Talk: Exploring the Seafloor – We know More about Mars

  • When 26 Apr, 2016 from 08:00 PM to 09:30 PM (Australia/Sydney / UTC1008)
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It’s a well-known saying that we know more about the surface of the Moon or Mars than we do about the ocean floor. 70% of the earth is covered in water. Exploration of the ocean floor is difficult, expensive and time consuming. As a result, less than 0.05% of the ocean floor has been mapped to a level of detail useful for detecting items such as airplane wreckage or the spires of undersea volcanic vents.

This talk will highlight some of the techniques being used to investigate the physical characteristics of the seafloor around Australia and the Southwest Pacific and the geological features that have been discovered so far. Examples are submarine canyons, volcanoes and metal-rich deposits forming around hot water vents – the so-called ‘black smokers’ that are being discovered with every new survey of the seafloor.

Dr Joanna Parr has been with CSIRO’s Mineral Resources Division since 1993 when she joined the Seafloor Ore Systems research group to investigate hydrothermal vents in the Bismarck Sea. She now leads the Minerals Systems Science Group. Joanna continues to have an interest in marine geology, in particular the ore deposits associated with seafloor hydrothermal systems, as well as the integration of a range of geological skills to understand ore deposits at the whole-of-system scale.