USU hosts public geology lecture on undersea volcanoes

LOGAN – When volcanoes erupt, their ash, lava and steam can often been seen from miles away. But most volcanoes lie deep beneath the ocean far from human view. New technology is allowing scientists to observe a handful of submarine eruptions, including recent activity along the East Pacific Rise. Utah State University’s Department of Geology hosts Ridge 2000 Distinguished Lecture Series speaker Suzanne Carbotte, who presents, “Peering Beneath an Erupting Volcano on the Bottom of the Ocean,” Tuesday, April 13, at 9:30 a.m. in the Taggart Student Center Auditorium on campus. Her talk is free and open to all. “The East Pacific Rise, which stretches from Antarctica to southern California, is a region of vigorous hot water venting from the seafloor and fascinating animal communities that thrive in the absence of sunlight,” says Carbotte, Bruce C. Heezen Senior Chair at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Carbotte’s talk will focus on the history of volcanic eruptions along the underwater mountain chain and the modern seismic techniques that are being used to understand the volatile range’s inner workings. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Ridge 2000 Education and Public Outreach program, “From Mantle to Microbe,” sponsors the national lecture series to share mid-ocean ridge research and discoveries with undergraduates and graduate students, as well as public audiences, and promote interest in earth and ocean science. Prior to Tuesday’s public lecture, Carbotte presents the scientific lecture “Focusing in on Mid-Ocean Ridge Segmentation,” Monday, April 12, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 105 of USU’s Geology building. Monday’s lecture is targeted to university students and faculty and professional scientists involved in geological research and study. For more information, contact the USU Department of Geology at 435-797-1273.

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