Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers eye Sikuliaq science possibilities

19.05.2011
Sam VanLaningham can't wait to take the Sikuliaq for a spin.

When it's ready for science operations in 2014, the 261-foot research vessel will be capable of drilling Bering Strait seafloor cores in any season. VanLaningham hopes those cores will uncover mysteries about the history of climate change in Alaska.

Last week, VanLaningham and several UAF scientists met with other researchers and agency representatives at the first Sikuliaq Science Workshop at Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wis. At the workshop, scientists presented and discussed some of the many scientific projects possible on the R/V Sikuliaq. The scientists also toured full-scale mock-ups of the vessel's laboratories and bridge.

VanLaningham, an assistant professor of geological oceanography and an expert in paleoceanography, is particularly interested in using the Sikuliaq to collect sediment cores for his studies of how sea level changes at the Bering Strait have affected past climate in the northern hemisphere.

"We will be able to use the ship, winter or summer, to core in the Bering Strait to extract the geologic history of change at Bering Strait, and thus address its role on global climate through time," said VanLaningham.

VanLaningham says he and other geological oceanographers are particularly excited by the large back deck of the vessel, which will allow them to collect of sediment cores up to 70 feet long.

Terry Whitledge, professor of chemical oceanography and the principal investigator for the Sikuliaq project, says the ship will be able to take scientists to areas they have never been before. He also says that the ship will be the most capable in the United States academic fleet.

"With an ice-capable ship making its home in Alaska, we are situated better than ever to address arctic questions that have global implications," added VanLaningham.

Whitledge says that the Sikuliaq Science Workshop was infused with enthusiasm about the ship's many capabilities and that UAF scientists at the workshop said that they "can't wait for the big splash"—when the ship is launched into the Great Lakes Waterway in June 2012.

In addition to many other projects, Whitledge hopes to use the ship to explore the biology and geology of four different submarine canyons in Alaska waters: one in the Arctic, two in the Bering Sea and one in the Aleutians. Whitledge says the Sikuliaq's advanced mapping capabilities could help determine where remotely operated vehicles and submersibles could be launched to explore these deep canyons.

Other UAF scientists at the workshop, including Mark Johnson, Peter Winsor, Tom Weingartner, Dean Stockwell and Seth Danielson, discussed using the ship for other projects, including surveying sea ice thickness, looking at freshwater flow into the Bering Sea from the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers and mapping currents in the Gulf of Alaska.

The R/V Sikuliaq, pronounced [see-KOO-lee-auk], will be an oceanographic research ship capable of bringing scientists from around the world to the icy waters of Alaska and the polar regions. The ship's homeport will be at UAF's Seward Marine Center.

The Sikuliaq project, with more than $200 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, is the largest funded project ever managed by UAF.

The first proposals to include ship time for the Sikuliaq will be submitted in August and October of this year. The next Sikuliaq Science Workshop will take place in February 2012 in conjunction with the American Geophysical Union's Ocean Sciences Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The vessel will be owned by NSF and operated by UAF. The ship will be ready for unrestricted science operations in 2014.

Carin Stephens | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.alaska.edu

Further reports about: Marine science Marinette Science TV UAF VanLaningham polar region sea snails sediment cores

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past
28.04.2017 | National Science Foundation

nachricht Citizen science campaign to aid disaster response
28.04.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>