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Profile Page

Ashton F. Flinders

Educational Background

Ph.D. Oceanography
M.S. Ocean Engineering
M.S. Geophysics
B.S. Applied Physics
B.S. Chemistry
University of Rhode Island
University of New Hampshire, Durham
University of Hawaii at Manoa
University of Wisconsin, River Falls
University of Wisconsin, River Falls

Areas of Specialization


My research at the University of Hawaii focused on a gravity survey of the islands of Kauai and Niihau (Hawaiian Island Chain) that I conducted between May – September of 2008. I also partook in a one-month research cruise in September of 2007 to study the variation in the gravitational field around the two islands. I integrated these new surveys with a past land survey of Niihau, and four additional marine cruises. My research revealed two positive residual gravity anomalies, one over Kauai’s Lihue Basin, the other offshore between Kauai and Niihau. These highs indicate a local zone of high-density crust that I attribute to olivine cumulates in a solidified magma reservoir. Offsets between both islands residual gravity highs and their previous presumed geologic centers—indicate that the islands were much larger and more asymmetric than previously thought. Furthermore, I performed geophysical inversions on the residual gravity data to estimate the volumes of the magma chambers beneath each island. I combined my gravity work with previous geochemistry and geological mapping done on the islands in order to explain the islands early evolutionary history.



Flinders, A. F., G. Ito, and M. O. Garcia (2010), Gravity anomalies of the Northern
   Hawaiian Islands: Implications on the shield evolutions of Kauai and Niihau, J. Geophys.
   Res., 115, B08412, doi:10.1029/2009JB006877. (view/download pdf)


Garcia, M, G. Ito, D. Weis, D. Geist, L. Swinnard, T. Bianco, A Flinders, B. Taylor, B.
   Appelgate, C. Blay, D. Hanano, I. Nobre Silva, T. Naumann, C. Maerschalk, K. Harpp, B.
   Christensen, L. Sciaroni, T. Tagami, and S. Yamasaki (2008), Widespread secondary
   volcanism near Northern Hawaiian Islands, Eos, 89 (52), 542-543. (view/download pdf)

Cruise Experience

FALL 2007          (09/08/07-10/08/07)    R/V Kilo Moana
   Swath bathymetry, gravity and magnetic mapping of the Northern Hawaii Islands;
   submarine-rock sampling of the South Kauai Swell using the Jason2 ROV.

FALL 2008          (10/17/08-10/29/08)    R/V Thomas G. Thompson
   Installation of pressure sensors and hydrophone arrays at the ALOHA Cable
   Observatory and submarine-rock sampling of Kaena Ridge using the Jason2 ROV.

WINTER 2009    (01/31/09-02/04/09)    R/V Kilo Moana
   Swath bathymetry, gravity and magnetic mapping of Mahukona volcano (Hawaii).
   Chief Scientist: Ashton F. Flinders

SUMMER 2009  (07/17/09-07/21/09)    R/V Ka'imikai-O-Kanaloa
   Gravity coring around the Hawaiian Islands—in support of the Department of Business,
   Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) power-line cable route.

Field Experience

SUMMER 2008   (05/12/08-09/22/08)    Kaua'i (Hawaii) Gravity Survey
   Gravity survey of Kauai using a LaCoste and Romberg G gravimeter—including 315
   new measurements, 100+ miles of jungle hiking and 300+ miles of off-road driving.

FALL 2009          (09/22/09-12/07/09)    Southern Bolivia GPS Survey
   Reoccupation and extension of an existing GPS network throughout southern Bolivia.
   Including training of two members of Bolivia’s Instituto Geografico Militar in GPS
   monumenting techniques (taught in Spanish).

Teaching Experience

FALL 2003          Organic Chemistry I
FALL 2004          Organic Chemistry II
SPRING 2004     General Chemistry I
SPRING 2005     General Chemistry II
SPRING 2009     Introduction to Geology
SPRING 2009     Physics of the Earth and Planets


SPRING 2008     Society of Exploration Geophysicists Student Scholarship
FALL 2008          Harold T. Stearns Fellowship
SPRING 2009     University of Hawaii Research Council Research Achievement Award


Member for
4 years 11 weeks