Fête de la Science wrap up

Abyss ITN hosted a Fête de la Science event at IPGP on the ocean crust on October 9, 2015. All of us here at SeaRocks want to thank those who attended our event! We hope you all enjoyed it! The event kicked off with the arrival of students from three schools: Lycée Henri Bergson (Paris 19e), Lycée Flora Tristan (Noisy-le-Grand), and Lycée Suger (Saint-Denis). The students then rotated through three different workshops related to the scientific topics investigated within the ABYSS network.

Explaining bathymetry during the ocean drilling workshop.
Explaining bathymetry during the ocean drilling workshop.

Barbara, Kristina, Manuel, Sofia and Zeudia presented different ways scientists study the seafloor and the ocean crust below it, including the use of satellites, submarines and drilling. This workshop used materials provided by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). Students got the chance to investigate drill cores and rocks of the ocean crust both in hand samples and under the microscope. They tried to match the rocks they saw to the beautifully colored images they could see through the microscopes.  An open access database, GeoMapApp, allowed the students to explore the ocean and its bathymetry. This program can be used at home to play around and explore the oceans, just make sure you have Java installed. Happy hunting for underwater-volcanoes!

Sorting volcanoes during the
Sorting volcanoes during the “Draw me a volcano” workshop.

Adriana, Justine, Karin and Rachael, hosted the “draw me a volcano” workshop. They got everyone to draw their own volcano from inside and out. You can find some of our favorites here on the blog. This workshop gave an introduction to the different types of volcanoes, including some very impressive eruption videos. The students were then asked to classify their own volcano drawings into effusive, composite and explosive types based on what they just learned. The group then moved on to talk about mid-ocean ridges. Surprisingly, the largest volume of magma is extruded there, rather than at the impressive volcanoes found on land. The workshop ended with a presentation on how volcanic activity at mid-ocean ridges is connected to hydrothermal processes and life in the deep sea along with a model of a black smoker system.

The interior structure of the Earth. Copyright 1999, John Wiley and sons.
The interior structure of the Earth. Copyright 1999, John Wiley and sons.

Carlotta, Manolis, Pavel, Tom and Valentin talked about plate tectonics and geodynamics. This is the study of how fragments of the earth’s crust (plates) move, and why. During the workshop students had to work out what the structure of the Earth is and what plates are. They were shown that the interior of the Earth is divided into the inner core, outer core, the mantle and the crust. Puzzles and a plate tectonic model showed them how the plates move and the different types of tectonic settings, including ocean spreading, subduction and continental collision. Once they understood these concepts we could show them how the continents used to be arranged in the past and discuss ideas on how the continents might look in the future. For a really nice video about plate tectonics and how it all works have a look here.

The model used in the Geodynamics workship showing tectonic plate motions.
The model used in the Geodynamics workshop showing tectonic plate motions.

After this day full of science, we hope everyone had fun, learned something about the ocean crust and about what we do as young scientists.

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