GeoLog

Ocean Sciences

Teachers at Sea: welcome aboard!

In the next two weeks, GeoLog has the pleasure to host reports from Teachers at Sea. This educational programme, co-sponsored by the European Geosciences Union (EGU) and the French Polar Insitute (IPEV), gives school teachers the opportunity to take part in oceanographic cruises with scientists. This year, Sandrine Vivier and Ana Sánchez, teachers of Biology and Geology in Rodez (France) and Madrid (Spain), respectively, together with EGU’s Education Chair Carlo Laj, join scientists on board of the Marion Dufresne. The research vessel is navigating the South China Sea where teachers will work alongside scientists in collecting marine sediments to retrieve the secrets of deep ocean circulation and understand past variations of the Asian Monsoon.

Report 1: Welcome aboard the Marion Dufresne!

After a long trip from our countries, we arrived in Singapore where we met EGU’s Carlo Laj and Catherine Kissel (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l´Environnement LSCE). Yesterday [16/06] morning, we were picked up from the large port of Singapore and travelled in small boats to the Marion Dufresne, which was waiting for us in the middle of the bay.

The Marion Dufresne (above) and sea conditions (below).

Discovering this famous scientific boat has been an amazing experience. Carlo showed us around the vessel and we had the opportunity to learn a bit about how the ship works.

We left from the bay of Singapore in the evening with a lovely sunset. The captain closed all the doors because, just an hour after departure, the alert level was raised due to risk of a pirate attack! Fortunately, no attack happened and we are sill alive and well. The trip continues with the Marion Dufresne progressing towards the first coring site at a speed of 13,6 knots (about 25 kilometres per hour).

Singapore at sunset.

Stay tuned for the next updates!

By Sandrine Vivier and Ana Sánchez

Imaggeo on Mondays: Apostles along the Great Ocean Road

The 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Road by Fabien Darrouzet, distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

Tucked between the rough Southern Ocean and stunning cliff tops, Australia’s Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic routes. The 243-kilometre stretch of road along the country’s south-eastern coastline is surrounded by beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, as well as incredible geological formations. The 12 Apostles, stacks of rocks located in the Port Campbell National Park, are one of the highlights of the route.

Two of these structures are visible in this wild scene captured by Fabien Darrouzet of the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy in Brussels. He took this picture in June 2011 while travelling in Australia before the XXV General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics in Melbourne.

“Those stacks are composed by miocene limestone rock, and were formed by erosion,” Fabien explains. “The Southern Ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone of the coast to form caves in the cliffs, which then became arches, which in turn collapsed, leaving rock stacks up to 45 metres high.”

The wild Southern Ocean with its rough waves is still shaping these rock formations. “Due to the strong waves in this area, those stacks are susceptible to more erosion, and can even collapse, as one did in July 2005,” Fabien says. “This means these geoscience elements are in constant evolution, and they show the changes of nature due to nature itself.”

Imaggeo is the online open access geosciences image repository of the European Geosciences Union. Every geoscientist who is an amateur photographer (but also other people) can submit their images to this repository. Being open access, it can be used by scientists for their presentations or publications as well as by the press. If you submit your images to imaggeo, you retain full rights of use, since they are licenced and distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

Imaggeo on Mondays: Praia das Rodas, Spain

Praia das Rodas by Jorge Mataix-Solera, distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

Praia das Rodas by Jorge Mataix-Solera, distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

Often listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Praia das Rodas is located on the Isla do Faro, part of the three-island Cíes archipelago within the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park. The beach faces eastwards, towards Vigo and the Galician coast of northwestern Spain, its accumulation of sand forming a land-bridge between two islands during low tide. All three islands are the visible peaks of submerged granitic mountains.

Soil scientist Jorge Mataix-Solera visited Praia das Rodas in 2007. “The picture was taken when I arrived by boat to the island in the early morning, the day after I was on a PhD thesis evaluation committee at the University of Vigo. This beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, composed of quartz sand from granitic material,” he explains.

Beaches form over thousands of years from the deposit of sediment and other materials that moves from land into the ocean and back again.

To view more from Jorge Mataix-Solera’s astounding collection of photos, please visit: http://www.jorgemataix.com.

Imaggeo is the online open access geosciences image repository of the European Geosciences Union. Every geoscientist who is an amateur photographer (but also other people) can submit their images to this repository. Being open access, it can be used by scientists for their presentations or publications as well as by the press. If you submit your images to imaggeo, you retain full rights of use, since they are licenced and distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

Imaggeo on Mondays: Waves hitting Cycladic rocks

Rocks and Sea Waves in Andros Island, Greece by Ioannis Daglis, distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

Rocks and Sea Waves in Andros Island, Greece by Ioannis Daglis, distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

When he is not researching in the space sciences, Ioannis Daglis, the director of the Institute for Space Applications and Remote Sensing at the National Observatory of Athens in Greece, is often out with his camera. This picture of sea waves slamming cliff rocks in the Aegean Sea is a beautiful example of his artistic work, and one that shows some science too.

“I took this photo at Vitali Bay in the island of Andros in the Greek Cyclades during a summer vacation in August 2007. It shows a cliff made irregular by wave erosion, tectonic activity or both. It consists mainly of metamorphic rocks such as schists, phyllites and marbles. These are typical geologic formations that constitute 75% of the total coastline of the island since Andros is mainly covered by metamorphic formations,” Daglis explained.

The Cyclades is a geologically rich group of some 220 islands. The dormant volcano of Milos, the famous Santorini caldera, and the hot springs in Kythnos are examples of geological sites worth a visit.

Daglis’ geosciences-related photographs, taken in Greece and elsewhere, are featured on Imaggeo.

Imaggeo is the online open access geosciences image repository of the European Geosciences Union. Every geoscientist who is an amateur photographer (but also other people) can submit their images to this repository. Being open access, it can be used by scientists for their presentations or publications as well as by the press. If you submit your images to imaggeo, you retain full rights of use, since they are licenced and distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.