Coaches: Kyla Rapp
Schedule
2016
Monday, April 11th
11:00 AM

Glacial Sculpting of the Tana Island Volcano

Henry Lanman

Science 159

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

The Tana Volcano is home to one of the last receding glaciers in the Aleutian Islands, despite having one of the lower summit elevations. Tana has the ability to host a glacier at such low elevations due to a large basin area to accumulate snow. The Tana Glacier eroded the soft hydrothermally altered lavas, creating a large basin area to allow for further snow accumulation. This multi-hued rock has significantly different erosional properties relative to unaltered lavas on Tana. I mapped a suite of moraines and compared the composition and morphology of moraines containing altered and unaltered lavas. This study furthers our understanding of the climate on the Islands of Four Mountains, and also how host rock affects the erosional and depositional processes of a glacier.

Tuesday, April 19th
10:45 AM

Ash and Trash: Geochronology of Human Occupation in the Aleutians

Jon Miranda

Science 159

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

The native Unangan people of Alaska left no written record of their migration across the volcanic islands of the Aleutian archipelago. Using ash deposits from local volcanoes, my research focused on dating the occupation of village sites in the Islands of Four Mountains volcanic cluster. Across the islands successive village soil layers are separated by ash layers. I used geochemical analysis combined with carbon dates of organic matter from trash pits in village layers to match these strata across several sites, establishing a new timeline of human and volcanic activity in the area. This history of human occupation in the Aleutians gives insight into how people moved across the region and how their interactions with volcanoes shaped the journey.

11:00 AM

Glacial Sculpting of the Tana Island Volcano

Henry Lanman

Science 159

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

The Tana Volcano is home to one of the last receding glaciers in the Aleutian Islands, despite having one of the lower summit elevations. Tana has the ability to host a glacier at such low elevations due to a large basin area to accumulate snow. The Tana Glacier eroded the soft hydrothermally altered lavas, creating a large basin area to allow for further snow accumulation. This multi-hued rock has significantly different erosional properties relative to unaltered lavas on Tana. I mapped a suite of moraines and compared the composition and morphology of moraines containing altered and unaltered lavas. This study furthers our understanding of the climate on the Islands of Four Mountains, and also how host rock affects the erosional and depositional processes of a glacier.

Sourcing Obsidian in the Islands of the Four Mountains

Bea Sheffer

Science 159

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

The isolated, windswept Islands of the Four Mountains (IFM) are central within the Aleutian arc. Although not currently inhabited, prehistoric Aleut sites up to calibrated 3760+/-60 years old are nestled on the flanks of almost every volcano within the IFM. Using what was available, these prehistoric communities worked obsidian, jasper, and dacite into tools. These siliceous tools are especially resistant to physical and chemical weathering (dissolution) in soils. Comparing elemental abundances collected by electron microprobe and by pXRF of the possible source material and artifacts provides clues into how the prehistoric Aleut people lived. In 2015, a fifteen-person research team collected possible source material from four volcanoes within the IFM. By connecting geographical locations of these source materials and the artifacts, the IFM team can investigate distances traveled to collect source material and the rarity of that material. These links provide insight into the relationship between people and their environment.

11:30 AM

It Isn’t Always Cloudy in the Northwestern United States: Characterizing the Solar Energy Resource and Short-term Irradiance Variability in Relation to Weather and Climate

Nevin Schaeffer

Science 159

11:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Two barriers limiting the widespread implementation of commercial solar energy generation plants throughout the nation are the solar energy resource of a location and the short-term variability of solar energy caused by inhomogeneous cloud cover. Short-term variability of solar energy can lead to increased costs associated with integration into the electrical grid if the minute-to-minute fluctuations of power output are not predicted accurately. Often disregarded in discussions of solar power generation due to its high latitude and frequent cloud cover, the Northwestern United States in fact sustains a yearly averaged solar resource akin to that of Tampa, Florida. In addition to assessing the solar resource of the region, the short-term variability of five sites located from Western Oregon to Southwestern Montana was analyzed in conjunction with weather and climate data to explore the relationship between cloudiness and short-term variability of solar power.