Has life existed on Mars?
Research Fellow Dr David Flannery is leading a project using X-ray fluorescence and Raman spectrometers to help image small biological structures in ancient sandstones on Earth. This equipment will be included in NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover Mission to help identify similar rocks when it lands in Jezero Crater. Image credit: NASAJPL/Caltech
How deep underwater can volcanoes explosively erupt?
Associate Professor Scott Bryan is leading a project investigating the eruption mechanisms that produced the July 2012 Havre eruption in the Southwest Pacific. Petrological and geochemical studies are being combined with Australian Synchrotron experiments to test the limits of explosive eruptions in deep water.
Safeguarding south east Queensland's water
Dr Jessica Trofimovs is leading a research project in Queensland to stop landslides from depositing sediment into the waterways that feed our drinking water supply. Her research is seeking the exact trigger mechanisms of landslides, with the aim to relegate and remediate the slopes so that they don't collapse.
Investigating deep sea rock and crystals to understand volcanic evolution
PhD researcher Nick Dyriw’s research is based at Suzette, a submarine volcanic edifice off Papua New Guinea, which is associated with a deep sea copper and gold ore deposit. Nick uses a combination of tools and techniques to examine the role of magmatic processes related to the volcanic-ore forming system.
Exploring Australia's ancient mountain building event
PhD researcher Aidan Kerrison is investigating an Andean-style mountain building event, the Hunter-Bowen Orogeny, that occurred along eastern Australia 250 million years ago. He is seeking to better understand the timing, magnitude and tectonic origin of magma generation and mountain building during the Permian and Triassic.
Advanced technology to analyse human health
Associate Professor Charlotte Allen uses a combination of laser and spectrometer to measure element concentrations in solids. Using laser pulses, the hair is reduced to atoms so that compositional changes can be analysed and measured. Dr Allen and co-workers are using hair data to study human health near a mining community.
Coral sample analysis reveals historical insight
Dr Luke Nothdurft and an international team are analysing shallow core samples from dead reef rock in the southern Great Barrier Reef to measure how the reef has responded to changing sea-levels, climate, and water quality over the past 130,000 years. Their research aims to show how the reef will respond to environmental change in the future.
Deep sea exploration off Australia's east coast
Associate Professor Scott Bryan and international collaborators propose to explore the Lord Howe Rise in 2020. Using JAMSTEC drilling vessel Chikyu, the team will investigate plate tectonic cycles and continental evolution, recover new data to better constrain changes in ocean biogeochemistry, and test evolutionary concepts for sub-seafloor microbial life over a 100-million-year timeframe.
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