TS
Tectonics and Structural Geology

Tectonics and Structural Geology

Chi Jishang (1917-1994): the diamond hunter who shaped her own future

Chi Jishang (1917-1994): the diamond hunter who shaped her own future

Chi Jishang was born on the 25th of June 1917 in the Anlu County in the Province of Hubei, central China, but she moved to Beijing when she was four years old. Because her family was poor and she had three older siblings, her parents did not allow her and her younger sibling to go to school at the age that they should go to school. As a child, Chi was bright and very curious. She would ask her sch ...[Read More]

Features from the Field: Angular Unconformities

Features from the Field: Angular Unconformities

An angular unconformity is an erosional surface that truncates older, tilted sedimentary layers and that is overlain by younger layers, oriented parallel to the unconformity. The discovery and interpretation of angular unconformities, like the famous Hutton’s unconformity at Siccar Point, Scotland, marked a paradigm shift in the geological theories of the 18th century. At that time, the theo ...[Read More]

Must-read papers in tectonics and structural geology – Wilson, 1966

Must-read papers in tectonics and structural geology – Wilson, 1966

J.T. Wilson published “Did the Atlantic close and reopen?” in 1966, giving birth to the so called “Wilson Cycle”. The article is a key steppingstone for the theory of plate tectonics, and it is a must-read paper not only in tectonics studies but also in paleontology and stratigraphy. The questions raised can be generally abridged in two: “Why regions with similar fauna can be very far from each ot ...[Read More]

TS Must-read papers – Mckenzie and Parker (1967)

TS Must-read papers – Mckenzie and Parker (1967)

The paper describes how large, rigid, aseismic regions can be defined with Euler’s theorem, which describes the geometry of motion on a sphere, i.e. the Earth’s surface. Points on these large and rigid blocks move in relation to other blocks describing small circles set by their rotation pole. The paper describes this as “paving stone theory”, where tectonic plates are “paving stones”, and success ...[Read More]

Ana Margarida Neiva – A woman as hard as granite

Ana Margarida Neiva – A woman as hard as granite

  Ana Neiva was born on May 7 1941 in Cedofeita, Porto, northwest Portugal – a city carved in granite. Her childhood and youth were spent in Coimbra, where her father worked. João Cotelo Neiva was an eminent geologist and professor at the University of Coimbra, one of Europe’s oldest universities. His influence was decisive for her interest in geology and her scientific career.     ...[Read More]

TS Must-read papers – JT Wilson (1965)

TS Must-read papers – JT Wilson (1965)

In 1965, JT Wilson published “A New Class of Faults and their Bearing on Continental Drift” (https://doi.org/10.1038/207343a0). This is one of the papers that led to a paradigm shift in Earth Sciences and would become one of the bases of plate tectonics. The concept of the transform fault, introduced in this paper in a very smart way, is fundamental in tectonics textbooks nowadays. Indeed many of ...[Read More]

Must-read papers in tectonics and structural geology – Dietz, 1961

Must-read papers in tectonics and structural geology – Dietz, 1961

Dietz 1961 “Continent and Ocean Basin Evolution by Spreading of the Sea Floor” paper was ground-breaking for plate tectonics. Almost literally, as it discussed the sea-floor spreading theory. Certainly away from the consensus at the time, this article is a classic in divergent tectonic settings and it may be an interesting piece of work for ECS working in tectonics and, more particularly, in conti ...[Read More]

Marguerite Thomas Williams: The US’ first black person to obtain a doctorate in Geology

Marguerite Thomas Williams: The US’ first black person to obtain a doctorate in Geology

    On the day of Christmas Eve, five years before the turn of the century, Marguerite Thomas Williams (December 1895 – August 1991) was born. She was the youngest of her five siblings born to her parents Henry and Clara Thomas. We don’t know much about her early life. Perhaps her older brothers and sisters would take her by the hand when walking to school, maybe the family would g ...[Read More]

Must-read papers in tectonics and structural geology – Hubbert and Rubey 1959

Must-read papers in tectonics and structural geology – Hubbert and Rubey 1959

“The Role of Fluid Pressure in Mechanics of Overthrust Faulting” by Hubbert and Rubey is a “groundbreaking” article from the end of the 1950s. It’s a remarkable piece of research, written in an old-fashioned way, for modern standards. Many ECS that may not have read the original paper yet are certainly familiar with its textbook content. Let’s go quickly through it!   The article, as a key po ...[Read More]

Features From the Field: Pencil Cleavage

Features From the Field: Pencil Cleavage

This edition of ‘Features from the field’ is brought to you by Sandra McLaren, a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne. She will be talking about type of rock formation called “Pencil Cleavage” so called because it looks like pencils. Sandra even has a small collection of pencil/crayon shale which is the cover image of this post. I have seen quite a range of differ ...[Read More]