Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA and USGS magnetic database ’rocks’ the world

19.05.2004


Band Iron Formations

These Band Iron formations are precambrian sedimentary rocks. They are highly magnetic. Band Iron Formations like this one were responsible for prominent variations in Earth’s magnetic field, like the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly that was remotely sensed by satellites. Kursk is located in western Russia, at the confluence of the Seym and Tuskar rivers. Credit: Photo courtesy of P.Hoffman


Lithospheric Magnetic Anomalies

This image shows variations in magnetic fields in the upper layer of Earth’s surface known as the lithosphere. The data were acquired by satellites passing over at an altitude of 400 km. The satellite data were run through a model to produce this image. The units are in nanoteslas, the common unit for measuring magnetic fields. The color bar indicates areas with positive and negative magnetic fields. Credit: Terrence Sabaka et al./NASA GSFC


NASA and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) are teaming up to create one of the most complete databases of magnetic properties of Earth’s rocks ever assembled. The partnership demonstrates ongoing interagency collaboration.

Satellite data of Earth’s magnetic field combined with rock magnetic data collected on the ground will provide more complete insight into Earth’s geology, gravity and magnetism.

Satellites, including NASA’s Magsat, have detected magnetic signals in the upper layer of the Earth, called the lithosphere. With over 36,000 rock samples, the combined database will help researchers determine the origin of these signals in Earth’s crust.



The database will be available to the public via the Internet. A clickable map of the world will include locations where detailed rock magnetic data were collected.

Open access to specific properties and locations of each type of rock will allow researchers to more accurately model Earth’s gravity and magnetic fields. This should improve our understanding of the structure and development of Earth’s crust.

“The information in this database will allow more realistic interpretations of satellite magnetic data and will contribute to a variety of studies such as groundwater, mineral resource, and earthquake hazard investigations,” said Katherine Nazarova, a researcher at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) who is coordinating the collaborative effort with Jonathan Glen from the USGS.

The NASA GSFC database contains magnetic properties of 19,000 samples. The samples come from all over the world including the Ukrainian and Baltic shields, Kamchatka, the Ural Mountains and Iceland.

2000 Icelandic rocks in the database have helped explain the source of unusual magnetic activity in Iceland recorded by both Magsat and German Champ missions. Database records revealed the magnetic shifts in Iceland were caused by ferrobasalts, analogues to Martian rocks. As researchers continue to study Mars, these findings may shed light on Mars’ geology.

The USGS database contains rock densities and magnetic properties for some 17,000 entries. Many of these data were taken from surface outcrops in the Western U.S. They span a broad range of rock types.

Researchers collect rock specimens and data in a variety of ways. Research vessels are used to dredge samples from the ocean floor. Ships may also carry huge deep-sea drills that pull cores of sediment and rock from the beneath the ocean. The database includes rock magnetic data from the deepest borehole in the world. It was drilled in northern Russia in the Baltic Shield. Researchers drilled and extracted cores from the continental crust as deep as 12.26 kilometers (7.62 miles).

On land, scientists may collect samples from rock outcrops. When rocks have been exposed to the elements, researchers use small hand drills to uncover fresh material under a rock’s surface.

Satellites that have detected unexplained variations in Earth’s magnetic field include NASA’s Magsat and Polar Orbiting Geophysical Observatory, Germany’s Champ satellite, and the Danish Oersted satellite.

The combined USGS and GSFC databases and future updates will eventually be available and maintained through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at the World Data Center A in Boulder, Colorado.

Nazarova will present a poster describing the database at the 2004 Joint Assembly of the American Geophysical Union taking place this week in Montreal, Canada.

The mission of NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise is to develop a scientific understanding of the Earth System and its response to natural or human-induced changes to enable improved prediction capability for climate, weather, and natural hazards.

Krishna Ramanujan | GSFC
Further information:
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2004/0517magnet.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Stagnation in the South Pacific Explains Natural CO2 Fluctuations
23.02.2018 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

nachricht First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals
22.02.2018 | University of Arizona

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>