Archive of October 4th, 2007

Bathymetry Map of Kauai Region



Red star indicates current location of R/V Kilo Moana

Click on the Image for larger version

Science Update October 4th by Todd Bianco

Another dive is completed, this time at Site 09, southeast of Kaula. The dive was very successful with 37 of the 38 samples being basalt, and many containing glass. Some of the samples were collected from a series of ledges and benches and also a cone that led towards Kaula, which were thought to be rejuvenation stage lava flows. The rest of the samples were collected from a ridge that runs up to the main Kaula edifice, which was thought to be shield stage lava flows.
The team made an interesting observation over the series of benches and ledges. One was that fresh, young pillow basalt was located at the bottom of at least one ledge, and as Jason went up, the seafloor looked older with more sediment and manganese coating. This is interesting because normally younger material overlays older material. Another observation was made at a cliff on the cone, which showed truncated pillows for most of the outcrop, but near the top had long, more fluid-looking pillows dripping down the cliff. This means that the cliff formed earlier than the fluid pillows. Both of these observations indicate that there was a lot of time between flows at the benches and the cone. Typically rejuvenation stage edifices, like Diamond Head on Oahu, are monogenic, meaning that they formed during one event without significant time gaps in the eruptive sequence. If the benches and the cone are rejuvenation stage lava flows, they possibly have a unique morphology.

Teacher at Sea log for October 4th, 2007 by Linda Sciaroni

On our science team we have three groups of people: professors, graduate students, and science personnel. The professors have received their Doctorate of Philosophy in a science. These people are employed by universities and research institutions and are pursuing their own line of scientific interest. There are the five graduate students who are working with these professors on a field of science of the students' choice, but often it is in parallel to their mentors' work. When Jason's cable was in peril it was these students who held a stiff upper lip; their timeline for graduation is very dependent on the rocks we collect and the results of the sample analyses performed after this cruise. The third group of science personnel is made up of those of us lucky enough to come along to lend a hand. We have chemist from Belgium, a recent geology graduate, a retired Ph.D. delighted to keep his hand in Hawaiian geology, and me, the teacher at sea.

Todd Anthony Bianco is a graduate student in Hawaii. His research involves mathematical modeling of the composition, melting, and motion of the mantle plumes. He is originally from Rhode Island and has a great variety of avocations like running and playing the guitar. He is really enjoying the opportunity to think deeply and challenge himself with difficult to imagine problems that require original thinking. He estimates that he works on his research more than 200 hours per month and that it will take him four years to finish his project. His other responsibilities at the university include tutoring undergraduate students and working for his advisor, Garrett Ito, on Garrett's related research. He said one of the good things about the life choices he has made is that, because of school choice and scholarships, he is debt free. This freedom allowed him to take an adventurous job in the desert of California for a season. What I like best about Todd is his welcoming smile, fabulous sense of humor, and his ability to explain things. He is the author of the majority of our science updates and makes the maps for the web page.

Ines Nobre Silva is far from her home country of Portugal, living in Canada while attending the University of British Columbia. Her advisor is Dominique Weis, an expert in the field of isotope geochemistry who is also onboard the Kilo Moana. Ines's work focuses on the isotopic composition of oceanic island basalts, the same type of basalts that form the Hawaiian Islands. On this cruise she has the opportunity to experience the practical side of marine geology and marine sample collection. This is a good complement to rock analyses that she regularly performs in her lab at UBC. This has been a wonderful "field summer" for Ines as she also served on a cruise to the Indian Ocean. She had a lot to share with me about her life in school. The conversation showed she is learning about the different cultures of Canada, the Continental United States, Hawaii, and anywhere else she has the opportunity to travel. Her experiences have opened her eyes to how fortunate she has been to be raised by parents that fully supported her learning, growth and self-determination. She is a joyful and playful person, and also a dedicated student. Ines understands the importance of working with her peers in scientific endeavors. She has made great academic connections with her advisor Dominique and with other graduate students from UBC and other universities who are interested in related topics.

Ashton snaps a photo with the science cam Ines is cleaning the baskets
Todd Todd Diane and Ines
Ines Lisa and Me on watch in the Jason van
The Science Team





Presented by the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawaii, with financial support from the National Science Foundation.


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