Red Monster (by )

To join the world of the Blue Monster a new Gurgitation monster is on the loose, courtesy of me and my madness!

Presenting Red Monster's Blog!

Mum Update (by )

Mum is being released from the hospital today - she still has one drain in but apparently the district nurse will come and see her to remove it.

Cancer Op III and Sarah is a Muppet (by )

Yesturday mum had her lymph nodes removed and as it is the second lot of surgery in a very short space of time so she was wiped. I tried to go and see her but stupidly I only had her mobile number which wasn't answering as they had mistaken her for someone else on the ward who had become dangerously ill.

I didn't know this - just that she wasn't answering but it wasn't going to voice mail or anything either so I panicked and thought that perhapse it was an old number or something - I nuked my phone a few months ago and reinstated my numbers from a piece of paper that was pre-gloucestershire move :/.

I then tried to phone dad but couldn't get out of him how to get to the hospital - I had also had the issue that no one had been able to get hold of Al and dad was a)locked out of the house, and b) going hypo as he needed his breakfast that was in the house - so via the phone I had to talk him into hitting the bedroom window with things in the vague hope of awakening the Alaric!

After that was sorted I tried phoning my brother but to no avail - this was mainly becuase being a muppet I was phoning the wronge David :/ I didn't actually have my brothers phone number in my phone :/

I then found that I didn't have my aunts number or anything - sigh.

Then to the latest faff of trying to get registered at college and of you knopw trying to libary access - today was a stressful day. People in suits knocked me over as if they didn't even see me - I was wearing a rainbow coloured jacket and a huge great rucksack - the result of this has been the lose of usefulness of my left arm and hand yet agian :/

Mrs Mermaid (by )

Mobile Earthquake Recording in Marine Areas by Independent Divers

This was last week it was the second one of the Departmental Research semiars which UCL's Earth Sciences department are having. This turned out to be about the project I had heard about when doing the MRes before becuase back in those days Frederik Simons was at UCL and thus took some of the Birkbeck classes - he's now at Princeton. I remembered his stuff from before so well as it involved fourier transforms which at the time Alaric was having issues in using himself. It was intersting to see how the project had evolved and to also to here yet agian the run down on the gaps in our knowledge of the earths structure due to the uneven distrabution of earthquake detectors - ie on land!

The interesting things I picked out of this talk was that the presance of mantle plumes below certian volcanics - ie the stuff that occures in the middle of the oceans away from either subduction zones or mid ocean rifts. I hadn't realised this and thought it was all sorted out!

In fact it turns out we are still asking questions like:

What is the convection style of the mantle

What is the nature of mantle plumes and what is the heat flow like

Then another interesting thing is are the siesmic data consistant with mineral physics.

Again Tomography came into it and he showed some really groovey pictures of like the who earth though there are lots of gaps still!

It also turns out that not only do you have to deal with the fact that the earthquakes are not evenly distributed but that they are often of the wronge size - now it's obvious that the majority of quakes will be too small to get any useful data out but what I hadn't appreciated was that they can also be too big! They fail as they are too big to actually be used as a point source!

He ran through things like Argo which have floating devices but these are tethered and there fore pick up alot of noise and stuff. If they get the funding for their floatation devices it seems that we would get much better data.

I remembered that there was a low velociety channel in the oceans but I hadn't known that the whales use it as obviosly the sound waves travel further. This can cuase problems as there are sound waves that can initially look like the p-waves from earthquakes - you seem to need to put the data through a few processes and then they look different this is important as it turns out you can use the initial 2 seconds of p-wave to predict the size/magnitude of the earthquake - p-waves are the first ones to arrive but they are what are known as body waves and they dont do any damage it is the surface waves that lag behind them that destroy buildings and if there is going to be a Tidal wave then there is even more warning for that.

This is still a highly contested idea but it would be cool if it worked - Japan seems to be the most lickly place to find out!

I went to the drinks afterwards but didn't get a chance to actually ask my questions about what type of batteries they are using on the devices as they look like one of the main issues - I also wanted to ask about how the positioning system worked but never mind.

East Asian Monsoon (by )

Last Monday I had another really cool lecture with Andy Carter this time it was looking at the interconnections between things like the East Asian Monsoon, local warm pools of water in the sea, continental uplift in this case the Himalayas.

This for me was a fun mind teasing, problem solving lecture in which I guessed why there where extention faults at pretty much right angles to compressional features. I actually cheated with this and thought about where the sigma 1,2 and 3 where - this was structural stuff from back in the day and those Cosgrove lectures came flooding back - this was bizar as I swear I hadn't understood them at the time and suddenely I am using them to work out problems. I still avoided actually doing maths though.

I then ended up puzzling over the best way to do simulations and the like and again once more I feel this desire to make better simulations better models but they say that it takes months of processesing time. I thinking there must be a better way but want to know more about what makes models models and simulations simulations and what is good and what is bad. I want to use triangles for some reason and have them as colums which I don't see in all the stuff so far.

I'm thinking the gaming and graphics industry would know stuff that would be useful to this - this is just a strange urg I have :/

We disguessed ways of actually constraining stuff with dates from the field and this was fun too and it was pulling together many things from previous lectures and my undergraduate. This was cool becuase we looked at how upper crust interaction ie mountain building events are affected by the underlaying interaction of the crust and upper mantle - he actually mentioned the word asthenosphere which I haven't heard since like A'level geology I swear!

Then there is the interactions with oceanic currents and where the land is and weather curculation with the mountains in the way and that this cuases rain to actually fall and things and tempurature which can be affected by errosion rates (due to the chemical reactions involved affecting the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere) and the albedo affect which is like how much sunlight gets reflected back into space form say bare soil verses vegitation so if more rain get plants growing but then there is also rain clouds and how they act both as a green house gass warming the planet and how they are affecting the albedo affect etc.... I love this sort of stuff I really do.

Though Andy (I think) finds the structural, traditional, geology bit more interesting I found the whole concept of the actual interaction interesting - he said this was studying earth systems and I think I have found a name for some of the Jake of All Trades stuff within geology.

It was buetiful especially when you start looking at how say the evolution of certain things say lignin in plants can affect the climate and things like that - everything is interconnected and understanding how and why is something I can really get my teeth into - I am building up shortly on how I think geology as a subject will be tuaght in future but it still needs work!

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