The Kenneth N Weaver Student Travel Award was awarded to Alex Ostroverkhova to support her travel to the GSA Connect Convention. At this year's convention, Alex presented a poster on her research titled Using Data Science Methods to Explore the Origins of Ungrouped Carbonaceous Chondrites. Read more about her work below!
In the current era of data science, we have new tools to try to answer fundamental scientific questions. Chondrites, the most primitive material from the beginning of the formation of the solar system, are generally classified based on their mineralogy, texture, chemical composition, and oxygen isotope ratios. Each group is thought to be related to a separate parent body (asteroid). However, there are 98 chondrites that do not fit into any of these groups. In collaboration with future EPS faculty Dr. Shaunna Morrison and the Astromaterials Data System Project, I am using a comprehensive dataset of ungrouped chondrites to explor their relationships and to identify their similarities and differences. Due to the sparse nature of the geochemical data, established methods such as cluster analysis are not suitable. Through this project, Dr. Anirudh Prabhu (Carnegie Institution for Science) developed a network analysis-based that makes it possible to explore these data and characterize their relationships despite their sporadic nature. The result of the following community detection shows the most similar ungrouped chondrite meteorites and allows us to investigate the cause of this occurrence. This figure shows our first results and the most similar ungrouped chondrites, which are found to exist in the same communities via community detection.