An adventure on the JOIDES Resolution: One year later

Fig. 1 – (Top) One of the many magnificent sunrises observed by scientists on board the JR; (Bottom) View of the derrick, tower that holds the drill string, from the Bridge Deck, and (Top-left) all Expedition 360 participants. Images credits: William Crawford, Exp. 360 Senior Imaging Specialist; Jiansong Zhang, Exp. 360 Education/Outreach Officer.

Earlier this year Barbara wrote about ‘Life on board of a scientific drilling vessel’. That interview gave some hints in the unique experience my colleagues and I shared on board the Joides Resolution. Now, you might wonder what Joides Resolution (JR) exactly is. The JR is a drilling vessel dedicated to scientific research on ocean and ocean crust dynamics. Different disciplines are involved, from geology (to elucidate the formation of the oceanic crust), to climate change science (to understand how the Earth handled past climatic events), oceanography (to study global water circulation), or microbiology (to track extreme life in rocks forming the ocean floor).Cores of rocks are drilled under the ocean floor, giving scientists a glimpse into Earth’s dynamics. The JR works for the international research program IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program), a marine research collaboration that aims at recovering data recorded in seafloor sediments and rocks, and monitoring subseafloor environments. Continue reading

A curious structure: a leaf or a crystal?

Fig.1: “Curious structure” from the Erro-Tobbio outcrop in the Ligurian Alps (Italy)

If I would ask you what you see in the picture above, some of you might see a leaf, a fossil leaf that fell from its tree 50 millions years ago. You might recognize a leaf blade in the central part, and around it the symmetric veins that branch toward the relatively well defined margin. Let’s compare it to a typical leaf morphology: Analogies are quite evident! Other people might relate such a symmetrical structure to a lake where the central line corresponds to the water surface. The upper part is reflecting on the lake surface which gives the effect of symmetry. Continue reading

Build your endless volcano!

A volcano? At home? Why not!

During the “Fête de la Science” event in Paris we showed that volcanoes can be represented in a quite easy way. We can draw their internal and external structure in a simple sketch, as high school students (along with some professors) did during the“Draw me a Volcano” workshop activity. However, their real structure is more complicated and it might seem difficult to build a 3D volcano. Just by using some scientific aspects, imagination, creativity and basic material we can build our own volcano. So… Let’s make one!Here is a small article that will give you an idea of how to build an endless volcano at home. It will fit your Zen garden perfectly! Continue reading