Why did geology students choose this subject area? For most of them, the fascination with the Earth was so great that they wanted to devote their lives to it. They thought that exploring its 4.5 billion-year history would be a great focus for their future careers. So they chose a geology degree program and went for it.
But the professors don’t want their students to dedicate their lives to research after they graduate. They need proof that a student is capable to conduct such research throughout the studies, so they assign projects each term.
At that point, the students hit a dead end: what exactly should they explore?
In the breathtaking Klamath Basin in Northern California, geology students will find a great topic for their research: the Lava Beds National Monument.
Why Should Geology Students Explore the Lava Beds National Park?
You’ll enjoy the unique landscape, wildlife and history of the place, so you’ll feel like you’re on a vacation. But when you first see the Lava Beds, you get the impression that you’re in Nature’s laboratory. That’s the true appeal of the monument for geology students. They get the real feel of what their future profession will be like.
But of course, the research topic has to be very specific. You can’t choose “Lava Beds California” and go with it. That would be a nice name for a brochure, but it’s not adequate for research. Scientific research imposes greater expectations. You can use various tools for academic research to set a topic, but we’ll make it simpler for you. We’ll give you a few suggestions of topics you can extract from your research of Lava Beds.
Ages of Volcanic Eruptions
In geological terms, Lake Volcano is pretty young, at about 500,000 years old. Over the last 3,000 years, eight eruptions of the Medicine Lake Volcano have been documented. Across the Lava Beds, there are over 30 lava flows exposed.
You can explore these eruptions. Your research project can focus on their estimated ages, and you’ll explain exactly how you identified the age.
Around 90% of the lava here is basaltic, and it’s found in its two types: ‘a’a and pahoehoe. But andesitic lava is also present, so you can explore the differences and figure out why the lava is different across the monument.
Like all other geology research topics, this one is based on field research. You can collect materials, make notes, and get research proposal writing services at EduBirdie for the rest of the process. If you’re not that great at writing, a professional writer will help you express your findings.
This national monument has the largest concentration of lava tube caves in the USA. Catacombs Cave is the longest single cave, according to the findings we have so far.
Caves are amazing to explore. You can approach them as an adventurer, but it’s even more fun to see them as a scientist.
Everyone wants to know about recent volcanic activity, since the information can tell them what to expect if we see another eruption in the near future. The most recent activity was recorded in 1988, when a series of small earthquakes resulted with several ground cracks.
You can also explore the most recent lava flows. Sure; they date back to 1,110 BP, but they are still very attractive to researchers. The changes they caused on the landscape look beautiful now, but they were horrifying when they occurred.
When magma is under great pressure, it blows a powerful lava fountain from a central vent. As a result, cinder cones form as it falls and cools down. The cinder cones Capulin Volcano and Sunset Crater Volcano are impressive landforms in the Lava Beds National Monument.
They give you a nice focus for a narrow topic. You can study their age and figure out how they formed.
Are You Ready for a Field Trip?
Geology is not something you study from textbooks. It demands practical research, so field trips are part of a student’s progress. If you’re wondering what field trip to take as a foundation for a research project, the Lava Beds National Monument is a great choice.
Experienced geologists are still finding new aspects to research. You won’t be bored! There’s enough material for a simple research project, but the Lava Beds can also inspire you for a research proposal and dissertation.
You can arrange a tour with a guide first, so you’ll get the pulse of the place. After that, you’ll get your equipment and start the exciting exploration.
BIO: Michael Turner is a writer and an adrenaline junkie. He loves learning about the Earth and its formation. He often posts updates about his trips on Twitter, so feel free to follow!