Tectonics and Structural Geology

Geology Bites Podcast

Geology Bites Podcast

Oliver Strimpel on Cape Ann – blue quartz (credit Oliver Strimpel)

Podcast conversations about geology with researchers making key contributions to our understanding of the Earth and the Solar System

I have always wanted to grasp the widest spatial and temporal context in which we find ourselves. After completing a physics degree at Cambridge University, this led me to cosmology, and a PhD on the structure of clusters of galaxies at Oxford University. I then joined the Science Museum, London, where I discovered the challenges and rewards of conveying science to the public. In 1984 The Computer Museum in Boston recruited me, where, as Curator and Director, I developed exhibitions on the history, technology, and applications of computers.

Two things attracted me to geology. First, while the spatial dimensions are not cosmic in scale, we have fully one third of the age of the Universe recorded in rocks right here under our feet. The earliest rocks on Earth were formed at a time when the Universe was a very different place. Second, I am in awe of our physical landscape, especially of mountain belts, and I wanted to understand the processes that have shaped the planet since it formed over four billion years ago. After I took several fine courses at the Open University and at MIT, Sam Bowring at MIT invited me to learn about geochronology in his isotope lab. Then, Mike Searle at Oxford invited me to take on a research project at Oxford. That developed into an effort to pin down movement along the Karakoram fault in Ladakh by U-Pb dating of the various intrusive phases adjacent to the fault near Lake Pangong. Geology Bites grew out of a desire to share nuggets and perspectives of this remarkable field of study and to reveal just how the ingenuity of its practitioners has enabled us to find out so much about the Earth.

Geology Bites aims to capture the key ideas of leading researchers in language that the non-specialist can understand. But while eliminating jargon, I have tried not to sacrifice the essence of the ideas, even when they are quite subtle or complex. The podcast format is a 20- to 30-minute conversation between an eminent Earth scientist and me. Each episode is backed up by a dedicated web page on geologybites.com. The series currently has nearly 30 episodes, and I post new episodes every week or two – whenever they are ready.

Curious? See below a list of podcast episodes in the field of Tectonics and Structural Geology

Dietmar Müller on Reconstructing Plate Motions Over a Billion Years of Earth History

A tectonic reconstruction of 1000 Ma (Merdith et al., 2021)


David Evans on Supercontinents

Reconstruction of the Superia supercraton before rifting and breakup between 2,500 and 2,080 Ma (credit David Evans)


David Sandwell on Seeing Plate Tectonics Under the Oceans

Gravity field of the mid-Atlantic ridge. The wiggly magenta lines are newly-discovered see-saw propagating transform ridges.
(Credit Scripps Institution of Oceanography)


Written by Oliver Strimpel

Oliver Strimpel is a visiting fellow at Oxford university, his main research focus is to constrain movement along the Karakoram fault in Ladakh by radiometrically dating the various intrusive phases adjacent to the fault near Lake Pangong.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>