OMSI Science Pub: The Electric Earth

Monday, February 2 at 7:00pm  |  $5 suggested donation at the door  |

OMSI Science Pub Presents The Electric Earth: OSU investigations of subsurface geologic structures in Cascadia using electromagnetic geophysics

With Kyle McDonald, faculty research assistant, Oregon State University

The majesty of Cascadia often overwhelms the senses while hiking the innumerable trails in our backyard, but the persistent subsurface activity that gives rise to those beautiful landscapes has its own beauty to behold. Scientists have been able to build a picture of this subsurface world with ever-increasing clarity using several geophysical methods. Researchers with the National Geoelectromagnetic Facility at OSU have used the magnetotelluric method to measure incoming electromagnetic energy from the Sun to investigate deep regional features in the Earth’s subsurface. Much like an MRI, contrasts in electrical properties of the Earth give scientists clues into the nature of subsurface structures from their geometry to possible composition. When various methods are collocated they can improve interpretations of these features. Mr. McDonald will explore the nature of some geophysical methods and some recent regional studies in the United States where those methods have been deployed.

Kyle McDonald received his M.S. from Oregon State University in 2011 after defending a thesis on heat flow along 5 terrestrial regions of the San Andreas Fault zone in California. He also spent much of his time at OSU studying earthquake mechanics and geomorphology of tectonics. He received a B.S. in Geology and Geophysics from Missouri University of Science and Technology with a minor in Mathematics in 2008, where he also served as production director for the college radio station. He is currently a faculty research assistant at OSU doing magnetotelluric research with the National Geoelectromagnetic Facility ran by Prof. Adam Schultz. His work is primarily concerned with the field component (data collection) as well as the maintenance and construction of various instruments. Kyle is also on the board for three non-profit corporations and helps teach a master's program for science educators in Baja California, Mexico with Miami University. In his spare time he enjoys playing music and hiking with his dog Luna, which he found in a parking lot of Mexico while teaching aforementioned classes.


Tuesday, February 3