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SIT-Summer Institute in Taiwan
Academic Exchange & Cultural Experience in Taiwan
Li-Hung Lin_林立虹
The major purpose of Eric’s visit to my lab is to construct a numerical model that could accurately describe fluid transport and biogeochemical reactions occurring in our investigated mud volcanoes of eastern Taiwan. While mud volcanoes have been considered to represent an important contributor of greenhouse methane, the model would ultimately help to decipher the processes governing methane production and consumption in subsurface and to assess the exact quantity of methane emission into the atmosphere.

Eric and I started to discuss about the conceptual model and supporting data required to validate the modeling during the first week of his arrival. He also gave an informal presentation to my lab members with regard to his thesis projects. Because the system we are interested in is very dynamic and complex, Eric divided the working plan into two major components with one for fluid transport and the other for coupled biogeochemical reactions, and started the scenario where the steady state is presumably reached. He works extremely hard by spending nearly nine to ten hours every day to build the codes from scratch. At the end, the numerical model has been developed and able to constrain the observation at a certain degree. In particular, his model provide a quantitative estimate to pinpoint how evaporation might change the salinity of pore water and potential fluid flow driven by the concentration gradient. We are also aware of the discrepancy between the model prediction and observation, which could be attributed to the model simplification considering a steady state. A future improvement is to incorporate the time-dependent variation in governing processes. With this, the parameterization could be performed under a dynamic steady state that could more closely mimic the realistic conditions. A two-day field trip to our investigated site was arranged to help Eric visualize the field occurrence of mud volcano.

Eric is enthusiastic in learning Taiwanese cultures and mandarin, and has great personality during the interactions with my lab members. He often shares difference between American and Taiwanese cultures. He also provides an example to my lab members how he thinks the problems from a numerical point of view. Overall, he has efficiently accomplished the goal we set at the beginning within such a short period of time. We will continue this part of collaborative work after his return to US. The platform created by the SIT provides a channel to facilitate the academic and culture exchange between Taiwan and US.

Participant’s name: Eric Lee King (University of Georgia)
Host name: Li-Hung Lin (National Taiwan University)
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