A New Year and already it has gotten busy!

January 24, 2018

The year 2018 has begun and it has already started off productive, with conference abstracts, scholarship and internship applications, and travel grants. A lot happened last year before the holidays. I posted updates on my research (such as petrographic images and field interpretations), my experience gained from the Rosetta 2017 workshop in Redu Belgium I attended in October, and observing the furnace generated lava flows at Syracuse University. 


I began writing a research plan for this year so I can observe my schedule and meet all my deadlines on time. Since I don't have any new data to share with you guys I will write an overview of what blog topics will be released this year.


Manuscript - Second Draft


First on this list is my manuscript. For the next month, I will be reading over all the comments left by my supervisor Dr Catherine Neish; editing the content and figures, and reading more papers relevant to my research. I have been considering more papers regarding the control crystallinity has on lava flow viscosity and surface roughness. Thanks to a skype meeting I had with Dr Alexander Sehlke in December, he suggested authors to search for on google scholar and sent me papers he has used for his own research on lava flow rheology. I managed to find quite a few papers myself, most of them discussing the transition from smooth pahoehoe to a'a, and the mechanics behind the formation of transitional rubbly and slabby pahoehoe surface roughness (figure from Duraiswami et al. 2014 summarizes lava flow surface roughness exceptionally well). These papers have helped me with supporting arguments in my manuscript's discussion section. I plan to have the second draft completed before or during reading week, which is from the 19th to the 23rd of February.





Duraiswami et al. (2014). Pahoehoe - a'a transitions in the lava flow fields of the western Deccan Traps, India - implications for emplacement dynamics, flood basalt architecture and volcanic stratigraphy. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 84, 146-166


PhD Proposal


While I edit my manuscript, I will also be starting the background reading for my PhD proposal. The review papers and books I am currently reading (e.g. News Looks of the Moon) focus on the geology of the Moon, overview of the remote sensing data from lunar missions (finished and ongoing), melt properties of lava flows, and impact melts generation. I am still at the stage where I haven't got a concrete research proposal, but reading will be occurring over the next few months, and I plan to have a proposal ready before the summer term begins in May. 


New Views of the Moon - Reviews in Mineralogy & Geochemistry Volume 60. Jolliff et al. (2006).


49th LPSC - The Woodlands, Texas


The 49th LPSC meeting is just around the corner. This year, I submitted two first author abstracts, one regarding my research (REDOX CONDITIONS AND THE SURFACE ROUGHNESS OF LAVA FLOWS), and one discussing the change in petrographic textures and geochemistry of impact melts at West Clearwater (THE IMPACT MELT SHEET AT WEST CLEARWATER IMPACT STRUCTURE: A PETROGRAPHIC AND GEOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS). Presenting my research last year (see picture below) allowed me to share ideas with other graduate students and professionals in planetary science. I was a little nervous because it was my first conference I attended as a graduate student, and unsure of what the planetary science community expected of me. However, I found everyone engaging and interested in my research. I especially found it useful to attend the special sessions during the conference, such as ANSMET's presentation on searching for meteorites in Antarctica. I am looking forward to attending LPSC in March as I learned a lot from the presentations last year, and it is where I was motivated to pursue a PhD in planetary science. I will not know when I am presenting the abstracts until the abstract schedule release day on the 2nd of February. More to come at the end of the month!





Linux and ISIS 


Let's move to one last thing in my schedule for this year, learning how to use Linux and ISIS (Integrated Software for Imager and Spectrometers). I believe learning how to use ISIS will be useful when I begin writing my PhD proposal. I need to learn how to install and operate Linux because ISIS isn't compatible with Windows. After considering what Linux software is the most recommended for beginners I have found two choices:

 - Ubuntu Linux

 - Linux Mint


I will be reading over the Linux installation steps thoroughly before I think about installing it on the lab computer to make sure I understand how to do it properly.

I have never used either Linux or ISIS before so it will be an interesting experience for me. In the long term, I hope this encourages me to resume learning how to code (I began teaching myself how to use Python but I have had to put it aside while I continue my writing, reading, and data analysis).




Not my most exciting blog, I do apologize. The next blogs should be jam packed with results, ideas, and discursive topics over the next three months as I progress forward with my research.


See you all next time for another research update.



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