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In September 2015, several DCO scientists embarked on fieldwork along the Aleutian Arc, a chain of volcanic islands in the North Pacific ocean. The expeditions, which are part of the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded GeoPRISMS (Geodynamic Processes at Rifting and Subducting Margins) program, will employ ship-based methods, on land exploration, and helicopter observation to investigate various geologic processes along the remote Aleutian Arc. Tobias Fischer and Taryn Lopez utilized helicopter time to make direct and remote measurements of volcanic degassing at five of the Western Aleutian Island volcanoes: Kiska, Little Sitkin, Semisopochnoi, Gareloi, and Kanaga. Their measurements address key questions about how much carbon is released into the atmosphere through volcanic activity from this remote volcanic arc, and is an important part of DCO’s DECADE (DEep CArbon DEgassing) initiative. This work also provided samples for DCO’s Deep Life Community researchers to find links between volcanic gas compositions and organisms living in the extreme environments of volcanoes.
Elizabeth Cottrell focused her sampling on the western Aleutian Islands of Buldir, Kiska, Segula, Little Sitkin, Gareloi, and Kanaga. The tephras collected from those locations provide information about the volatile content of Earth’s mantle, as well as how Earth’s continents formed. DCO’s Katherine Kelley was not onboard the cruise, but is working with Cottrell on retrieved samples.
- September 2015 -