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Meet Adam Soule

Mark Kurz(Photo by Amy Nevala, WHOI)

Adam Soule
Assistant Scientist
Geology and Geophysics Department
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

What is my role in the expedition?
Mt. Morning is a volcano and I study the physical aspects of volcanic eruptions. For this expedition, we will be studying what happens to lava flows as they get older; how they break down in cold, dry environments. My role in the expedition is to understand the context of the rock samples that we will collect from Mt. Morning lava flows. I will use special equipment to take '3D pictures' of the landscapes in order to document the morphology (shape) of the lava flows and how it evolves. The piece of equipment is called a ground-based LiDAR and it will allow us to make very accurate measurements of the landscape after we leave the field.

Why do I do what I do?
During this expedition we will examine how lava flows break down with time. More frequently I examine how lava flows are created. Volcanic eruptions are an important process in an actively evolving planet such as Earth. The products of volcanic eruptions cover more than 2/3's of the Earth's surface and are primary means for transferring heat and mass from the Earth's interior. Volcanic eruptions are also important because they provide a window in to how and where magma is generated and stored in the Earth's crust; and once volcanoes erupt, lava flows can pose a risk to humans, so it is also important to know where lava flows will travel and how fast they will get there. The morphology of the lava (for example: rough or smooth) can help us understand the dynamics of the eruptions that produced them.

Where did I grow up?
I grew up in Olympia, Washington. I saw my first volcanic eruption in May of 1980 when Mt. St. Helens erupted.

What were my favorite and least favorite things about school?
My favorite things about school were science classes and playing sports. My least favorite things about school were english classes and homework (but I learned that both of those were very important).