Through the Ocean to the Mantle: Under the Seas with a Fleet of Floating Seismic Robots – Geology Lecture Series at Southwestern

Coos Bay, OR  –  Southwestern’s geology lecture series continues when Dr. Frederik Simons joins us on Friday, November 30, 2018 at 7:00 pm. Dr. Simons will present a lecture on “Through the Ocean to the Mantle: Under the Seas with a Fleet of Floating Seismic Robots”. Dr. Simons comes to Coos Bay as a distinguished lecturer Lectures Series. For nearly two decades, the IRIS/SSA lecture series has enabled world-renowned scientists to travel and speak to public audiences about cutting-edge earthquake and seismologic research.

 
Dr. Simons is a geophysicist at Princeton University. Usually from the safety of his office, he analyzes data from digital global seismic networks to study the physical properties of the interior of the solid Earth, and from gravity satellite missions to weigh the ice sheets melting off its surface. To help increase seismic station coverage around the globe, he has been leaving his comfort zone by prototyping floating earthquake recorders in the oceans, and is now promoting the next big push in earth observation through the international initiative "EarthScope-Oceans". Simons joined the Princeton faculty in 2006. He is also an Associated Faculty member in the Program in Applied & Computational Mathematics and serves on the Executive Committee of the Program in Archaeology. Between 2010 and 2013, Simons was the Dusenbury University Preceptor of Geological & Geophysical Sciences. Previously, he was a Lecturer at University College London, a Princeton Council of Science & Technology Beck Fellow and a Department of Geosciences Hess Post-doctoral Fellow. Simons received a Ph.D. in Geophysics from M.I.T. and his M.Sc. in Geology from the KU Leuven in Belgium, of which he is a native.

 
In the last few decades, seismologists have mapped the Earth's interior (crust, mantle, and core) in ever increasing detail. Natural earthquakes, the sources of energy used to probe the Earth's inside via seismic computerized tomography, occur mostly on tectonic plate boundaries. Seismometers, the receivers of earthquake wave motion, are located mostly on dry land. Such fundamentally inadequate 'source-receiver' coverage leaves large volumes inside the Earth entirely unexplored. Here be dragons!  Placing seismic stations on the ocean bottom is among the solutions practiced successfully today. But there are exciting alternatives. Enter MERMAID: a fully autonomous marine instrument that travels deep below the ocean surface, recording seismic activity (and marine environmental data), and then reporting it by surfacing for satellite data transmission. This presentation will discuss a century of Earth imaging, a decade of instrument design and development, and the challenging – and wet – places that our scientific journey has taken us.

 
Geology Lecture Series talks are free and are held in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on Southwestern’s Coos Campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay.  For those not able to attend in person, all lectures are Livestreamed and archived, with access from the College's web site at https://livestream.com/SWOCC/geology2018-19.  Additional talks in the series for this academic year include:  Dr. Lucy Jones (The 14th Annual Cascadia Anniversary Lecture) on January 25, 2019; Dr. Shannon Kob (Idaho State) on undersea volcanoes and the search for extraterrestrial life on March 2, 2019; Dr. Julia Reece (Texas A & M) an Ocean Drilling Program distinguished lecturer on April 13, 2019 and Dr. Stephen Palumbi (Stanford) on extreme life in the sea on May 17, 2019.  Lecture series sponsors include DB Western, The Mill Casino, the Southwestern Foundation and the College.

 
For additional information, please contact Ron Metzger at 541-888-7216.

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