Katharine, Rob, and Brendan took turns over the last 2 weeks helping Ben collect data for his Masters Thesis at the Pacific Northwest Paleomagnetism Laboratory at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.

Ben is studying sediment from the Northern North Atlantic to better understand the history of the South Greenland Ice Sheet and past oceanographic circulation.  Part of his projects involves separating sediment from IODP drill cores into particle size fractions and measuring the magnetic properties of each fraction using WWU’s Vibrating Sample Magnetometer (VSM) and Kappabridge.  These measurements tell us about the concentration of magnetic minerals, magnetic mineral ‘grain-size’, and magnetic mineralogy.  By looking at variations across 5 particle size fractions, Ben can better interpret how sediment sources have evolved over the last 150 thousand years and how those signals are influenced by sediment transport processes.

Thanks to Bernie Housen and the group at WWU for having us and being great!  The PNW Paleomag Lab at WWU is a wonderful place and we are lucky to have it as a resource.


IMG_20180726_153138Ben working hard at the Vibrating Sample Magnetometer (background) at the WWU Pacific Northwest Paleomagnetism Laboratory.  He is also using their Kappabridge (foreground).



IMG_20180726_154040Ben with his particle size fractions, prepped for measurement on the Vibrating Sample Magnetometer.


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