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Ph.D. Student Researching Marine Mineral Deposits—A Collaboration Among the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, the University of California Santa Cruz, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

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Tracey Conrad is a first-year Ph.D. student at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), working with James R. Hein, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) senior scientist and adjunct professor in UCSC’s Ocean Sciences Department, and Adina Paytan, UCSC research scientist in the departments of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Ocean Sciences. Tracey is studying samples collected with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s (MBARI) remotely operated vehicles (ROV) Tiburon and Doc Ricketts during cruises conducted in 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2010 under the direction of David Clague (MBARI Senior Scientist, formerly with the USGS). This project is possible thanks to the close collaboration among the three institutions.

Tracey Conrad
Above: Ph.D. student Tracey Conrad at University of California, Santa Cruz, March 2012. Tracey is studying a specific type of marine mineral deposit—ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts—from along the California continental margin. Fe-Mn crusts form globally on subsea ridges and seamounts. [larger version]

Tracey’s Ph.D. research concerns a specific type of marine mineral deposit: ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts that form on submarine ridges and seamounts throughout the ocean. She will focus on Fe-Mn crusts along California’s central and southern continental margin, comparing them to open-ocean samples. The composition of the continental-margin deposits is significantly different from that of open-ocean deposits—a difference that may be related to the history of upwelling, productivity, and sediment input along the continental margin. The results of this research will enhance our understanding of marine geochemistry and the history of the California margin. The accurate location and water-depth information for samples collected by the MBARI ROVs will allow Tracey to study the effects of water depth and localized input on the composition of Fe-Mn crusts.

Ferromanganese crust on basalt substrate
Above: Ferromanganese crust on basalt substrate, collected during Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) cruise to the Taney Seamounts—a chain of four undersea volcanoes that lie about 300 kilometers due west of Monterey Bay, California—from August 5–13, 2010 (see http://www.mbari.org/expeditions/Taney10/). [larger version]

Ferromanganese crust without a substrate
Above: Ferromanganese crust without a substrate, collected during MBARI cruise to the Taney Seamounts, August 5–13, 2010 (see http://www.mbari.org/expeditions/Taney10/). [larger version]


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Seabird and Mammal Surveys Off U.S. West Coast

Maps Based on Satellite Telemetry Help Tanker Avoid Sea Ducks

Declines in Everglades Mammals Linked to Pythons

How Often Do Sediments on the Seafloor Move?

SACNAS National Conference

Monterey Bay Marine GIS Users Meeting

Staff Ph.D. Student Researching Marine Mineral Deposits

Dutch Student Visiting USGS in California

Publications New Video Shows Virtual Fly-Through Along Lower Elwha River

Mar. / Apr. 2012 Publications

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