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采访伍兹霍尔地球物理学家林间

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JO_Editor1 发表于 2012-5-21 08:07:22 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 JO_Editor1 于 2012-6-22 04:58 编辑

采访伍兹霍尔地球物理学家林间
Jian Lin / Geophysicist, Woods Hole interview

记者: 玛格丽特·皮尔 Meg Pier
2011年5月


Meg's Preface(前言): Jian Lin is a Senior Scientist and the Henry Bryant Bigelow Chair for Excellence in Oceanography with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution located on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

A native of China, Jian’s interest in earth science was triggered while in high school by the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which had a magnitude 7.8. Just two months later, China’s political landscape changed dramatically as well, with the passing of the Chairman Mao Zedong era opening up new educational, economic and cultural opportunities for its citizens. Jian was among the first wave of students to be able to attend college in a decade, as well as among the first group allowed to study abroad a few years later.

Jian was involved in a major discovery while on his first research cruise, sailing from Cadiz, Spain, to the Azores to map the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. He has since led and participated in more than a dozen research expeditions to the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Oceans and the South China Sea, and is currently investigating the Japan quake. Jian’s story is a profound reminder of how quickly the status quo can change–for better, or worse.

I learned a great deal about the inner workings of this planet of ours in this conversation with Jian, not the least of which is its ever-present inter-connectivity. Jian and colleagues have conducted pioneering research into the notion that earthquakes “talk” to each other. I think you’ll find fascinating Jian’s “tour” of deep-sea hot spots, hydrothermal vents and abyssal terrain and appreciate the personal nature of his mission to help educate the public through a better understanding of how earthquakes and tsumanis work.

Never lose the child-like wonder. It’s just too important. It’s what drives us.” - From “The Last Lecture (2007)” by Randy Pausch (1960 – 2008)

Meg(记者提问): As a senior scientist in geology and geophysics at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, you study the Earth’s tectonic processes both on land and under the oceans. I understand that when you were growing up in China, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake near the city of Tangshan influenced your career choice. Can you describe the impact of that event for you?

Jian(回答): Unlike many other geologists, my interest in Earth sciences was not sparked while hiking in rocky mountains nor when picking up pebbles on a beach – my passion started with earthquakes.

I was born and raised in China’s southern coastal city of Fuzhou, not far from the quake-prone island of Taiwan. When I was small, my father explained to me that the dangling light in our house went into a wild swing because of a major quake in Taiwan. The mid-1970s was an unusually apprehensive era when the whole nation of China felt as if quakes could occur anywhere at any time. I became a voluntary “earthquake watcher” in high school. I kept a diary of water level changes in an abandoned well in our school and the gentle tilting of the ground, phoning in readings to a local seismological center.

On July 28, 1976, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Tangshan, east of Beijing in northern China. The quake struck at 3:42 a.m., when most people were sleeping in their beds. It lasted only about 90 seconds, but about 90 percent of the houses and buildings in Tangshan collapsed. More than 242,000 people died, and 170,000 were severely injured. 7,000-plus families perished entirely. It was the deadliest quake in the 20th century.


Tangshan earthquake (Courtesy of the China News Agency)

The Tangshan quake occurred while I was an “earthquake watcher” in high school. Much of the bamboo harvest in my home province was sent north to Tangshan to construct shelters. Truckloads of large plastic bags were also sent north from my home city. So many people died, those plastic bags were needed to bury the dead.

The Tangshan earthquake had left an imprint on my generation that is as profound and indelible as September 11th on the current U.S. generation. It encouraged me to become a geophysicist and earthquake researcher—to seek to understand the fundamental physics of the Earth, to advance our capability of forecasting earthquakes, and to save lives.

Meg(记者提问): Also while you were growing up, the political landscape changed dramatically. Could you talk a little bit about what that meant for you personally?

Jian(回答): In September 1976, only two months after the Tangshan quake, the founding father of the modern China, Chairman Mao Zedong, died, causing a major shift in political landscape. This was followed by the arrest of the radical Gang of Four in October 1976, and the emergence of Mr. Deng Xiaoping as a pragmatic leader for China in 1977.

My life also changed dramatically. When I graduated from the high school in summer 1977, I prepared to be “re-educated,” to experience the life of a peasant and work in rice fields on a poor, remote farm, as all my older brothers and sister did. I did not even know how many years I would be on the farm.


Jian Lin (left) as one of the first class of college students after 10-year closing of Chinese universities (courtesy of J. Lin/WHOI)

Then came the announcement: “Everyone can now take a national entrance exam” for colleges, which were closed for 10 years during the Cultural Revolution. The competition for college entrance was furious: 20 students competed for one spot for any kind of colleges. I was lucky. I was fresh out of high school, and I got into the best science university in China to study physics, geophysics, and earthquake science. We studied like mad. Think about 10 years, there’s no science, and then suddenly, you have the opportunity.

So in less than two years, I witnessed and experienced dramatic changes in China’s political landscape and in my own life. China changed its focus from ideological struggle to economic development. I went from a future farm labor to a student in a prestigious university. My Chinese experience made me realize that unthinkable could happen.

Just as I finished university, Deng Xiaoping said China should modernize, open the door to the outside, and send students to study abroad. Deng himself went on a youth work-study program in France when he was a teenager. Again, I was among the first group that the government said, “You can go now.”

Meg(记者提问): You came to the U.S. in the early 80s to attend Brown University—that must have been a big change. Could you describe what that was like?

Jian(回答): When I arrived in the U.S. in August 1982, it was like coming to another world. I never forget the dazzling street and car lights of the New York City as our plane approaching the JFK airport. I had never imaged that a city could be so bright at night!

Then China was so poor. We had no telephones, no TVs, no cars. We have not even seen a refrigerator before. At Brown, I remember a fellow Chinese student had mistakenly used the tiny refrigerator in his dorm as his “favorite shoebox.”


Jian Lin as a freshmen graduate student with advisor and fellow graduate students at Brown (courtesy of J. Lin/WHOI)

As I settled in as a graduate student at Brown, a major culture shock was about food—to be specific, about cheese. In my youth I never had cheese. So I would sometime fell the urge to throw up when smelling the cheese from the McDonalds on the street. It took me years to get to like cheese.

What did I find to be “universal”? People are universal. My first roommate Jose, a Spanish literature major at Brown, took me to social events and movies. I spent Thanksgivings and Christmas with my host family in Providence. Science is universal. The math and physics that I learnt in China were of great help. I became life-long friends with my fellow graduate students at Brown. Oh, liking music is universal. The first song I learnt in the English class was “Hotel California”—It was my favorite.

Now I get shocked by how much China has changed since I left. The Chinese economy is now the second largest in the world. The nightlights in Shanghai are nearly as dazzling as that in New York. The sky in Beijing is no longer crystal blue. Students from China today will still experience some culture shock, but not nearly as powerfully as I did.

Meg(记者提问): Recent events in Japan have reminded people of the devastation that earthquakes can result in, and how quickly things can change. Has your work studying earthquakes influenced your perspective?


Jian Lin and student Tingting Wang discussing research on Haiti earthquake (courtesy of Thomas Kleindinst/WHOI)

Jian(回答): A year ago, in January 2010, a magnitude 7 earthquake struck Haiti. I was then doing research at U.S. Geological Survey’s national earthquake center in Menlo Park, California. Within a couple of hours, a CNN reporter called. I told the reporter that “Because the earthquake was so close to the capital city, because the city is so populated and because the country is so poor—the houses are not well-built —it could cause significant casualties.” What I expected unfortunately turned out to be the case.


Jian Lin was on an expedition to the South Ocean when the March 11 Japan quake struck (courtesy of J. Lin/WHOI)

On March 11 this year, I was on a Korean research ship Araon, sailing back to Christchurch, New Zealand, after just finishing an expedition to the southern ocean. CNN tried to skype interview me on the ship. When I read the escalating death tolls in Japan, I was surprised. Japan is not Haiti—it is the most prepared nation in the world for earthquakes and tsunamis. So what went wrong?

Even Japan was not prepared enough. For years Japan has been preparing for possible magnitude 8 quakes in this region and the associated tsunamis. But the March 11 shock was magnitude 9, which released 30 times more energy than the expected magnitude quake. The resultant tsunami simply overflew the walls that the locals have built.

So in Japan, an unthinkable quake has happened and many people’s life has turned upside down. I am sure that some Japanese high school students now want to do something about earthquakes and tsunamis, as I did.

Meg(记者提问): I know that you have collaborated extensively with colleagues at the U.S. Geological Survey and around the world on earthquake research, in an effort to develop better means for earthquake hazard assessment and forecasting. Can you explain the challenges involved in forecasting these events?

Jian(回答): We know, in general, where earthquakes typically occur. They happen near faults, or fractures in the earth’s crust where rock formations—driven by the inexorable movements of Earth’s tectonic plates. At some point, stress surmounts friction, and the rocks slip suddenly, releasing seismic energy. We have a general idea where major faults are near Earth’s tectonic plate boundaries. For example, some 60 faults in California are named, including the famous and highly visible San Andreas Fault, which stretches from north of San Francisco to northern Mexico.


San Andreas Fault (courtesy of NASA/JPL/NIMA)

We face many challenges. First, human written records and instrumental records were so short that we tend to underestimate the potential of earthquakes. This lesson was illustrated vividly by the surprising magnitude 9 quake in Japan when researchers were expecting a magnitude 8 event.

Second, we lack means to directly measure the state of stress and rock friction of fault zones. Without such knowledge, forecasting is difficult.

Third, we know very little about the locations of concealed faults that don’t break the surface, such as those beneath Los Angeles. We have only vague ideas about the locations of these “blind faults,” until surprising earthquakes illuminate their existence.

There are some bright spots in earthquake studies. Precise measurements of the Earth’s surface using satellites begin to let scientists to see where strains are building up along fault lines, alerting us to these spots.

“Earthquake early warning systems” are now being developed in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and limited regions of the U.S. These systems are devised to send out notification of a significant earthquake while it is in progress. It might only give you a few to tens of seconds to react, but it was long enough to brake the bullet trains before several aftershocks in Japan. It is also long enough for people to hide under a table.

Meg(记者提问): Among the earthquakes you have investigated were the 2010 events in Chile and Haiti. Were there specific geological lessons from each of these events?

Jian(回答): The magnitude 7 Haiti quake is 500 times smaller than the Feb. 28, 2010 magnitude 8.8 Chile quake, and yet the death toll in Haiti was 200 times worse. This illustrated once again that “earthquakes do not killed people, buildings do”.

Haiti does not mandate building codes, and its structures are inadequately built. Furthermore, unlike in Chile, which has frequently felt earthquakes, the last major quake in Haiti occurred 240 years ago. It affected long-gone ancestors but had dimmed in the memory of their descendants.

Our studies showed that for both Haiti and Chile, the stresses in the crust are now transferred to adjacent fault lines, making those faults more dangerous. We are especially concerned about the stresses transferred eastward in Haiti to a fault segment located even closer to Port-au-Prince than the Jan. 2010 quake. About 240 years ago, three significant quakes in Haiti followed each other within two decades. Is Haiti ready for another major quake?


Research by Jian Lin and colleagues showed that stress is now transferred to faults even closer to Port-au-Prince (courtesy of J. Lin/WHOI, R. Stein and V. Sevilgen/USGS, and S. Toda/U Kyoto)


Jian Lin points to tsunami height in a house destroyed by the 2010 Chile tsunami (courtesy of J. Lin/WHOI)

In Sept. 2010, I participated in a research cruise off Chile to recover ocean bottom seismometers, which have been recording aftershocks. I visited the Dichato village, which was devastated by the tsunami. I also saw that rocks on the coast were uplifted by a few feet by the quake—something that Charles Darwin has witnessed and noted in his diary following the 1835 quake in almost the same region.

Meg(记者提问): With so much of your work focused on events that create such devastation, is there an emotional impact for you and, if so, how do you navigate that?

Jian(回答): I often remind myself and others that the huge tolls from Tangshan, Sumatra, Haiti, and Japan are not just statistic numbers, they were real human suffering. If a relative or a friend of ours gets sick, we grow worried. But then think about those who suddenly lost their love ones – more than 23,000 in Japan and 242,000 in Tangshan. Behind every digital number on the chart is a real ordinary family, just like yours and mine.

How do we navigate the emotional impact? By working harder to help educate the public and to find clues about how earthquakes and tsunamis work.

Meg(记者提问): I understand that based on studies of a series of four earthquakes in the Mojave Desert in 1992 that there are theories that earthquakes “talk” to each other. Could you explain this?

Jian(回答): Since 1992, a sequence of four moderate to major earthquakes has occurred in the Mojave Desert—north of Los Angeles, but fortunately in sparsely populated, outlying regions. In April 1992, a magnitude 6.1 quake occurred near the town of Joshua Tree, on a small fault about 20 kilometers east of the San Andreas Fault. Two months later, on another fault about 30 kilometers north, a magnitude 7.3 quake occurred in Landers—followed just three hours later by a magnitude 6.3 quake near the town of Big Bear.


Computer modeling showing earthquake interact with each other in California (courtesy of A. Freed/Purdue U and J. Lin/WHOI)

My colleagues Ross Stein of the U.S. Geological Survey, Shinji Toda of Kyoto University in Japan, Geoffrey King of Institut Physique du Globe in France, and Andrew Freed of Purdue University and I have been exploring how earthquakes might “talk” to each other. Our research indicates that as an earthquake alleviates stress on one fault, it can shift that stress to adjacent areas. In a domino-like effect, strain can “creep” through the crust, interact with neighboring faults, and trigger another earthquake elsewhere. In this way, earthquakes carry on a conversation with each other.

Meg(记者提问): About 80% of all seismic activity takes place at the bottom of the ocean. Can you talk about what is involved in studying the geology at the sea floor?

Jian(回答): The seafloor offers many advantages: ocean crust that is pristine and composed only of a few types of rocks; fault systems that are uncomplicated and undistorted; and far more seismic activity to observe. By studying seafloor earthquakes, we have the potential to discover fundamental aspects about earthquakes that are applicable to land.

The first time I saw the sea floor in real time, I was in a control room of a robot. We first saw red-colored hydrothermal vent deposits, rock talus, and deep cracks. Then smoking chimneys appeared, where hot springs gushed out. Minutes later, we saw swarms after swarms of white shrimps congregating abound the vents, like bees hovering over a beehive. To move close to the hydrothermal vent field, I guided the Captain to move the ship 10 meters at a time, and then directed the deployment of a robot. It felt like was directing a robot to walk on the surface of the planet Mars. I was very lucky to have such personal experience of directing deep-sea robot operation.


Jian Lin (middle) and colleagues examine coastal uplift in the Bay of Algiers caused by repeated earthquakes (courtesy of J. Lin/WHOI)

In summer 2011, we will be mapping underwater earthquake faults off the Algerian coast in the Mediterranean. We will install precision underwater mapping tools on an Algerian Navy ship to chart active faults that could pose direct seismic threat to the capital city of Algiers, which is today home to more than 3 million people.

Meg(记者提问): Given the nature of your work, how much time do you spend travelling, and can you describe the environment that has made the most profound impression on you to date?

Jian(回答): In 2010, I traveled to Europe (Vienna, Austria and Pavia, Italy), Asia (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Qingdao, Hangzhou, China), Africa (Algiers, Algeria), and South America (Concepcion, Chile). I gave 40 lectures to various audiences in universities, research institutions, science conference, and formal social gatherings. I also was at sea and doing research at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California.

I found that as long as I have access to the internet, I could do a lot of work on the road, either in Algiers or Shanghai, or at sea. Among the many places I have traveled to over the years, I would say Iceland would stand out because it has glaciers, hot springs, and volcanoes all in the same place. Walking on lava flows in the Big Island of Hawaii also had profound impression on me.


Jian Lin’s students at the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography are among those doing a geological field trip in Hawaii (courtesy of A. Daly and J. Whitehead/WHOI)

I have led and participated in more than a dozen research expeditions to the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Oceans and the South China Sea, on U.S., British, French, Chinese, Korean, and Chilean ships. All of the cruise experiences were exciting, science and culture wise. I was amazed by the dramatically different accents of the sailors on the British ship Charles Darwin. On that cruise, we also had a fun swim call in the Atlantic Ocean, a practice that is no longer allowed.


Jian Lin (4th from left) and colleagues had a swim call on a British ship, 3,000-m above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that he was studying (courtesy of D. Smith/WHOI)

By far the best food served was on the French ship L’Atalante, followed by the Chinese ship Dayang 1. During the French cruise, we climbed up and down a swing latter and took a zodiac boat ride to visit another French ship, which was working on the same spot in the Atlantic Ocean.

Meg(记者提问): You spent 80 days at sea aboard China‘s research vessel Dayang 1 including off Sumatra to study the causes of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Can you describe that experience?

Jian(回答): In 2005, China’s flagship for ocean research, Dayang 1, sailed an ambitious 300-day expedition, exploring deep-sea mineral and biological resources in the ocean, particularly at hydrothermal vents.


Chinese research ship Dayang 1 (courtesy of Captain H. Lu)

It was the first Chinese around the globe deep-sea research expedition. I was invited to help design the expedition and sailed as a co-chief scientist. Co-leading such a historical Chinese voyage was a thrill beyond my childhood dreams.

I brought maps and instruments to detect deep-sea hydrothermal plumes. Our team discovered new regions of strong hydrothermal plumes in the eastern Pacific Ocean and atop of the Southwest Indian Ridge. We also collected sediment samples off Sumatra for research on past earthquakes and tsunamis. The Indian Ocean cruise was probably the most fruitful expedition I had ever co-led.


Jian Lin threw a floating bottle into the Pacific Ocean. The bottle contains tickets to the 2008 Olympic sailing event (courtesy of R/V DayangYihao Science Party)

When you were busy, 80 days did not feel long. In addition to the great science, we had lots of fun. When the ship sailed through the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, we let go of dozens of sealed glass bottles that contain door tickets to the 2008 Olympic sailing events in Qingdao, hoping the lucky ones might get them.

We had a series of ping pong tournaments—I was pretty confident of my playing skill until matches against the Chinese crew and students. We celebrated the Autumn Moon Festival on the ship with lots of delicious moon cakes. I also became a good friend of Captain Lu, who was my neighbor on the ship and later published a book of his dairy of the expedition.

Meg(记者提问): Iceland and the Galapagos Islands are considered geologic “hotspots”—can you explain what this term means, and why these two areas are defined as such?

Jian(回答): The Earth is a giant thermal engine. Its surface is covered by a dozen of large tectonic plates, which are in constant motion driven by the underlying convection of Earth’s mantle. Tectonic plates (e.g., the Pacific Plate) have their own “life” cycles: They are formed at mid-ocean ridges (e.g., at the East Pacific Rise), cool and thicken gradually as they age, and finally sink back into the interior of the Earth (e.g., at the Japan trench).

In some places, submarine volcanic activity is so robust that a submarine volcano edifice would arise above the sea surface to form islands. These areas are called geological “hotspots”. Several of my students at the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography and I have researched and visited a number of “hotspot” volcanic islands, including Hawaii, Iceland, Galapagos, and Azores.


A snow-covered, flat top volcano in Iceland (courtesy of J. Lin/WHOI)

Meg(记者提问): What are deep-sea hydrothermal vents and what can be learned from them?

Jian(回答): The mid-ocean ridge system is a 65,000-km long submarine volcanic mountain chain, circumcircling the globe. Near deep-sea vents at mid-ocean ridges, seawater passes downward through cracks and fissures on the seafloor, being heated by the hot rocks beneath, and coming back up the seafloor as jets of hot springs. Researchers have found hydrothermal fluids to be over 400°C. Hydrothermal venting makes up a significant portion of the total heat release of the Earth.

Scientists have found that life—microbios and fauna like tubeworms, mussels, snails, and shrimps—thrive near deep-sea hydrothermal vents a couple miles deep in the ocean. Here, in the total darkness, life is not supported by photosynthesis. Instead the living organisms are supported by chemosynthesis with energy derived from the chemical reactions of hydrothermal fluids. Research on hydrothermal vents and deep-sea life has many fascinating applications, including advancing our understanding of the origin of life on Earth.

The abyssal terrain along mid-ocean ridges varies dramatically and such variation seems to correlate strongly with how fast the two giant tectonic plates move apart. My students and I have done individual experiments, showing that our fingernails grew at a rate of about 2-2.5 centimeters per year. Along the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North America and Eurasian Plates move apart about the same rates as our fingernail growth, there is a central rift valley of a couple of kilometers deep and a few tens of kilometers wide. I spent much of the 1990s mapping and studying the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

During the last decade, we shifted our attention to the Southwest Indian Ridge, where the Africa and Antarctica plates move apart at only half of our fingernail growth rates. Here the central rift valley is even deeper and wider.


A WHOI underwater robot “ABE” is ready to be launched from Dayang 1. The robot helped scientists to discover the first hydrothermal vents on the Southwest Indian Ridge. Jian Lin (middle) was coordinating the operation (courtesy of R/V DayangYihao Science Party)

However, the most amazing abyssal terrain I have ever seen was on the Antarctic Ridge that we just mapped two months ago. Here the Australia and Antarctica plates move apart almost twice as fast as our fingernail growth rates. At this relatively fast rate, the magma supply is very abundant, and the central rift valley disappears. Instead, we saw an elevated volcanic “high way” tens of kilometers long. We also found signs of smoking hydrothermal vents, and will go back with robots to find out what types of deep-sea life living down there.

Meg(记者提问): How do submarine quakes differ from those on land and what do they teach us about the physics of earthquakes?

Jian(回答): Because of the logistical challenges and high costs of installing and operating instruments on the ocean floor, we know much less about submarine quakes. Even so, scientists have already noted some important differences between events on land and under the ocean.

For example, researchers noted that submarine mainshocks appear to have more foreshocks than their subarearial counterparts. If so, this could help to improve the techniques for earthquake warning. It was proposed that such a difference might be related to the abundance of the weak serpentine rocks on submarine faults, but much is to be learnt by future studies.


Image of a seafloor fault (courtesy of B. Tucholke/WHOI and T. Reeds/U Hawaii)

Meg(记者提问): So much of earth is covered with water and yet so much of it remains unexplored. Why do you think that is and can you speak about the most notable discoveries to date and what you consider to be the most intriguing areas for exploration?

Jian(回答): Indeed the vast abysses of the deep ocean remain the last frontier for exploration. It is mind-boggling to recognize that we have better maps of the surface of the planets Venus and Mars than maps of the ocean floor. Using images sent back from satellites, scientists have mapped the fine features on the entire surface of Venus and Mars. But the ocean prevents us from using the same remote-sensing technology. Instead, we rely on an inefficient way of using acoustic sonar on ships to “mow” the seafloor one strip at a time.

Marine geological discoveries during World War II played a pivotal role in the emerging of the plate tectonics theory in the 1960s. The plate tectonic theory provides a fundamental link between global tectonics, from ridges to trenches and from continents to ocean floors. It unified geology in the same way that the principle of evolution unified biology.

In 1977, marine geologists and biologists accidentally discovered the presence of deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean. The discovery of deep-sea vents and chemosynthetic life is another milestone in ocean exploration.

Indeed there remain many intriguing areas for exploration, from submarine volcanoes, to undersea earthquakes, to trans-ocean migration of vent species, and to the vast sub-seafloor microbio biosphere. Ocean exploration will play a crucial role in our quest to understand the link between the evolution of Earth environments and life on Earth. I can also envision that the ever-increasing use of underwater robots and new seafloor observatory technologies will accelerate the pace of ocean exploration in coming decades.

Meg(记者提问): Is there an oceanographic expedition in which you participated that we haven’t touched on that you would single out as being particularly noteworthy and that you might describe?

Jian(回答): I would single out my maiden voyage in the Atlantic Ocean in 1989 as being particularly noteworthy. When I was a graduate student at Brown, my thesis was on theoretical modeling. But I always wanted to go to sea. So when I arrived in Woods Hole, the first thing I did was to knock on the doors of other scientists, asking if they might need extra hands at sea. A year later, I was on my first research cruise, sailing from Cadiz, Spain, to map the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, ending at the Azores Islands.

The ship we sailed on was small. It was somewhat too late in the season to work in the north Atlantic. The sea state was terrible, definitely not ideal for your first cruise. I threw up for an entire week. We only had a party of five scientists together with a small crew.


Lin on his first voyage to study the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (courtesy of J. Lin/WHOI)

But we hit a science jackpot—we discovered the first string of gravity “bulls’ eyes” in the north Atlantic, suggesting that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is segmented into 30-80 km long spreading cells, and each cell might have a root in the uprising flows in the shallow upper mantle. Our finding, which was later published in the British journal Nature, has led the way for subsequent expeditions by many international teams to search for similar features in other parts of the mid-ocean ridges.

So my maiden voyage started with simply wanting to go to sea, and ended with an important finding that laid the foundation for my career.

Meg(记者提问): What role do wonder and curiosity play in your work?

Jian(回答): Curiosity plays a crucial role in the science life of all of us. I like to go to sea because expeditions in the deep sea never fail to surprise us!

The greatest moments are the times when you stumble upon something that you know is profound and important. The discovery of the gravity “bull’s eyes” during my maiden voyage was a good example. Moments like this make the joy of doing scientific research.

Science is a journey to explore the unknown. Whatever we discover will be replaced by something newer in the future. It is the process of our exploration and seeking for answers that defines the essence of science, not necessarily the answers themselves.

(来源:http://www.viewfromthepier.com/peertopier/jian-lin-woods-hole/

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小露 发表于 2012-5-21 09:14:38 | 显示全部楼层
好长……我觉得我要打印下来慢慢看~~顺便练练英语~~
有一张跳海的照片很是豪迈哈!
lfan 发表于 2012-5-21 10:11:43 | 显示全部楼层
波澜壮阔……心存向往
笨熊 发表于 2012-5-21 11:02:39 | 显示全部楼层
行者无疆,旅途如歌。
LiFucheng 发表于 2012-5-21 11:32:35 | 显示全部楼层
好生让人羡慕的人生
miles 发表于 2012-5-21 15:13:46 | 显示全部楼层
just no other one
dreamzxl 发表于 2012-5-21 17:57:44 | 显示全部楼层
看完这篇文章,对自己的未来充满了期待,也感觉信心满满!人生就像一场旅行,在乎的不是目的地,而是沿途的风景~人生在世,就要有勇气去探索一条未知的路,敲开一扇未知的门,书写一段属于自己的精彩人生~ 喜欢一直走在路上的感觉~
SunZhen 发表于 2012-5-25 15:43:33 | 显示全部楼层
Science is a journey to explore the unknown. Whatever we discover will be replaced by something newer in the future. It is the process of our exploration and seeking for answers that defines the essence of science, not necessarily the answers themselves.
我的境界还不够,我还是蛮在乎我找到了什么答案以及找到了怎样的答案,也就是说我希望会有某个答案,哪怕是阶段性的。然后再继续前行,很害怕自己白发苍苍时,仍不能讲明白南海的问题。
jlinwhoi 发表于 2012-5-26 21:41:23 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 jlinwhoi 于 2012-5-28 06:40 编辑

回复 8# SunZhen

科学探索的走法:
经常我们从一个好奇的想法出发,边走边探路,时左时右,时而还要绕个圈子。一路走,一路写文章。我们到达的终点也许就如开始时想象的一样。但更兴奋的是当我们到达一个完全的新天地,大开眼界,这时的贡献最大。科学家的一生,就是探路的一生。没有两人的探索之路是完全一样的,我们自己选怎么走。

同时见:美国哥伦比亚大学教授Brian Greene的文章:“Questions, Not Answers, Make Science the Ultimate Adventure”:http://www.thecrimson.com/articl ... s-make-science-the/  文章指出,我们探索未知的过程,而非答案本身,才是科学的真谛。
SunZhen 发表于 2012-5-27 21:48:33 | 显示全部楼层
回复 10# jlinwhoi

      也许,以短短几十年一鳞半爪的工作,就想说明白几万万年发生的事,本身就是不严谨的,所以也许正如大牛们所说,用过程比结果更合逻辑一些。然而,对于我来说,有些事,一旦开了头,就希望整理出个脉络,或者说就某些问题给出个合理的说法。在南海工作了12年,我知道这里是个小地方,也许国际的大牛们不会有什么兴趣,因为它也许没什么代表性,解决大问题肯定也不是最理想的地方。说是被动陆缘,然而它跟火山型、Iberia-Newfoundland(地幔出露)型、甚至北海的非火山型大西洋边缘都不一样,他就像个坏脾气的孩子,因为夹在各板块之间,形成了复杂多变的性格。如今,我了解了他一些,关于他的种种却还在雾里看花般的状态下,某些特质鲜明,某些特质未知。为了看清他,甚至能够很好的给他个评语,我去学习其他大洋-大陆边缘的研究,有被动陆缘、有主动俯冲陆缘、有构造、有沉积、有地化、有岩石、有同位素、有油气、有气侯环境、有古生物,还有其他;不会拒绝去做新的东西,但也很难在混沌的时候放弃,目的就是希望能有一天,透过南海以及其他相关的研究,对南海能有个最合适的评语,那也许是本书,也许是篇review。在这过程中,肯定有很多东西是不曾预见的新事物,其实结论肯定也是newer的,但无论如何,一定要有一个。
jlinwhoi 发表于 2012-5-27 22:12:56 | 显示全部楼层
目的就是希望能有一天,透过南海以及其他相关的研究,对南海能有个最合适的评语,那也许是本书,也许是篇review。在这过程中,肯定有很多东西是不曾预见的新事物,其实结论肯定也是newer的,但无论如何,一定要有一个。


顶孙老师!
敏敏 发表于 2012-6-21 20:17:05 | 显示全部楼层
回复  jlinwhoi

      也许,以短短几十年一鳞半爪的工作,就想说明白几万万年发生的事,本身就是不严谨 ...
SunZhen 发表于 2012-5-27 21:48



    孙珍老师的这段话 像在描述自己的孩子一样
    莫名感动。希望您能读懂它多一点,多一点,当然,我们小辈也会努力,研究这个怪脾气的孩子。
敏敏 发表于 2012-6-21 20:24:09 | 显示全部楼层
这段访谈果真长 果断采纳楼上童鞋的建议
打印出来 明天回家的火车上 好好读读。
之前去AGU的时候 同行的刘志飞老师在读文献 我们几个学生都觉得难以理解
也就半年之后 突然迫不及待想读各种材料 专业学术的 或者生活历练的 等等
zhang曾经说我像是喷泉 喷发的时候喜人 没动静了又急死人
也许我需要做的是不断的补充能量 争取能成为一处不停歇的小喷泉 弱小 但富有生命力。
端午小假 诸位安。
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