October 2019 Research Updates

October Calendar (September/November)
This is an ongoing post of research updates during the month. Updates are provided every few days, and you can easily reach the update by clicking the link in the calendar.
10/2/19 – Month to date

I’ve been looking into the melt pond sizes to try and approximate the appropriate size. To be honest, I am at a stand still. I started by wanting to compare melt sheets assuming a cylinder verse a partial sphere. After a while testing that, it wasn’t giving reasonable answers. Then, assuming a cylinder, it just becomes the depth of the melt pond at a given melt fraction is just the same fraction of the depth of the crater (assuming the final crater depth is comparable to that of the transient crater depth). That means a crater melt sheet on the order of 10’s of meters, not 100s of meters that is observed in O’Brien et al. (2005). Even when I use Bray et al. (2012)’s trend equation for crater floor diameter, it only starts to show results approaching O’Brien’s at 10% concentration (~200m compared to ~40m and 100m). Right now, I am just going to move forward and assume 200m deep with a width defined by the floor diameter defined in Bray et al. (2012). Return to Calendar.

10/7/19 – The Institute Launch and things

Last week, I put together a couple lego rovers for the launch of the Western Space Institute. Thursday, I didn’t make much progress with research because I had to sub for two lab sections which took up a good deal of my day.

Today, I attended the launch of the institute, but before I spent some time fiddling with the code. I decided to use the trend equation defined in Bray et al. (2012) for the floor diameter of a crater of a given diameter to figure out the diameter of the melt lens. With that, and an assumed volume for the melt lens, we can solve for the depth (or height h) of the melt lens. I proceeded to try and run the code to make sure my input would work. I am not familiar with the syntax, so I need to test it a bit to learn the ropes.

I realized I never tried to run the code. I figured out how to run it, and then came the errors. It appears I need the numpy package. I proceeded to install it and got a bunch of problems. I downloaded the package and tried to run it, but the setup failed. I tried other ways of doing it by going through some Homebrew program. I will give it a bit more time tomorrow then ask for help from someone with python experience. Return to Calendar.

10/11/19 Python updates and such

This week wasn’t as productive as I would have liked. I resolved the original issues I discussed before (with Jahnavi’s help of course). I was missing some basic packages like sets of functions in matlab that are required for scientific coding. I’ve fixed that, but I’ve also learned that the syntax is off in places because my python is out of date. I have conversed with Chase about it and am going to update my python to his exact version.

Beyond this, I don’t have much more to update. My Thursday was short because I went out on Wednesday night which was fun and relaxing. Return to Calendar.

10/16/19 – Holiday, Labs, and Python updates

Installing the new version of python was simple. It was getting PyCharm, the program I run python on, to register and use that version. I realized I needed to create a new virtual environment that used the updated version. It didn’t effect my codes, but it meant the couple of installations I did with numpy etc. needed to be redone. The process that I used for Python2 did not work for Python3 though. Rather than troubleshoot it to death, I decided to switch to a different python program, Anaconda. Ethan suggested it, mentioning most of the commonly used packages (e.g. numpy) come pre-installed. I also recall Jahanvi mentioning it as a common source. Hopefully, this will 1) make the existing syntax work without issue and 2) avoid having to install a 20 different packages, all the while trying to understand if its a missing package or another error. This is a slow but steady learning process that will improve my troubleshooting abilities in python.

In other news, my MAC restarted in the last couple days, so the running codes quit. It saves as it goes in case of computer crashes, but it’s an inconvenience non the less. I am going to look at the results I have now. After a while, it’s hard not to lose track of the system I had in place when dealing with 7 different MATLAB windows on two different machines. The main concern is 1000 and 750 ppt. 500 and down are running pretty smoothly, and they’re probably nearly complete. That is, they have data for the desired depth ranges.

Oh, I couldn’t possibly forget. Tomorrow I have a meeting with Nigel about Astrobiology beyond our initial introduction. I still need to prepare a folder of my electronic documents, but I also have the TA textbook and my printed slides with notes. In other news, check out my spookathon reading progress! Return to Calendar.

10/21/19 – Meetings and Coding

I had a couple meetings today. One was with Dr. Secco to discuss my thesis and him being on my committee. It went fine I think. I’ve continued fiddling with python. Its up and “running” in the sense that it seems compatible with my version of python. I’m now making changes to the code to figure out what works and what doesn’t. It seems like larger radii are messing it up, but I need to look into it more. I’m also reassessing my log of results from my Matlab code. I want to figure out what I have and what I don’t so I can focus my resources on the concentrations and depths that are most in need of data (the highest ones probably). I also need to move the codes to my laptop because Matlab crashed when I first ran the python code on the MAC. Return to Calendar.

10/23/19 Python and Proposal

I met with Dr. Pratt, and it went well. We discussed my project and my goals. I think the biggest take away is that I need to have a bench mark or bench test (what was the phrase?) to validate the reliability of my model. There are possible lab experiments that can be done. I am working through some ideas. On that note, I am working on my thesis proposal. I have a rough outline that I am working on completing, and one part of that are long term experiments that we can do. I need to discuss it with the team at GA Tech.

In regards to python, I have the original code up and running. I haven’t done anything with the results yet; I’ll probably start trying to put a visual code together next. I have made changes to the code (not all of them). Getting it up and running is still an accomplishment. I am running a couple of the changes I’ve made right now, and I am worried that the lateral size may be a computational issue. Its running for a while at a very high RAM. The Activity Monitor clocks it in at nearly 30GB, but this computer only has 8? My laptop has 16GB. This could be a serious problem. Nevertheless, I am hoping that if I change the depth from 250GB to a very shallow depth, it will take less RAM/time. Right now, I want to let it run and see if anything changes. If not, I’ll try lower depths. Then, worst case, I change the diameter to one the MAC can take, then prepare python on my laptop (or maybe even another lab) to run the code once its set up and ready.

I should also review O’Brien et al’s paper (and others) to make sure my assumption of melt diameter is correct. That is, I assume it is the diameter of the crater floor as seen on Ganymede craters (Bray et al., 2012). Return to Calendar.


The code crashed. It didn’t make it to the end. I assume it was the code that made it crash; the computer had restarted when I got back. That means I have to try some new spatial steps if I want to use radii as large as our craters (~80km). I think I mentioned I was going to reassess the matlab code to see which depths and concentrations I have results for. I haven’t gotten to it yet. They take time, and every minute I am not running them is a minute wasted. I will get to that ASAP!

This week I am co-leading Lab 5 for Earth Rocks. It’s structural Geology. I also am in the process of grading last weeks exams, so I don’t expect to make a lot of progress with my research. For the lab, I am a little nervous because structural is not really my forte. Tomorrow we also have the Space Grad Council pumpkin carving event which is beginning to feel little daunting with everything going on. Return to Calendar.


The pumpkin carving event was a great success! We even had parents bring kids; they were so cute!

Research wise, it looks like the python 2D heat transfer model is working with adjusted horizontal spatial steps. I think the next step is visualizing the results and making sure the parameters are adjusted to HCN. Then it’s just a matter of importing the concentration results from the 1D planetary ice model.

On that note, I got some codes running for 1000ppt (100%). These are lacking because they are so slow and prone to failing. I went very conservative and set it to run at 5 and 10 second intervals. I haven’t had time to check the others; I did 1000ppt (and one 750 ppt) because I know those are the worst off in needing data. I still want to figure out where I am standing. I may take up my colleague Brian’s offer to use one of his computers because they have very fast speeds. I believe they are Dr. Gerhard’s who is on my committee so it sort of make sense ☺️. Return to Calendar.

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