Go With the Flow: Investigating Vents and Seeps

October 30, 2017

Exploring Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California

Tracing the San Andreas Fault to the south into the Gulf of California, small offsets in the North American-Pacific plate boundary occur at short, mid-ocean ridge spreading center segments. These active volcanic rifts are buried beneath organic-rich sediments of the Colorado River that empties into the northern end of the Gulf. Heat from volcanic eruptions and magma injected into these sediments causes exotic chemical reactions with formation waters that result in high- to low-temperature hydrothermal vents and related chemosynthetic ecosystems. ROV dives on some of these sites seek to map out the distribution of vents and fauna with respect to igneous intrusions and rift zones. Ongoing exploration aboard the E/V Nautilus can be experienced in real time online.


Assistant Professor - Late-Quaternary Climate Science

August 10, 2017

Assistant Professor Opening


The Syracuse University Department of Earth Sciences seeks applicants for an Assistant Professor position in climate change science, who will hold the Thonis Family Endowed Professorship. Scientists with expertise in observational approaches to late-Quaternary paleoclimatology and with established links to the climate modeling community are strongly encouraged to apply. The department welcomes applicants with expertise collecting, characterizing and calibrating quantitative records of past temperature, sea level change, glacial dynamics, hydroclimate, and terrestrial responses to natural and anthropogenic forcing. The ideal candidate will collaborate across traditional disciplinary boundaries within the Department of Earth Sciences and the greater SU community, which includes expertise in energy, sustainability, and water resources.

Making Beaches into Hillsides

May 30, 2017

East Coast Landscape Evolution Influenced by Many Geological Factors

For an ancient, flat shoreline, North America’s east coast is awfully bumpy. A new, comprehensive computer model shows that multiple surface and deep Earth processes influenced elevation change in this region. Not only do these models provide insight into how the landscape formed, but also how the shoreline may change in the future.

“We lack a complete geological record for changes during the period of intense landscape evolution—this is where modeling comes in,” says Robert Moucha, assistant professor of Earth sciences. Read more...

Convocation Reception

May 13, 2017

Department of Earth Sciences

Convocation Reception

11:15am on the Quad

Award Ceremony

12:30pm in Heroy Lobbby

‘Like Traveling to Another Planet’

Jeff Karson

March 8, 2017

Bringing to light spectacular new views of the vastly unexplored landscapes that lie under the waves is the focus of the newly honored book, “Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and Ocean Crust” (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Jeff Karson, professor of Earth sciences, is the lead co-author of the visually stunning volume along with Deborah Kelley, professor of oceanography at the University of Washington; Daniel Fornari, a marine geologist and senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI); Michael Perfit, professor of geological sciences at the University of Florida; and Timothy Shank, an associate scientist in biology at WHOI. Read more...

Geochemist Breathes New Life into ‘Great Oxidation Event’

Chris Junium

February 8, 2017
 A researcher in the College of Arts and Sciences is providing fresh insights into the “Great Oxidation Event” (GOE), in which oxygen first appeared in the Earth’s atmosphere more than 2.3 billion years ago.

Christopher Junium, assistant professor of Earth Sciences, is part of a team of researchers led by Aubrey Zerkle, a biogeochemist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, which has uncovered evidence of an interaction between nitrogen and oxygen in ancient rocks from South Africa. The discovery not only illuminates how life evolved alongside changes in the chemistry of the Earth’s surface, but also fills in a 400-million-year gap in geochemical records. Read more...

The Science of Shipwrecks

Cathryn Newton

January 26, 2017

 A legendary Honors course, taught by Cathryn Newton, uses maritime tragedies to illuminate both science and human culture

On New Year’s Eve in 1862, the USS Monitor sank in a violent storm at Cape Hatteras, off North Carolina’s windswept coast. Sixteen of her 62 sailors perished. One survivor, a surgeon named Grenville Weeks, lost three fingers and the permanent use of his right arm, after being wedged between two rescue boats. “We watched from the deck of the Rhode Island [Monitor’s supply ship] the lonely light upon the Monitor’s turret,” he recalled in an essay in The Atlantic Monthly. “A hundred times we thought it had gone forever, a hundred times it reappeared—till, at last, it sank, and we saw it no more.” Read more...