Sara Steigerwald “Measuring the Ocean Tides” 2021

Artist : Sara Steigerwald
Title : “Measuring the Ocean Tides”
 Medium/Size/year :  Acrylic on Paper/F4/2021
Description: Water in the ocean is affected by the gravity of the moon which causes the water to rise and fall during tidal events.  The teal-colored line in this painting represents the cosmic energy of the muon traversing the water on its way to the seafloor where can be collected by muography detectors.  High speed muons are ideal probes for underwater muography measurement because they can move through material without decaying and thus when collected in large numbers, researchers can get data about the material they traveled through.

 In 2021, muography accurately measured the ocean tides from the Tokyo-bay Seafloor Hyper KiloMetric Submarine Deep Detector (TS-HKMSDD), a group of muon detectors that were installed beneath the seafloor of Tokyo Bay in the Aqualine tunnel, the 4th longest underwater tunnel in the world.  This experiment proves that small fluctuations in the water levels above the Aqualine tunnel can be determined quickly with muography.  Now that it has been proven that muography imaging can verify known ocean phenomenon, will it be applied in the future to study topics such as tsunami prediction, how ocean currents work, coastal flooding patterns and evidence of global warming influenced sea level rise?