My PhD concerns a longstanding question—how do valuable metals move through volcanic systems? Since starting my PhD in September 2018, I’ve been looking forward to testing my hypotheses on this topic in the field, on a six-week expedition called the Metals in Magmas field campaign. Like many Earth scientists, I spent months planning the project’s logistical and technical details. But, two weeks before the fieldwork was set to begin, the outbreak of the current global pandemic stopped the project in its tracks. My plans are now on hold and my PhD can’t continue as originally billed. In this blog post, I hope to share my perspective on the impact of COVID-19 on my PhD research.Continue reading “Research in Lockdown: Fieldwork Disrupted”
In the final instalment of this WACSWAIN fieldwork diary, Isobel Rowell describes the heartbreak of ending her fieldwork earlier than planned, as drilling takes a dramatic turn.Continue reading “WACSWAIN: Sherman Island Drilling—Part Three”
In part two of her three-part series, Isobel Rowell describes her daily routine as part of the WACSWAIN team, drilling into the Antarctic ice sheet and sampling ice chippings from the borehole in search of ice from the last interglacial.Continue reading “WACSWAIN: Sherman Island Drilling—Part Two”
In a three-part series of blog posts, Isobel Rowell describes her experiences on the second field campaign of the WACSWAIN project. Part one outlines the motives behind the Sherman Island drilling project, and details the team’s journey to their drill site.Continue reading “WACSWAIN: Sherman Island Drilling—Part One”
How does subduction start? The answer to this question remains enigmatic and controversial. The process of subduction, which drives global plate tectonics and helps to shape the Earth as we know it, began as early as 4.1 Ga, but how the first subduction zone initiated remains unknown. Some have argued that the plate tectonic cycle was kick-started by spontaneous subduction at passive continental margins, yet such a phenomenon has thus far not been observed in a modern plate tectonic setting. Consequently, scientists have a very limited understanding of what mechanisms may initiate spontaneous subduction.Continue reading “Imaging of North-Sulawesi subduction in the Celebes Sea”
The last time I blogged about WACSWAIN was in January 2019, when we were in the euphoria of having drilled to the bedrock at Skytrain Ice Rise, and retrieved 651 metres of ice. So what have we been doing since then?Continue reading “WACSWAIN: the hard slog of analysis”
This summer I was lucky enough to complete an internship in Environmental Consultancy with Mott MacDonald followed by a Hydrology Field Training Programme run by GeoTenerife. As a geologist, it can be hard to see how an Earth Sciences degree can be directly used outside of academia or the traditional field of Oil and Gas: the internship and training programme seemed a good way to explore alternative options.Continue reading “A ‘wet’ Summer: Cambridge and Tenerife”
The last field trip that our undergraduates take is the fourth year, Part III trip to Spain. Run in the break between Lent & Easter term the trip aims to gather all the aspects of the course and put them together as a cohesive whole. Other trips focus on specific research areas: e.g. Sedimentology and Petrology – the 1B Southwest trip to Dorset & Cornwall, or Geophysics in Greece, or developing mapping skills in Sedburgh & on Skye. The Spain trip can be seen as the closing bookend to our students’ discovery (and love) of geology that begins on the first year trip to the Isle of Arran.