UCL Earth Sciences

News from the Earth Sciences

Newly discovered ocean plankton named after BBC Blue Planet.

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The BBC BluePlanet

A new species of ocean plankton, Syracosphaera azureaplaneta, has been discovered and named by UCL researchers in honour of the critically acclaimed BBC Blue Planet series and its presenter Sir David Attenborough.

New department, new Head of Department

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KLB Supergraphics

Professor Paul Upchurch

I will be taking over as Head of Department from Prof Lars Stixrude in July. While Lars will remain in charge during the next few months, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him for all his efforts on behalf of this department. In particular, Lars and John Bowles (with the support of our Space Committee) have done a fantastic job of guiding this department through the difficult process of building renovation. Some of us moved into the finished west wing of the Kathleen Lonsdale Building last year, but it was not until January this year that the east wing was finished and we essentially came together as a united department in a single building. The east wing is particularly important to us because it contains our new teaching labs, with a combined capacity of around 90 people.

News from the UCL Hazard Centre

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2018-03- Hazard Centre

Developing Low-Cost CO2 Sensors for Monitoring Degassing Volcanoes.

Geochemical surveillance is essential for reducing risk at actively degassing volcanoes. Variations in concentration and compositions of gases can be indicators of magma ascent or changes in hydrothermal system dynamics, so monitoring is important for the timely detection of unrest. The gases themselves can also present a major health hazard, with impacts ranging from aggravation of respiratory conditions and skin inflammation, to asphyxiation and death. A key challenge for monitoring is that degassing can occur over large areas and concentrations can change rapidly. In an ideal scenario, networks of instruments capable of providing real-time information would be installed across the degassing area, but conventional methods are usually cost-prohibitive.

Research Highlights - Polar Research.

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2018-03-Research Highlights -Moscow

By Dr Samantha Buzzard on the workshop to facilitate collaborations between UK and Russian researchers in the Russian Arctic.

Past Greenough President returns

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Dr Gordon Knox, the 1967 President of Greenough, currently the committee member at  Malta Water Association returns to UCL for a lecture seminar.

Deep into the Earth: diamonds and surficial carbon down to 800 km depth in the Earth’s lower mantle.

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Nature study Deep Diamond With Perovskite

First evidence in nature of Earth's fourth most abundant mineral, calcium silicate perovskite is reported in Nature paper.

Study shows oxygen loss could be a huge issue for oceans.

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Anoxic Event 2 - uranium isotope study

Uranium isotope evidence for two episodes of deoxygenation during Oceanic Anoxic Event.

A major study from universities including UCL, Birkbeck, Otago, Exeter and Oxford into an ancient climate change event that impacted a significant percentage of Earth’s oceans has brought into sharp focus a lesser-known villain in global warming: oxygen depletion.

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