Tag » College of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

Mapping the Columbia
July 30, 2013

Mapping the Columbia

Cartography students create atlas for iBooks

The Columbia River Basin comes to life in a new digital atlas produced by Oregon State University cartography students. They have created an iBook — accessible via Apple’s iPad — which combines the look and feel of a traditional paper book with the touch-screen features of a tablet computer. Through colorful maps, animations, photos and […]


Rethinking Yellowstone
April 3, 2013

Rethinking Yellowstone

The hotspot theory gets a makeover from the emerging science of magnetotellurics

A geological mystery lies beneath the majestic beauty of Yellowstone National Park. Once thought solved, the enigma continues to unfold through the lens of a young science known as magnetotellurics. As accepted theory goes, over the past 16 million years a rising plume of magma in the Earth’s mantle produced massive amounts of lava and […]


Ice Core Diaries
January 23, 2013

Ice Core Diaries

Records from the past carry warnings for our future

We are slowly beginning to understand the anatomy of global climate and how it changes, its geographic fingerprint and its tempo. Ice cores paint a complex and sometimes surprising picture, one that generations of scientists will spend decades trying to fully understand.


Forms from the Sea
October 9, 2012

Forms from the Sea

Oregon artists reveal hidden worlds in plankton science

During a Pacific Ocean research cruise, Angel White peers into her microscope. The ship rides gentle swells and sways side to side. In her field of view, organisms the size of dust motes rise and fall through their own watery world. “It can be disorienting and enthralling at the same time. The microbes are dying […]


Under the Hood
September 10, 2012

Under the Hood

Geologists reveal the steady personality of Oregon’s signature peak

Mount Hood last erupted more than 200 years ago, but at Crater Rock, not far from the summit, the signs of volcanic activity are unmistakable. Gas vents and hot springs emit sulfur fumes. Vapors rising from deep under the mountain carve snow caves, which can seem like sanctuaries for climbers but often hold deadly concentrations […]


The Earth Burps and Burns
July 11, 2012

The Earth Burps and Burns

WeiLi Hong measures methane emissions in Korean ocean waters

When the Earth burps, WeiLi Hong listens. Whether Earth’s gaseous emissions bubble up from “mud volcanoes” on the planet’s surface or seep out of fissures on the ocean floor, the Oregon State University Ph.D. student has his monitoring gear to the ground. And sometimes, he’s actually in the ground. “I fell in twice,” Hong admits, […]


Green mulch
May 25, 2012

Green mulch

More veggies and more fruit = more plastic mulch on farms. Oregon State students look for alternatives.

Bear with me; here’s the problem. Plastic mulch — those shiny sheets spread across row upon row of veggies, strawberries and other crops — enables farmers to produce more types and greater quantities of food. It makes farming more profitable, preserves soil moisture, reduces weeds and saves on labor costs. But this type of mulch […]


Surf’s Up!
January 19, 2012

Surf’s Up!

Scientists help coastal communities plan for an uncertain future

If you love big surf, go to Depoe Bay on the Oregon coast during a winter storm. As swells rise and break offshore, winds whip ocean spray high into the air, but the waves move inexorably toward the harbor (the “world’s smallest navigable harbor,” reads a road sign), channel through rocks and, with a resounding […]


A Slippery Slope
April 22, 2011

A Slippery Slope

Warm rains and glacial melting trigger dangerous debris flows

Grinding over ancient layers of lava and ash, the glaciers of the Cascade Range act like supersized sheets of shrinkwrap. Stretched taut across tons of pulverized rock, these blankets of frozen snow hold sand, gravel and boulders in place — that is, until they start to melt. Then the sediments, unlocked from the glaciers’ icy […]