Awards were given to the best projects in Earth Sciences at the TDSB Science Fair held on Sunday March 25th. This broad field includes studies of the atmosphere, weather and climate, the oceans, the solid Earth, natural resources, fossils and Earth history, environmental geoscience and environmental change, global ecology, planetary science, remote sensing, and chemical and physical processes linking the atmosphere, the solid Earth and the biosphere.
Congratulations to Benjamin Kurrek for his project titled “Groundwater flow and the use of zero-valent iron in remediation”, and to Sammie Rogers and Samuel Abraham for their project titled “Crash course for impact force”.
Professor Sharon Cowling, PhD Student Anna Phillips and 4th Year Earth Sciences student Jamil Mahamud acted as Special Judges for the fair to select the best projects in Earth Sciences.
From left to right: Jamil Mahamud (Judge: 4th year undergraduate student), Benjamin Kurrek (winner), and Anna Phillips (Judge: Graduate student)
From left to right) Jamil Mahamud (Judge: 4th year undergraduate student), Samuel Abraham (winner), Sammie Rogers (winner),
and Anna Phillips (Judge: Graduate student)
The TDSB Science fair posters set up at UTSC campus on March 25th 2018.
Water and the Earth: Using minerals to reconstruct the compositions of fluids deep in the Earth and back to its earliest history.
Vincent van Hinsberg
The abundance of water in and on the Earth has a profound impact on the processes that shape our planet, from allowing plate tectonics to operate, to concentrating elements into ore deposits, to facilitating magmatism. Moreover, water is the likely medium in which life originated, and the early evolution of organisms therefore tightly linked to the compositional evolution of the early hydrosphere. To be able to understand how water impacts these processes it is necessary to know its composition, in particular its trace element content. At present, this information is severely lacking, especially for the deep Earth and for its earliest history, because direct fluid samples are rare and their chemical characterization non-trivial. In this presentation I will propose a different approach in which the composition of the fluid is reconstructed from that of associated minerals, based on the characteristic trace element partitioning between minerals and aqueous fluids. Unlike fluids, minerals with preserved compositions are readily available in the geological record. Moreover, minerals can simultaneously provide us with information on pressure-temperature conditions and age. I will illustrate the potential of this approach with examples on deep fluids in subduction zones and the composition of the ocean in the Archaean.
Undergraduate research has direct policy implications
Read the story at Arts and Science News: http://news.artsci.utoronto.ca/all-news/airing-dirty-laundry-clothes-harming-environment/
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The new year is starting with a new face among our Professors. A warm welcome from the members of U of T Earth Sciences to Xu Chu, a hard-rock petrologist, who has joined the department as an Assistant Professor. His interested are in the rock records of orogenic dynamics and the geochemical processes that transport heat and materials in the lithosphere, working on a range of topics, with the aim of improving fundamental theories for petrologic thermodynamics and kinetics, and advancing modeling efforts to reveal the geologic histories documented by natural rocks.
See Xu’s website to learn more about his research http://www.xchu.rocks