Steffen studies volcanoes looking at – warning; long word - marine tephrostratigraphy. This is what’s left after a volcano, like ash and rocks.
When asked how he got interested in (a) science and (b) this project, Steffen said (a) TV documentaries and (b) by chance – sometimes life just works out!
As part of this project he used Hikurangi data to complement data of the entire ring of fire (a 40,000km rim of the Pacific Ocean where volcanos and earthquakes happen). He also wants to extend a tephrostratigraphic record of New Zealand back to 12 million years ago to see whether it’s possible if the climate controlled volcanic activity.
The aim is to pull together the most complete volcanic record to test the possibility that volcanic activity could have be controlled or influenced by glacial cycles changing sea levels since the late Miocene age which is ages and ages ago – 12 million years.
His work is important for understanding how much glacial cycles impact volcanoes and earthquakes, and what that means for the future.
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