Notes from the Field

GeoTalk: Drilling into the crater...

Sonia 2GeoTalk: Drilling into the crater which contributed to the demise of dinosaurs

Six months ago, somewhere in the tropical waters off the coast of Mexico, scientists began drilling into one of the most iconic geological features on Earth: the Chicxulub crater; the 66 million year old remnants of a deadly asteroid impact, thought to have contributed to the demise of dinosaurs and most other forms of life which inhabited the Earth at the time.

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Medford Auger project site 2 Medford Transportation Center, Medford, NJ

IMG 2004 2The Medford Auger Project (22-26 Aug. 2016) exceeded expectations.  Six sites, 10 holes, and 359 ft of section were successfully cored with excellent recovery (328.65 ft; 91.5% recovery).  Site 6 stands out with the thickest Marlboro Formation (10.5 ft) that was double cored.  We had an overall recovery of 72.6 ft of Marlboro Formation, our target. Weather was spectacular for late Aug.  Seven students worked the sites, with the study of these cores constituting part of L. Podrecca’s Masters thesis.  Study onsite provided an excellent introduction to the geology of the coastal plain for 3 incoming students (Alex Adams, Luca Podrecca, and Mark Yu. 

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47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

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Harrison (Jack) Schmitt, Annette Hilton, Dr. Juliane Gros

Rutgers planetary science research was well represented at the 47th Lunar and Planetary ScienceConference (LPSC) held from 3/21-3/25. The Rutgers group presented a total of ten papers (two oral presentations and eight posters). This does not include the three papers that Rodger Hewins and Bridget Zanda were authors/co-authors on ( Roger  continues to list Rutgers as a co-affiliation.) So over all, thirteen papers were presented with Rutgers authors onmasthead. 

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EPS welcomes Dr. Sonia Tikoo !

Sonia2Dr. Sonia Tikoo joins Rutgers EPS as its newest faculty member after a two-year postdoctoral stint at the University of California, Berkeley.  Sonia received her B.S. with Honors in Geology and History (Minor) from the California Institute of Technology (2008) and her Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2014).

Sonia’s research interests lie at the intersection of planetary science and paleomagnetism. By studying a combination of meteorites and lunar rocks from the Apollo missions, she seeks to determine the magnetic field generation mechanisms and longevities of core dynamos on differentiated planetary bodies.  Constraining the intensities of core dynamo fields over time provides insight into the long-term planetary thermal and chemical evolution.  Sonia is also interested in how impact cratering events alter the magnetization preserved within planetary crusts and is working on rocks from a number of terrestrial impact craters.

Through these efforts, Sonia will help us build a stronger planetary science program at Rutgers, as well as expand our program in rock magnetism.  We look forward to exciting new course offerings and fruitful collaborations in the coming years!

Welcome, Sonia!

Tikoo inthefield

Sea-level Rise in 20th Century was Fastest in 3,000 Years

 sea-levelRise300 0TreeIn a new study led by EPS' Bob Kopp, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, during the 20th

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 century, sea level has risen more than in any of the 27 previous centuries.

Global sea level rose by about 14 centimeters, or 5.5 inches, from 1900 to 2000m, a substantial increase, especially for vulnerable, low-lying coastal areas.

 More on the study can be read online at Rutgers Today and on the front page of the NYTimes. Access to the published article can be found at PNAS.