Earth Sciences in Mongolia

Earth Sciences doctoral students John Graf and Thomas Adams, who provided the reports for this blog, along with Professor Louis L. Jacobs, are traveling to Mongolia as a part of a multi-international dinosaur expedition hosted by the city of Hwaseong in the Republic of Korea. The purpose of the project is to discover, collect and study dinosaur fossils from the Gobi desert in Mongolia, which is one of the most important dinosaur localities in the world.
In addition to SMU researchers, the multinational team includes researchers from Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) and Paleontological Center, Mongolian Academy of Sciences and the University of Alberta, Canada. The project will be augmented each year by additional researchers from countries including the United States, Canada, Japan and China.

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On the road to Bugin Tsav

Aug%2017.jpg We left Ulaan Baatar this morning and started heading southwest. Our destination is Bugin Tsav in the western Gobi Desert, approximately 100 miles from China’s northern border.

Including Ligden, Yoshi, Louis and myself, there are 10 of us in three vehicles. We are joined by members from Hwaseong City, Korea, who will be checking on the progress of the expedition. The majority of the expedition team already has been working in Bugin Tsav for the last week and half.

The Mongolian countryside is dotted with white gers (the traditional felt-lined tents) in which people live nomadic lives, herding sheep, goats, cattle, horses, camels or yaks. However, the modern world is prevalent, as many of the gers have large satellite dishes and solar panels. Occasionally, the horse has been replaced by a motorcycle for rounding up the livestock.

Along the roadside, women and children sell Mongolian tea (milk, tea, and salt), which tastes better then it sounds.

After eight hours of driving, we stopped in the town of Arvayheer for fuel. From this point we left paved roads for gravel and dirt. A few miles south of Arvayheer, we stopped at a ger for a home-cooked meal of noodles, meat (don’t know what kind), fat and potatoes served with Mongolian tea. We continued south until it got dark and made camp for the night.

(In photo: A traditional Mongolian ger with satellite dish and solar panels.)

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