Geophysics in Alaska 2016

Two SMU graduate student researchers, with SMU Professor of Geophysics Matthew Hornbach, traveled to the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, to participate in a research project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to chart heat flow and chirp data on the ocean floor. This research project team, which includes two geophysicists from Oregon State University: Dr. Robert Harris and SMU alumnus Dr. Ben Phrampus ’15, is working aboard the Norseman II research vessel.

Nome and Home Safe

Casey Brokaw is a graduate student studying geophysics: After two exhilarating weeks of collecting heat flow and temperature data on the Beaufort Sea, we finally saw some land and successfully ported in Nome, Alaska on Monday September 26. Our journey let us behold sights we had never seen before, such as a mother polar bear and her cubs, sea ice in all shapes and sizes and the Northern Lights, though the first sight of land in two weeks had to rank near the top. The sighting was of Sledge Island, Alaska, a primitive piece of land covered in clouds located west of Nome, Alaska, along the Bering Strait. After the surreal sighting of Sledge Island we safely pulled into the [...]

2016-10-04T10:59:27+00:00 October 4th, 2016|Geophysics in Alaska 2016|

SMU Geophysicists Continue NETL-Sponsored Research Voyage

SMU alumnus Dr. Ben Phrampus is a geophysicist at Oregon State University: Northern lights. Polar bears. Sea ice. Oh, and a little bit of data too! It is now day 11 aboard the Norseman II, and oh boy! A lot has happened since our last update!  I will try to condense our epic adventure down so I can get back to data processing and interpretation. Heat flow deployment with Ben Phrampus (far left) and Rob Harris (far right). Sometimes you just have to manhandle the probe to get it to cooperate! We have been collecting heat flow and chirp data for the last 10 days along four transects across the Beaufort continental margin.  We have collected 116 heat [...]

2016-09-27T11:51:16+00:00 September 27th, 2016|Geophysics in Alaska 2016|

Halfway Point and Northern Lights

Madeline Jones is an SMU graduate student studying geophysics: Sunday, September 18, 2016 Well, we’re officially past our halfway point as it is day 7 aboard the Norseman II. Only three full science days left until we head back to Alaska to end our time at sea. We’ve been working around the clock to collect heat flow and chirp data along 3 transects, labeled in red on the map below. The yellow lines are the track lines of airgun seismic data collected by the USGS in 1977. We’re using some of the USGS seismic lines to help make sense of what we see in the heat flow data. Here is a map of our study area in the Beaufort [...]

2016-09-20T14:23:08+00:00 September 20th, 2016|Geophysics in Alaska 2016|

In the Beaufort Sea

Madeline Jones is an SMU graduate student studying geophysics: Wednesday, Sept. 14 It’s our 4th day aboard the Norseman II and data collection has been going smoothly. The ship’s crew is knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. If we need something done they seem to know exactly how to do it. The scientists have adjusted to our work shifts and sleeping schedules, and we are starting to get into a routine with data logging and monitoring the equipment. And I should also mention, the food on this ship is fantastic (shout out to the cooks: Marlin and Daron). So here we are, out in the Arctic collecting heat flow and chirp data! Are you wondering what we’re doing this for and how [...]

2016-09-16T09:22:32+00:00 September 16th, 2016|Geophysics in Alaska 2016|

Aboard the Norseman II

Madeline Jones is an SMU graduate student studying geophysics: Sunday, Sept. 11 Today is our 6th day in Alaska and I can happily say that we have FINALLY made it safely onto the Norseman II. After the weather in Wainwright failed to clear up enough for a flight out of Anchorage, for three days in a row, we decided to change up the plans a bit and board out of Prudhoe Bay instead. Friday and Saturday morning started off with disappointing weather updates from Wainwright - low visibility caused by fog, and seas too rough for a crew change. Dr. Ben Phrampus and me at the top of Wolverine Peak with ice-cappedChugach Range in the background. We got [...]

2016-09-16T08:57:59+00:00 September 15th, 2016|Geophysics in Alaska 2016|

Layover in Anchorage

Madeline Jones is an SMU graduate student studying geophysics: Thursday, Sept. 8 Hello from Flattop Mountain in Anchorage, Alaska! We are on day 3 of our Arctic research journey to collect heat flow and chirp seismic data in the Beaufort Sea. Here are the scientists (minus me): Dr. Matt Hornbach (SMU), Dr. Rob Harris (OSU), Casey Brokaw (Master's student, SMU) and Ben Phrampus (Postdoc, OSU). We're currently hanging out in Anchorage, Alaska, until the weather and seas calm down a bit at our dock site in Wainwright, Alaska. The flight to Wainwright was supposed to take place this morning but fog, wind and rough seas expected to last through tomorrow have postponed the last leg of our trip an extra day. So...what [...]

2016-09-16T08:40:47+00:00 September 14th, 2016|Geophysics in Alaska 2016|

Geophysics Research at Sea

Two SMU graduate student researchers, with SMU Professor of Geophysics Matthew Hornbach, traveled to the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, to participate in a research project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to chart heat flow and chirp data on the ocean floor.

2016-09-16T09:34:39+00:00 September 14th, 2016|Geophysics in Alaska 2016|