Cyclones, Sea and Sampling Sediments III: Marcus the Marauder

Brooke Johnson With help from, and apologies to, Dr Rosalie Tostevin Day 6 – I awoke to what sounded like the waves breaking continuously on a beach, except we were a kilometre from the sea and it was beating against my window. Cyclone Marcus had arrived. The previous day, after leaving our first batch of... Continue Reading →


Sun, sea and Sediment Sampling II: 1000 meters of mud

Brooke Johnson, with help from, and apologies to, Dr Rosalie Tostevin Day 3 – Feeling more refreshed after our journey to the southern hemisphere, we set out to the NTGS core facility in Winnellie, just outside Darwin. Here the lush tropical coastal environment quickly gives way to scrubby desert. Between the buildings of the trading... Continue Reading →

A polarising view of the past

Brooke Jonson The water lapping the shore is warm and relaxing, and the Tethys ocean – which later in the year will be wracked with hurricanes that will scour the sea bed and dump new sediment along the beach – is currently calm. The sand along the shore of this small tropical island, one of... Continue Reading →

Could you survive a pyroclastic flow?

Frey Fyfe Among the many hazards posed by subduction zone volcanoes, some of the deadliest and most viscerally terrifying are pyroclastic density currents (PDCs), ground-hugging clouds of gas and fragmented magma (ash) that can reach temperatures of 1000°C. The very largest can reach speeds of up to 700 km/h and typically travel up to 15km... Continue Reading →

China’s Dusty History

Kaja Fenn Loess deposits are a type of sediment formed from tiny dust particles. They can cover hundreds of square kilometres and are found worldwide. The really cool thing about these deposits, and one of their more prominent characteristics, is their cyclicality. They alternate in colour - yellow, red, yellow, red, and so on… The... Continue Reading →

So Hot Right Now: Triggered

Amber L. Madden-Nadeau The explosion of Krakatau in 1883 attracted a significant amount of attention, as discussed in my previous blog: The Explosive Roars of Krakatau. You would be forgiven, therefore, for believing that we’ve discovered all there is to know about one of the world’s most famous volcanoes and its most explosive eruption. However,... Continue Reading →

The Carbon Conundrum

Ben Fernando All life on Earth is ‘organic’, in that it has a biochemistry based on the element carbon. Carbon forms the molecular backbone of every biologically important complex molecule, from the DNA nucleotides which encode our genetic information, to the ATP which transports energy within our cells. Carbon’s ubiquity in all of life’s wonderfully... Continue Reading →

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