The Department of Geosciences presents

Geology Open Night

Fall 2018

 

 

Decipher the Support of the Transantarctic Mountains - A Comprehensive Geophysical Investigation 

Weisen Shen

7:30 PM Friday
Sept. 21, 2018
ESS 001

Magmatic gas and the Martian surface: What comes out of this gassy mix?

Hanna Nekvasil

7:30 PM Friday
Oct. 19, 2018
ESS 001

Scott McLennan: Exploring Mars From the Inside Out: The InSight Mission

Scott McLennan

7:30 PM Friday
Nov. 9, 2018
ESS 001

Earth and Space Sciences Building 
Lecture Hall (Room 001)
SUNY Stony Brook Campus

Admission is Free!!

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How do I get to the Earth and Space Sciences Building at SUNY Stony Brook?

NYS teachers who wish to receive CTLE credit for any of these lectures must register here:
 https://goo.gl/forms/pfdNLevMTO8VfbJ02.
You must register for each lecture you attend and sign-in at the lecture.
The Graduate School will send a CTLE certificate about six weeks after each lecture


Geology Open night lectures are usually on topics in the geosciences related to the current research of the faculty, staff and students at Stony Brook University. These presentations are intended for:

  • those interested in new developments in the sciences

  • earth science high school students and teachers

  • undergraduate and graduate students in geosciences

  • professional geologists

One hour toward professional development is available for teachers and professional geologists attending the Geology Open Night lectures.

 

Decipher the Support of the Transantarctic Mountains -
 A Comprehensive Geophysical Investigation 

Weisen Shen

7:30 PM Friday
Sept. 21, 2018
ESS 001

The Transantarctic Mountains (TAM), extending from the Northern Victoria Land (Pacific side) to the Pensacola Mountains near the Weddell Sea (Atlantic side), is a 3000-km long mountain range with a peak elevation of ~ 4,000 meters, representing one of the largest intracontinental mountain range in the world. Traditionally, they are viewed as a rift-shoulder Mountains related to the West Antarctic Rift system, similar to the San Juan Mountains of the southern Rockies. In this presentation, I will show how the geophysicists use the state-of-art techniques to collect, process, and present the seismic data in Antarctica to decipher the mechanisms that support the TAM, and show that the TAM is much more complex than a simple rift-shoulder mountain.

 Weisen Shen is an observational seismologist, with research interest on the seismic and thermal structures of the Earth's continental lithosphere. Dr. Shen received his Ph.D. from the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder. He was a postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St Louis between 2015–2018 working with Dr. Douglas Wiens. In Spring 2018, he joined the faculty of the Department of Geosciences at Stony Brook University where he is an assistant professor. Dr. Shen has completed two Antarctica fields seasons (2015-16, 2017-18) to install, service, and collect seismic sensors, visiting both the remote field sites in Siple Dome, West Antarctica and near the South Pole station. Dr. Shen is also the recipient of the Antarctica Service medal from the National Science Foundation. His current research focus is on the uplift of the Southern Transantarctic Mountains.

Magmatic gas and the Martian surface: What comes out of this gassy mix?

Hanna Nekvasil

7:30 PM Friday
Oct. 19, 2018
ESS 001

Soil makes up the major part of the Martian surface. We would expect this soil to reflect the major igneous rock units as well as the secondary re-worked rock units observed on the surface. Yet the fine-grained material from this soil is quite different than expected. I will discuss here what role the youngest Martian lavas may have played in producing the unique compositional characteristics of the soil, by coupling experimental results and remote observations.

Hanna Nekvasil received her B.A from Cornell University in 1979 and her Ph.D. from Penn State in 1985. She has been a professor in the Department of Geosciences at Stony Brook since 1988. She is an experimental petrologist studying the role that volatiles in magmas have played in planetary evolution. Her work has ranged from experimental simulations of hot spot magmas in order to understand the development of the diversity seen among such magmas, to the volatile load of the Moon and how it affected the formation of the lunar crust, and most recently to the contributions of vapordeposited phases to planetary surfaces.

 

Exploring Mars From the Inside Out: The InSight Mission

Scott McLennan

7:30 PM Friday
Nov. 9, 2018
ESS 001

Recent exploration of Mars has left planetary scientists in a curious situation. With the stunning success of rovers (Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity) and landers (Pathfinder, Phoenix) exploring the Martian surface for over two decades, we now routinely obtain images of rocks and soils with spatial resolutions of well under one millimeter. And yet the most fundamental nature of the internal structure of Mars, such as the thickness of its crust and the depth to the core-mantle boundary are very poorly known. For example, the thickness of the crust could be anywhere from 30-70 kilometers and the depth to the core-mantle boundary is known only to within about 750 kilometers. A similar degree of uncertainty exists for basic questions related to the thermal character of the planet’s interior – that for Earth provides the driving force for plate tectonics. That is all about to change! On November 26, 2018, NASA’s InSight Lander is due to arrive on the Martian surface. InSight is a mission devoted entirely to the geophysics of Mars. Two of its main instruments, a seismometer (SEIS, supplied by France) and a heat flow probe (HP3 , supplied by Germany), will reveal the internal structure and thermal character of Mars to unprecedented fidelity. Because InSight will remain stationary for a very long time, it will also be possible to track wobbles in the Martian orbit very precisely and thus provide better “radio science” (RISE) constraints on the internal structure of Mars (moment of inertia, core size and composition) than has previously been possible. In this lecture, Professor McLennan will provide an overview of InSight – its mission design, science goals, instruments and expected results. In addition, he will also provide a brief update on attempts to recover the Opportunity rover that lost communications with Earth in June 2018, during a massive globe-encircling dust storm.

Scott McLennan is a Distinguished Professor of geochemistry in the Department of Geosciences at Stony Brook University. He carries out research into planetary science and the geochemistry of sedimentary rocks, with his work focused on gaining a better understanding of the composition and evolution of planetary crusts. For the past 18 years, Prof. McLennan has employed experimental studies and chemical / mineralogical data returned from Mars to understand the nature of the surficial processes that have operated on that planet during its history. He has served on the science teams of the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover mission (Spirit and Opportunity), 2001 Mars Odyssey orbital mission gamma ray experiment, 2011 Mars Science Laboratory rover mission (Curiosity) and the upcoming Mars 2020 sample caching mission. Most recently, he joined the science team of the InSight Lander mission to Mars, that is devoted to revealing the geophysical nature of the Martian interior and scheduled to land on Mars in November.

 

You may also be interested in the following lectures:
Astronomy Open Night,

The World of Physics and
The Living World
These lectures are usually held in ESS 001 at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays during the academic year.

Professional Development letters are available for teachers and geologists for attending these lectures.


Web pages describing earlier Geology Open Night presentations

Spring 1998Fall 1998, Spring 1999, Fall 1999, Spring 2000, Fall 2000, Spring 2001,
Fall 2001, Spring 2002, Fall 2002, Spring 2003, Fall 2003Spring 2004, Fall 2004,
Spring 2005, Fall 2005, Spring 2006, Fall 2006, Spring 2007, Fall 2007, Spring 2008,
Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011,
Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
Fall 2015
, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018


Admission is FREE!

Presentations are in Room 001 ESS Building SUNY Stony Brook

How do I get to the Earth and Space Sciences Building at SUNY Stony Brook?