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Geology and Geophysics

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Geology and Geophysics News

"It's kind of scary, it sounded like thunder:" One woman shares her earthquake experience for "Earthquake Awareness Month"
WABASH VALLEY (WTHI) - While we rarely feel a significant earthquake, we do have earthquakes here in the Wabash Valley. It's an important reminder for earthquake awareness month. "The Wabash Valley fault system is further to the Southwest of Indiana and in the border of Indiana and Illinois, but it extends to the north, northeast closer to Terre Haute and Lafayette," said Xiaotao Yang, professor at Purdue University.

MastCamZ captures solar eclipse on Mars
NASA — NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired images of a solar eclipse on Mars using its Left Mastcam-Z camera. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover's mast. Dr. Briony Horgan, of Purdue EAPS, is on the MastCam-Z team. Images were captured on Feb. 8, 2024 (Sol 1056) at the local mean solar time of 06:29:35.

Empowering Voices in Science: A Collaborative Film Project Showcasing Female Scientists in Fieldwork
Scientists from Purdue University, University of Nevada, Reno, and Stanford University came together with the goal of highlighting female scientists conducting fieldwork. With funding from National Science Foundation (NSF)’s EAR Petrology and Geochemistry Program, the team partnered with students from the Reynolds School of Journalism to create a short film highlighting some of the women in science who were collaborating on a field project investigating a massive ancient volcanic eruption in central Nevada.

At the Mars Desert Research Station, Purdue crews live and work as if they are truly inhabiting the red planet
PURDUE NEWS — The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), located near Hanksville, Utah, has served as Mars on Earth for Purdue researchers since the first all-Boilermaker mission launched in 2017. "It’s a unique opportunity, especially for students who study habitats in extreme environments or in human space exploration,” says Purdue EAPS alumna Adriana Brown (BS environmental geoscience, ’22), commander of MDRS Crew 289.

Scientists look at pyrite isotopes on the ocean floor in a whole new light
Beneath the ocean floor, layers of sediment tell a story of hundreds of millions of years of environmental change. However, this story has taken a surprising turn. Scientists for the past several decades assumed that sulfur isotopes in pyrite (commonly referred to as “fool’s gold”) could be used to transcribe the history of the oxidation state of the Earth’s oceans. But in a shocking twist, scientists have learned that local conditions on the sea floor are what really controls pyrite sulfur isotopes. “We found that bulk pyrite sulfur isotopes are dominantly controlled by local conditions on the seafloor, such as the rate of sediment accumulation, porosity and permeability, and organic matter concentration,” says Dr. Roger Bryant from Purdue University College of Science. “This discovery should fundamentally change how bulk pyrite sulfur isotopes are used by the scientific community.”


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