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Investigation of the Role of Segmentation and Magmatism in Continental Rifting Exploiting Diverse Seismic Datasets from the East African Rift System For many years it has been accepted that continental breakup occurs by extension and ultimately rupture of the lithosphere.
However, the emergence and early evolution of two fundamental characteristics of divergent plate boundaries, segmentation and magmatism, are not well understood because most studies focus on mature or successfully rifted margins.
Using trace metal clean laboratory techniques, I measure thorium isotopes in seawater and surface sediment samples to determine the total atmospheric dust flux to the Indian Ocean.
These interdisciplinary studies address the coupled biological and chemical changes in marine ecosystems as a result of increased anthropogenic climate change.
The study is particularly focused on seismicity before and after a well-documented submarine eruption at this site, which culminated in a seismic crisis on January 22, 2006.
Specifically, I assess triggering of seismic activity related to the true fortnightly and fortnightly modulations of diurnal and semidiurnal tides at the East Pacific Rise through a dataset from an Ocean Bottom Seismometer array that was deployed from October 2003 to January 2007.
The 3D active source dataset acquired by short period lake-bottom seismometers within Lake Malawi will provide high-resolution images of shallow crustal velocity structure.
Together these diverse datasets will yield novel constraints on the state of the Malawi Rift and the role of segmentation and magmatism in an immature continental rift setting.
Much of my research focuses on the effects of multiple stressors on the growth and physiology of planktonic microorganisms, which form the base of the marine food web and serve as some of the first bioindicators of change in marine ecosystems.
Although the effects of ocean acidification are known for some marine plankton, the interactive effects of ocean acidification and other chemical stressors (e.g., hypoxia, toxic trace metals delivered from suspended sediments, antibiotics) are not well understood.