Hi! My name is Ms. Graham. I am a teacher at the Marymount School of New York. Join me as I investigate the effects of Masaya, an active volcano in Nicaragua!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Magnetics

One might ask what in the world do magnetics have to do with volcanos... and what I learned today is, a lot! I spent the large majority of today walking trails in the Masaya crater and taking magnetic readings every 50 meters. In this picture, you can see me holding the magnetometer, which reads changes in the earth's magnetic composition. When you find a change in magnetics, this indicates that a fault line or fracture is likely below the surface. And why does this matter?? Interestingly enough, the scientists who have been working at the Masaya volcano (some since 1993!) have hypothesized that a system of cones (kind of like baby volcanoes, but they currently look like hills) and fault lines are actually comprised in the larger masaya crater, which could eventually lead to changes in activity and geography at some point in the future.


Another animal sighting! I still have not seen any of the wildlife I thought I might see, but yesterday from afar, I did see numerous vultures flying in the crater. Today, while checking on a station called the bunker, I got to see several vultures up close. I didn't have Mr. Moore's bird book with me, but I'm pretty sure I've accurately identified quite a find!








30 Comments:

At March 3, 2010 at 9:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Graham,
Im so glad to hear that you are learning and seeing new things everyday. Sounds like you are quite busy gathering data. What a great experience being able to be inside a lava tube!

Thanks so much for sharing with us. We are looking forward to talking to you soon.

-Ms. Fischer-Daly

 
At March 3, 2010 at 10:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Graham
Wondering what the immediate surrounding areas to the volcano look like. I have heard that volcanic soil can be quite fertile providing lush farmland in neighboring areas. Is that the case at Masaya or maybe not since there have not been any surface eruptions in quite some time. Very interesting about the magnetic shifts in the earth- didn't realize that had anything to do with fault lines.
Keep up the good work.
Ms. Seshadri

 
At March 3, 2010 at 11:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What and how many tools do they use to find how large the craters are?
Stefi M.

 
At March 3, 2010 at 12:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ms.Graham!
Wow, I never thought that you would see vultures in a volcano, of all places. If Mr. Moore finds out about that, I think he'll be pretty excited (last time I checked vultures don't live in the city). I never knew that magnetism had so much to do with volcanoes in the future.
I have a couple of questions. What is the most common wildlife you've seen so far? Is there any other gas in the volcano other than sulfur dioxide?

Miss you!
-Zoe S. IV-B

 
At March 3, 2010 at 1:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Graham,
How are you doing in Nicaragua? Can you tell us how close the vultures get to you? Can you feel the gas from the volcano when you breathe? Have you seen any other interesting wildlife? We miss you!
Love,
Kirsten and Katherine 4-1

 
At March 3, 2010 at 1:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Graham,
We hope your having a great time! Did you get scared when you saw the vulture? Does the gas from the volcano smell really bad? Is it warm there?
From,
Sophia and Olivia D. class 4

 
At March 3, 2010 at 1:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Graham,
It’s Annabella, Caroline, Alexa J and Brianna! Are you having fun studying the volcano? Can you smell the sulfur dioxide? Have you seen any new wildlife? What have you done so far? We miss you and can’t wait to see you back at school!

- Alexa J, Brianna, Annabella, and Caroline

 
At March 3, 2010 at 2:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ann Marie B IV-A-2
Hi Ms. Graham
How are you? Are you enjoying Nicaragua?
I didn't know that the Earth has magnetic composition! Cool! Well, you learn something new everyday!
Have a good time there! :)

 
At March 3, 2010 at 2:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Olivia Miller - IV-A.

Hi Ms. Graham!
How are you?
Its so cool how magnetics have to do with volcanos! It is so interesting that you have not seen any wild life yet! Keep me informed if you see any wildlife! I hope you are having a good time! Enjoy the rest of your time in Nicaragua!

From, Olivia Miller

 
At March 3, 2010 at 2:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Graham
Hi! it's Melanie from 4-B. I was wondering why vultures hang around volcanoes?

 
At March 3, 2010 at 2:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Graham! Have you seen any interesting animals or plants?
What have you learned about volcanoes?

From,
Francesca IV-A

 
At March 3, 2010 at 2:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Graham
I had no idea magnetics had to do with volcanoes! Did you see any pumice, obsidian, or granite?
Here is a riddle for you: It always runs but never walks, often murmurs, never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a mouth but never eats. What is it?
Sincerely
Emily IV-2

 
At March 3, 2010 at 4:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ms. Graham,
I have a question for you, is the sulfur dioxide that is coming out of the Masaya volcano effecting the ecosystems around it?
Hope you are having fun,
P.K, Class 6-A

 
At March 3, 2010 at 5:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ms.Graham! I hope you are having fun!
I have two questions, how many animals have you seen in their natural habitats? Are many of the animals different from the animals here? from P.H. VIB-3

 
At March 3, 2010 at 6:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Graham!
I have 2 questions.
How big is the Masaya crater?
How is the sulfur dioxide affecting the ecosystem??
Thank !
From,
C.C. VI-3

 
At March 3, 2010 at 6:26 PM , Blogger Tracy Graham said...

Hi girls! I am having a great time but miss you all too! I'm really looking forward to skyping with you in the next couple of days. In the meantime, here are some answers to your questions.

The area surrounding the volcano is rather dry right now, mostly because it is dry season and there has been no rain. Everything is dry and brittle, but some trees actually have some flowers and fruit. The ground is composed of both soil and lava, depending on the area of the crater. Some plants seem to thrive in the lava soil (mostly when it breaks up), and others do not. That is actually part of the investigation I was doing today! It seems the plumeria tree does quite well in the lava.

In terms of wildlife, to date I have seen the bats (of course!), a few lizards, both large and small, the vultures, a few birds, and today's highlight, white-faced monkeys! I was quite a distance from the monkeys, but within 5 feet of the vulture. No one seems to understand why the vultures have inhabited the crater; it's really not an ideal environment for them... but I guess no one told the vultures that!

 
At March 3, 2010 at 6:27 PM , Blogger Tracy Graham said...

Emily B! Is the answer to your riddle a river?

 
At March 3, 2010 at 7:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I was wondering about the first time the volcano erupted. When was it and was it a big eruption?

Margaret D VIA

 
At March 3, 2010 at 9:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Miss Graham! I miss you! Hope you are having a good time!
I was wondering how do you calculate how much sulfur dioxide is in the gas? Why is this important to the surrounding communities?

Eve B VIB

 
At March 4, 2010 at 8:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Graham!
How are you doing in Nicaragua? I think it is so fun to be studying volcanos! Have you seen an other animals or birds? The pictures are fantastic and I can't wait to do the conference call with you!
Much love,
Lucy de L. Class VI

 
At March 4, 2010 at 8:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Ms. Graham!
We all miss you tons. I hope you are having fun and are learning a lot in Nicaraqua. What is the weather like there? Oh, and one more thing! I love the monkeys because they are my favorite animals.
From, Olivia T. class VI

 
At March 4, 2010 at 8:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Miss Graham! I really hope you are having a good time. I enjoyed the video of the volcano. I have two questions. How many different variations of birds have you seen? Have you seen any wildlife that you would usually not see here?
I hope you enjoy the rest of the trip!
-Alexandra R. VI

 
At March 4, 2010 at 8:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Graham! I think it's so cool how you are looking at volcanoes with other scientists! So far, what was your favorite thing that you have done on your trip?

Laura H. Class VI-2

 
At March 4, 2010 at 8:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Ms. Graham. everyone at school misses you! I was wondering how tall the vulture was and how long were its wings. Did it take a long time to climb the volcano?

Ashley M. VIB-2

 
At March 4, 2010 at 8:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Graham,
It's Jeanne C from Class VI! I hope you are having a great time, I can't wait for you to come back and talk about your trip. I have one question, how big was the vulture in that picture - it looked amazing. How long did it take to climb the volcano? See you soon.
-Jeanne C VI-A :D

 
At March 4, 2010 at 8:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Ms. Graham. It seems like a lot of fun to be able to look at volcanoes. How far do you walk every day to get to the volcanoes? What do you do when you are observing the volcanoes? Why do you use that magnetometer and measure every couple of meters?

Delaney D VI-B

 
At March 4, 2010 at 10:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I was wondering, how do you know were to step when you are on the volcano? Would the volcano erupt, if you stepped on a soft spot?

Eileen G VIA

 
At March 4, 2010 at 11:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I was wondering: how does sulfur dioxide affect the ecosystem, and if there's too much sulfur dioxide, how would that problem be taken care of?

B.S.M VI-3

 
At March 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Ms. Graham!
It looks interesting to be able to see inside of a Volcano! Are there a lot of rocks inside the volcano or not really? Are all of the rocks the same color? Is it scary?
Bye!


Lier McW IV-B

 
At March 4, 2010 at 1:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

~Miss Graham
Because you said you haven't seen any wild life that you expected to see, what DID you expect to see?
Chrissy IV-B

 

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