Time Travel

     If time travel intrigues you, I believe geophysics is the way to go!  What better way to delve into the earth’s history than to study the earth system processes over time.  You may not be able to physically transmit yourself back to 100 million years ago, but discovering through science can take you there mentally.  Just imagine!   Asking questions, collecting data, and interpreting layers of sediment beneath the ocean floor can put you back to when dinosaurs roamed the earth or when large mountain ranges like the Himalayas began forming. 

     You would be a Geophysicist, exploring and learning at the same time.  You would work on a boat with engineers, technicians, other scientists, and others facilitating your research to deploy instruments to the bottom of the ocean that collect information about the chemicals, the physical properties like temperature and pressure, the life that once lived many years ago to understand what it was like back then.  You may find layers of volcanic ash in the sediment and use a chemical dating method to figure out how long ago that ash fell into the ocean from a volcanic errruption.  You may find a layer of dust that matches to the sands of Africa.  The wind blew it across the ocean and dropped the dust in the Atlantic Ocean where it settled on the bottom creating sediment many years ago.  You may find pressure information in the Pacific Ocean that provides more information about how earthquakes happen.  There’s so much more!  When you share your findings, whether small or big, they will help paint a picture of what once was for those who also wish to see the past. 

     Knowing how things have changed in the past and how things are working now also gives us patterns and trends that may help us to better prepare for the future.  Whether it be on land or in the ocean, layers of sediment below us tell a story of past and present.  It’s just another means of time travel! 

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