught to spot earthquake signals using a training dataset of millions of previously identified earthquakes. Even with small earthquakes, which might not stand out to the human eye on a seismogram, the algorithm finds patterns that distinguish quakes from background noise. Ross previously used the technique to reveal how a naturally occurring injection of underground fluids drove a four-year-long earthquake swarm near Cahuilla, California.

    The sills appear to be at depths ranging from around 36–43 kilometers. (For reference, the deepest humans have ever drilled into the Earth is a little over 12 kilometers.) Scientists have long known that a phase boundary is present at a depth of around 35 kilometers beneath Hawai‘i; at such a phase boundary, rock of the same chemical composition transitions from one group of minerals above to a different group below. Studying the new data, Jackson recognized that the transitions occurring in this rock coupled to magma injections could host chemical reactions and processes that stress or weaken the rock, possibly explaining the existence of the sills—and by extension, the active seismicity.

    “The transition of spinel to plagioclase within the lherzolite rock may be occurring through diffuse migration, entrapment, and crystallization of magma melts within the shallow lithospheric mantle underneath Hawai‘i,” Jackson says. “Such assemblages can exhibit transient weakening arising from coupled deformation and chemical reactions, which could facilitate crack growth or fault activation. Recurrent magma injections would continuously modulate grain sizes in the sill complex, prolonging conditions for seismic deformation in the rock. This process could exploit lateral variations in strength to produce and sustain the laterally compact seismogenic features that we observe.”

    It is unclear whether the sills beneath the Big Island are unique to Hawai‘i or whether this sort of subvolcanic structure is common, the researchers say. “Hawai‘i is the best-monitored island in the world, with dozens of seismic stations giving us a window into what’s going on beneath the surface. We have to wonder, at how many other locations is this happening?” Wilding says.

    Also unclear is exactly how the magma’s movement triggers the tiny quakes. The earthquakes map out the structures, but the actual mechanism of earthquakes is not well understood. It could be that the injection of a lot of magma into a space creates a lot of stress, the researchers say.

    Science paper:
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Caltech campus

    The California Institute of Technology is a private research university in Pasadena, California. The university is known for its strength in science and engineering, and is one among a small group of institutes of technology in the United States which is primarily devoted to the instruction of pure and applied sciences.

    The California Institute of Technology was founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891 and began attracting influential scientists such as George Ellery Hale, Arthur Amos Noyes, and Robert Andrews Millikan in the early 20th century. The vocational and preparatory schools were disbanded and spun off in 1910 and the college assumed its present name in 1920. In 1934, The California Institute of Technology was elected to the Association of American Universities, and the antecedents of National Aeronautics and Space Administration ‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which The California Institute of Technology continues to manage and operate, were established between 1936 and 1943 under Theodore von Kármán.

    The California Institute of Technology has six academic divisions with strong emphasis on science and engineering. Its 124-acre (50 ha) primary campus is located approximately 11 mi (18 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. First-year students are required to live on campus, and 95% of undergraduates remain in the on-campus House System at The California Institute of Technology. Although The California Institute of Technology has a strong tradition of practical jokes and pranks, student life is governed by an honor code which allows faculty to assign take-home examinations. The The California Institute of Technology Beavers compete in 13 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division III’s Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).

    As of October 2020, there are 76 Nobel laureates who have been affiliated with The California Institute of Technology, including 40 alumni and faculty members (41 prizes, with chemist Linus Pauling being the only individual in history to win two unshared prizes). In addition, 4 Fields Medalists and 6 Turing Award winners have been affiliated with The California Institute of Technology. There are 8 Crafoord Laureates and 56 non-emeritus faculty members (as well as many emeritus faculty members) who have been elected to one of the United States National Academies. Four Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force and 71 have won the United States National Medal of Science or Technology. Numerous faculty members are associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well as National Aeronautics and Space Administration. According to a 2015 Pomona College study, The California Institute of Technology ranked number one in the U.S. for the percentage of its graduates who go on to earn a PhD.


    The California Institute of Technology is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”. Caltech was elected to The Association of American Universities in 1934 and remains a research university with “very high” research activity, primarily in STEM fields. The largest federal agencies contributing to research are National Aeronautics and Space Administration; National Science Foundation; Department of Health and Human Services; Department of Defense, and Department of Energy.

    In 2005, The California Institute of Technology had 739,000 square feet (68,700 m^2) dedicated to research: 330,000 square feet (30,700 m^2) to physical sciences, 163,000 square feet (15,100 m^2) to engineering, and 160,000 square feet (14,900 m^2) to biological sciences.

    In addition to managing NASA-JPL/Caltech , The California Institute of Technology also operates the Caltech Palomar Observatory; The Owens Valley Radio Observatory;the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory; the W. M. Keck Observatory at the Mauna Kea Observatory; the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory at Livingston, Louisiana and Hanford, Washington; and Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory in Corona del Mar, California. The Institute launched the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at The California Institute of Technology in 2006; the Keck Institute for Space Studies in 2008; and is also the current home for the Einstein Papers Project. The Spitzer Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center located on The California Institute of Technology campus, is the data analysis and community support center for NASA’s Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope [no longer in service].

    The California Institute of Technology partnered with University of California at Los Angeles to establish a Joint Center for Translational Medicine (UCLA-Caltech JCTM), which conducts experimental research into clinical applications, including the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer.

    The California Institute of Technology operates several Total Carbon Column Observing Network stations as part of an international collaborative effort of measuring greenhouse gases globally. One station is on campus.

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