Coral Reefs, Climate Change, and Atoll Sustainability

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Another important dimension of this presentation is that of the objectives that are focused on by the researcher here. Indeed, there is a strong emphasis on the availability of fresh water being able to lead to habitability for not just sea creatures, but humans as well, to some extent. However, this can only be done without the interference f engineering. The main moral of the presentation, then, seems to be to adopt something of a "wait and see" approach, wherein if humans stay out of these coral reef areas and do not develop them much, they will naturally be able to flourish more easily. This will take time, though, and the source is adamant in emphasizing the importance of allowing nature to take its course, even if it does not seem like a viable short term solution. This presentation is one that allows for listeners to understand just how and why these formations are so crucial for humans. 

Into the Abyss: Living Without Light

This source takes a closer look at the deep sea, or abyssal zone, wherein there is very little to no sunlight. This abyssal zone contains a number of bizarre animals, such as salps, atolls, which are a kind of jellyfish, and amphipods. These types of life forms are extremely unique but are not as well-known because they reside in an area where people are not able to access. More importantly, though, this source mentions some of the unique species here, such as the humpback anglerfish, and how they are required to adapt in strange ways in order to survive. Like the previous presentation, this source mentions the importance of coral ecosystems, in this case, the deep sea coral ecosystems. Without these ecosystems, the environment would likely collapse in this area. 

This source, although it emphasizes the importance of conservation of these coral reefs, does not focus as heavily on this conservation element. Instead, the speaker focuses much more on the informative aspects, especially surrounding the corals themselves. This allows for the speaker to be able to explain just how and why there are so many unique species that can be observed here. Much of the speech is devoted to elucidating these numerous different animals and plants here, such as the paragorgia. These life forms helps to demonstrate the sorts of adaptations that are necessary as a result of this uninhabitable area of the ocean. The author acknowledges that there is a large amount of biodiversity in many of these areas, meaning that they are indeed important and not merely something that exists for its own sake. The author also mentions some of the ways that efforts by humans have endangered many of these habitats and species, such as that of dredging. 

Ten Years After the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: How geology is reducing tsunami risk

This presentation focuses on one specific event, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and how this has impacted both the natural landscape of the surrounding area, as well as how the geology elements themselves are able to reduce the ongoing risk of further tsunamis. This particular speech also places a strong emphasis on some of the effects, such as large amounts of debris in the water, that resulted from the tsunami in 2004. This source also presents some of the data from Sri Lanka and some of the geological implications of this, such as where there are certain focused locations wherein tsunamis are more likely to cause massive amounts of damage. Furthermore, the source mentions that the research surrounding the geology of this area, as well as several others, was able to actually reduce the risk of tsunamis. How was this done? It is simple: the speaker was able to explain that there are ways to predict not just where tsunamis are more likely to strike, but where they are also likely to do the greatest amount of damage in these areas. 

Furthermore, the source takes a technical look at studies surrounding tsunami deposits and other elements involved therein. The source mentions some of the specific locations that were struck most saliently as a result of the tsunami. The source mentions the relationship between the deposits and the characteristics of the waves, including flow indicators, samples, as well as changes in the landscape of the map. There were also geochemical measurements, among other things, that were gathered here. The source is able to look at some of the effects of the flooding, such as by examining the sand, showed that there were trends of the deposits being dominated by sand, and then mud, as the distance from the waves increased. The key finding here is that the effects of these tsunamis, especially this one in 2004, is oftentimes much greater than what most would expect. This presentation relates to the class primarily because of its stark environmental focus. 

Exploring California's Amazing Seafloor--the visionary California Seafloor Mapping Program

The next presentation focuses on the ways that the California seafloor has been mapped over the past few years. The speaker focuses on the ways that there are numerous different mapping techniques, such as those where there is less than ten meters of water. This technique is called near shore mapping, or sometimes jet skis. Lidar, which utilizes a blue-green laser, is able to gather data very easily through these types of technologies. These resourceful measures allow for the cutting edge of these topological findings and mapping to be utilized more thoroughly. The contemporary nature of this source allows for it to be more relevant to the class because there are numerous measures that are being developed, as mentioned by the source here, that will continue to be able to be used in the future, perhaps even more. 

The source also focuses a great deal on the ways that seafloor mapping can be used to understand the environment, at least in terms of California. For instance, the source mentions that being able to predict landslides, or perhaps even generate smaller tsunamis. This presents a clearly practical element to this research, showing how the modeling process is able to predict and perhaps even prevent further damage. These mapping programs allow for shelf edges to be examined more closely, looking at deposits from older tsunamis and landslides, as well as pockmarks, cracks, and other areas of danger that could lead to landslides in the future. As such, this sort of mapping technology allows for practitioners to be able to understand what leads to these landslides, as well as locate the old landslides. This will allow for them to understand where the most dangerous or frequent landslide areas are. 

Monterey Canyon - Superhighway to the Deep-Sea

This next source also focuses on the deep sea a great deal, which naturally alludes to the oceanic theme of the course. Perhaps even more importantly, this presentation also discusses the ways that this type of research surrounding the deep sea, and the ways that it is analyzed, has been evolving a great deal. The result of this is that there is more and more research being conducted here that allows for the scientists to be able to understand not just more about the deep sea as a whole, but also to help elucidate even more important and salient techniques that can be utilized to further enrich this process. To that end, the source mentions the ways that movements of the canyon floor can actually be tracked through applications of certain burying beacons that were positioned within the sediment. This also means that it is possible to resurvey the positions easily. 

The other key concept within this source is that of the actual technologies that are being utilized in order to observe and understand these highways. Indeed, there are numerous technologies that are discussed by the speaker, looking at the vibracore system that is mounted on the ROV, which allows for many core tubes to be carried. More simply, this means that there are more and more technologies being created and implemented very quickly, which allows or these types of research to be continued much more easily. As such, it is clear that this source is one that will continue to conduct research, leading to numerous potential areas of further research that will need to be studied a great deal in order for the deep sea here to be understood more easily. Lastly, the source focuses a great deal on finding commonalities between this Monterey Canyon and its formation and other common canyons, such as the Grand Canyon, presenting even more opportunities for future research. 






















Works Cited

Storlazzi, Curt. "Coral Reefs, Climate Change, and Atoll Sustainability Will Micronesians become the U.S.'s first climate change refugees?" USGS Monthly Evening Lecture Series. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2017.