Up to Alaska

June 4th, 2010

guest blogger: Stephanie

We arrived in Juno last night a little past 10 PM local time (that’s 2 AM for us…) after a long day of traveling, to be greeted by stuffed bears in the airport (awesome!). After spending a night in the lovely Breakwater Inn, we had an amazing breakfast at Donna’s, swung by the Mendenhall glacier in the Tongass National Forest, and then waited in the airport for Dan Lawson, of CRREL (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory).

The Breakwater Inn

Mount Juneau

The Mendenhall glacier

The "stream" at the hatchery. When spawning time comes, the salmon hatched here return.

Shopping followed, as did lunch and a quick trip to the salmon hatchery. Then it was back to the airport to catch our flight to Gustavus, which provided us with some awesome views of the inlets and mountains in the area.

Our plane!!

A cirque, a basin formed by a glacier, seen from our plane.

Once in Gustavus, we went on into Glacier Bay National Park to the headquarters to plan for the next few days and learn some bear safety tips. Tomorrow, it’s to the field!

Environmental Geology Fieldtrip – Soils/Geologic History and Groundwater

October 15th, 2009

The class at the No-Till experimental plots at the OARDC in Wooster. Stduents took soil cores from plots that were convnetionally tilled and those taht have not been tilled for 50 years. The soils and organin content in each of the soil cores clearly showed differences in soils structure and organ content

The class at the No-Till experimental plots at the OARDC in Wooster. Students took soil cores from plots that were conventionally tilled and those that have not been tilled for 50 years. The soil structure and organic content in each of the soil cores clearly showed the differences in the farming practices.

Richa took this spectacular shot of a recently-harvested soybean field. This shows the flay lake plain from Lake Killbuck and the underfit Killbuck River. The view to the north looks up the Killbuck Spillway. This field was stripped of a foot of fertile topsoil during the 1969 flood.

Richa took this spectacular shot of a recently-harvested soybean field. This shows the lake plain from Lake Killbuck and the underfit Killbuck River. The view to the north looks up the Killbuck Spillway. This field was stripped of a foot of fertile topsoil during the 1969 flood.

Rob and Palmer pose with coring device that they used to recover a sediment core from the bottom of the Killbuck River where is has downcut into the blue lake clay sediments. The blue clay is the confing layer of the Wooster buried valley aquifer.

Rob and Palmer pose with coring device that they used to recover a sediment core from the bottom of the Killbuck River where is has downcut into the blue lake clays. The blue clay is the confining layer of the Wooster buried valley aquifer.

Mike from the Wosoter water plant explains to the class the challenges of keeping Wooster's supplied with clean groundwater.

Mike from the Wooster water plant explains the challenges of keeping Wooster supplied with clean groundwater.

Processing the Lake Core (and Tree Cores)

October 13th, 2009

Earlier posts from the Climate Change class showed the students coring trees and a lake for the various analysis described below. The goals are to examine climate in Ohio since the last Ice Age as recorded in lake sediments and to determine how various tree species respond to changes in temperature and moisture.

Kelly and Adrian finish up the European Larch tree-ring chronology. The larch trees were sampled at the Secrest Arboretum in Wooster.
Kelly and Adrian finish up the European Larch tree-ring chronology. The larch trees were sampled at the Secrest Arboretum in Wooster.

Roz and Houston photographed the A and B core in their entirety - over 25 meters of mud.  Lower down in the post are three of their photos showing the variability in the sediment core.
Roz and Houston photographed the A and B sediment core taken from Long Lake located just south of Wooster. These core is over 14 meters of mud. Lower down in the post are three of their photos showing the variability in the sediment core.
masusc
Travis and Adonis collect magnetic susceptibility data on each of the thrusts
interdisc
This interdisciplinary team of English, Archaeology, History and Geology majors pick through the mud to locate organics for radiocarbon and to identify some of the flora and fauna in the mud such as seeds, charcoal, chironomids and fly wings

The is the base of the core - Late Glacial sands and gravel - at this horizon, Lindsey and Amanda  removed a stick that has been sent out for radiocarbon analysis.
The is the base of the core – Late Glacial sands and gravel, Lindsey and Amanda removed a stick from this interval that has been sent out for radiocarbon analysis. A date here will give a good estimate of when the region near Long Lake was deglaciated.
These laminated sediments represent the glacial-interglacial transition, which includes the glacial-Bolling-Allerod and Younger Dryas-Holocene transitions.
These laminated sediments represent the glacial-interglacial interval, which includes the Glacial-Bolling-Allerod and Younger Dryas-Holocene transitions.
The upper portions of the cre are primarily back, organic-rich muds with occasional loess layers - are these abrupt climate changes? The class is working on sorting all that out.
The upper portions of the core are primarily back, organic-rich muds with occasional loess layers – are these abrupt climate changes? The class is working on sorting all that out.
Rob and Bridgett picked this chironomid ffrom the 7th meter down in the core.
Rob and Bridgett picked this chironomid from the 7th meter down in the core.

Coring Round Lake – A Record of Post Glacial Change

September 26th, 2009

Dr. Tom Lowell and tow University of Cincinnati graduate students Estaben and Bill were kind enough to make the trip to Long Lake to help the Climate Change class extract two long (14 meter) sediment cores from the middle of the lake.

Dr. Tom Lowell and two University of Cincinnati graduate students, Esteban and Bill, were kind enough to make the trip to Long Lake to help the Wooster Climate Change class extract two long (14 meter) sediment cores from the middle of the lake.

The first step was to build the raft. Dr. Lowell (aka "the core boss") is in the trailer. Bill and Rob assemble the parts and pieces.

The first step was to build the raft. Dr. Lowell (aka "the core boss") is in the trailer. Bill and Rob assemble the parts and pieces.

Terry Workman (Archaeology major and course TA) drives the geophysical craft. Under the tarp os Esteban who is colecting bathymetric and seismic data. Based on these data a core site was chosen.

Terry Workman (our course TA) drives the geophysical craft. Under the tarp is Esteban who is collecting bathymetric and seismic data. Based on these data a core site was chosen.

The core boss gives us a short course on the operation of the coring platform. Dr. Lowell has custom-built this rig and he points out the automated coring system. A hydraulic system drives the Livingstone corer into and out of the mud.

The core boss gives us a short course on the operation of the coring platform. Dr. Lowell has custom-built this rig and he points out the automated coring system. A hydraulic system drives the Livingstone corer into and out of the mud.

Well into the Holocene - Esteban wraps up another meter of lacustrine sediment.

Well into the Holocene - Esteban wraps up another meter of lacustrine sediment.

Tom and Terry work the platform sending the piston corer down for another meter.

Tom and Terry work the platform sending the piston corer down for another meter.

The crew rows to shore. The class will now obtain organic material for radiocarbon dating and then the work begins analyzing a suite of parameters in the cores. Class members Lindsey and Amanda located a stick at the base of the core that has been sent for a radiocarbon age and should give us an estimate of the timing of deglaciation in the region. Will Hansen (red short) wil be using the upper part of the core together with our other collections from Round. O'Dell and Browns Lake for his Independent Study.

The crew rows to shore. The class will now obtain organic material for radiocarbon dating and then the work begins analyzing a suite of parameters in the cores. Class members Lindsey and Amanda located a stick at the base of the core, this has been sent for a radiocarbon age and should give us an estimate of the timing of deglaciation in the region. Will Hansen (red shirt) will be using the upper part of the core together with our other collections from Round, O'Dell and Browns Lake for his Independent Study.

Climate Change Class at Secrest Arboretum

September 24th, 2009

Adrian (Philosophy) and Kelly (Geology) core a European Larch for an ecological response study using tree-rings

Adrian (Philosophy) and Kelly (Geology) core a European Larch for an ecological response study using tree-rings. The class will compare how various trees are responding to climate variability over the last 100 years or so. The site is the Secrest Arboretum of Ohio State University's OARDC. We thank Ken Cochran, Director of the facility for permission to do this study.

Chesea and Adonic core a Norway Spruce

Chesea (Archaeology) and Adonis (Political Science) core a Norway Spruce

Houston and Roz sneak up on a Pondersosa Pine and obtain a core

Houston (Religious Studies) and Roz (Archaeology) sneak up on a Pondersosa Pine and obtain a core

Travis and Adrian at the OARDC Meteorolgical Station. After the class develops tree-ring chronologies they will compare the ring-width series to the long (>100 year) record of monthly temperature and precipitation records from this site.

Travis and Adrian at the OARDC Meteorological Station. After the class develops tree-ring chronologies they will compare the ring-width series to the long (>100 year) record of monthly temperature and precipitation records from this site.

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