Millie Watts: What does the ocean mean to me?


Having written a similar post for the previous runs of the MOOC, I thought I would show a few photos of what the ocean means to me at the moment. My research group recently took part in some exciting fieldwork in Canada. I am part of the Sedimentology and Marine Geohazards research group, and we focus on studying the record left behind in marine sediments of natural disasters. A few of us took some time to explore what this means in Western Canada, we are specifically interested in studying the past history of tsunamis, which can be generated not only by earthquakes, but also by large submarine landslides. This is a very real risk in Canada, and well managed through information signs and guided evacuation routes. Part of my PhD is looking at how frequently we have had tsunami waves in the UK, and how likely it is to happen again:Screenshot 2015-08-30 15.05.20

The Pacific Coast is also truly beatiful, rugged coastlines, crashing waves, fog rolling in:

Screenshot 2015-08-30 15.07.21

Whilst we were working in Canada, I was part of the sediment filtering team, which gave me a new perspective on ocean research. We collected water samples periodically to calibrate our equipment and to look at how concentration of sediment changes throughout the day. We had to improvise a lab on shore, for which we needed running water, a sink and power, so we put together an improvised lab in one of the hotel bathrooms!



Screenshot 2015-08-30 15.09.38

My favourite thoughts of the ocean is invariably from many holidays spent at the beach, and the briefest of summer days this year when it has been sunny enough to walk the Dorset coastline with my dog:

Screenshot 2015-08-30 15.09.38(2)What does the ocean mean to you? The MOOC mentors are looking forward to seeing your photos on the padlet wall!

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