Alkali magmatism in the North Daba Mountains, China

Congratulations to our visiting student Xianqing Guo finishing her PhD study. On 5th of August, she gave a talk on multi-stage alkali magmatism in the North Daba Mountains, South Qinling, which is part of her PhD project. She illustrated the tectonic framework of the Qinling orogenic belt. Systematically results of petrology, geochemistry, geochronology, isotopic compositions and spatial distribution of the alkali volcanic rocks in the target area were presented, which would contribute to understanding the geological evolution of the Qinling orogenic belt.

Bon voyage! TeBi Researcher, Sarah Kachovich about to set sail on IODP Expedition 362: Sumatra Seismogenic Zone

In 2004 the Boxing Day tsunami, Mw 9.2 earthquake struck North Sumatra and the Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Indonesia. The undersea megathrust earthquake was caused when the Indian Plate was subducted by the Burma Plate and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis (waves up to 30 metres high) along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people in 14 countries. It was 3rd largest and one of the most deadly natural disasters in recorded history. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimetre (0.4 inches) and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska.

  ©   U.S. Geological Survey   (USGS) 2016

© U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 2016

An international team of scientists are about to set sail from the 6 August to 6 October to study the Sumatra Seismogenic Zone, with the aims to establish (1) the initial and evolving properties of the North Sumatran incoming sediments and (2) their potential effect on seismogenesis, tsunamigenesis, and forearc development for comparison with global examples. While aboard the JOIDES Resolution, TeBi Researcher, Sarah Kachovich and her fellow scientist peers will be drilling close to the Sunda trench in order to gather sediments from the Indian ocean floor that can give them a record of the Cenozoic Era (from 65.5 million years ago to the present).

Stay tuned.

Exploring new techniques in micropalaeontology

Here we have two techniques used by TeBi Researcher, Sarah Kachovich, to study ancient radiolarian skeletons: 3D printing (left) and digital manipulation of 3D data sets (right). This radiolarian fossil (that is normally only the width of two strains of hair) has been scanned hundreds of times with X-rays at 0.5° steps around 180°. The reconstructed images are now being studied by magnifying the objects thousands to tens of thousands of times its original size. Results of this work will be published soon.


 Sarah Kachovich

Sarah Kachovich

 Dr Gayane Asatryan

Dr Gayane Asatryan

A highly successful conference trip to the PDU conference in Adelaide saw TeBi researchers Sarah Kachovich and Dr Gayane Asatryan present their visually pleasing Micro-CT data. This detailed work is enabling both researchers to explore radiolarians from lagerstätte material to answer outstanding taxonomic, phylogenetic and evolutionary questions that face our current knowledge of Ordovician and, in a broader sense, Early Palaeozoic radiolarians.  

We would like to thank the coordinators of PDU2 for organising and running such a high quality conference.

International Workshop on Gorkha Earthquake

Our PhD candidate Lulu He attended International Workshop on the Gorkha Earthquake in Kathmandu on April 24, 25. Geologists, engineers, sociologists and government officials gathered at this workshop to share lessons learnt from the earthquake and discuss future development of the earthquake-affected area. Lulu He gave a talk "One Year Later: the Long Road to Recovery" in this workshop.


Five-day road trip to Canberra and the Geoscience Australia

Jonathan, Renjie, and Hui drove to Canberra last week to visit the Geoscience Australia. Dr. Hui LUO, a professor at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, was in the University of Queensland for a short visit. They drove through the New England Orogen, the Sydney basin, and the Lachlan Orogen, and took a few detours to look at outcrops of grabbros, pillow basalts, and radiolarites. At the GA, they examined the rock collections from the Cambrian strata along the northern coast of Australia and took samples for future micropaleontological studies.


Barpak VDC after the 2015 earthquake

In Feburary, 2016, I, Lulu, conducted fieldwork in Grokha District, Nepal. The whole field investigations were finished in the epicentre of the April 25 Gorkha earthquake --- Barpak VDC. Barpak, accommodating 1447 households with 7732 people, is isolated from cities in Nepal. It is a very different settlement. People there speak local dialect. All houses collapsed in the earthquake. Now villagers live in temporary shelters built from corrugated iron shed, plastic tents, and they are on their way to recovery.