Hear from Filomena De Jesus (Timore L’este) and Marie-Laure Fournasson (France), about their experiences as participants in the Floating Summer School programme on board the R/V Marion Dufresne
Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” We should take his word for it, especially when it comes to science. As I walk around the Science Control Room on board the R/V Marion Dufresne, I witness a small army of experts keeping close tabs on endless spreadsheets, running equations or measuring maps with religious precision. It seems counterintuitive to think that passion and imagination are driving this research, yet they are.
Subduction zones are the most violent collisions on Earth. They are so powerful that even scientists who are familiar with the dynamics of plate tectonics are humbled by images of the aftermath.
As a Research Associate at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), a large part of my work concerns studying the gaseous emissions from Mount Mayon, in the Philippines. In collaboration with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), we are working to identify the composition of the volcano’s plume, which can help us better understand what is going on beneath the surface.
One week into the MIRAGE II expedition, the Marion Dufresne French research vessel is navigating its way to the Wharton Basin in the northeast corner of the Indian Ocean. Marion Dufresne is 120 metres long and weighs more than 10,000 tonnes when fully loaded. There are 59 cabins on board, as well as a hospital, pharmacy, conference centre, library, dining room, gym, and more.
Five centuries ago, Leonardo da Vinci noticed fossilised sea creatures encrusted in the rocks around his house. He began to wonder whether, at some point, the mountains had been underwater. Da Vinci was right of course, but he would not be around to hear scientists explain why it was possible. Plate tectonics, now considered the unifying theory of geology, was born in 1968. Its birth was not easy and was spared no drama.
New research from the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) recently published in Science introduces an exciting new technique for discerning the strength of rocks in the earth’s continental lower crust. The method we developed allows us to make inferences about the properties of rocks where they are buried. Our study also provides the first low-frequency tomographic image of rheological properties beneath Kyushu, Japan. Tomography allows us to see the internal properties of the rock, section by section.