TS
Tectonics and Structural Geology

plate tectonics

Geology Bites Podcast

Geology Bites Podcast

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 join ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Boyer & Elliot (1982) Thrust systems

TS Must-Read – Boyer & Elliot (1982) Thrust systems

The now-classic paper of Boyer & Elliott (1982) presented a novel and general geometric framework to study thrust systems. The framework describes thrust surfaces by lines of contact between thrusts, or branch lines, and lines of thrust termination, or tip lines, and examines how they join into imbricate fans or duplexes. The framework allows accurate and succinct descriptions of the geometry ...[Read More]

TS Must-read – Morgan (1968) Rises, Trenches, Great Faults, and Crustal Blocks

TS Must-read – Morgan (1968) Rises, Trenches, Great Faults, and Crustal Blocks

In his 1968 paper “Rises, Trenches, Great Faults, and Crustal Blocks”, Jason Morgan added the missing pieces of the plate tectonics: the representation of plates’ motion in terms of spherical surface, and plate rigidity. In the very first lines of the paper he describes his contribution as an “extension of the transform fault concept [of Wilson, 1965; see the TS-must-read blogpost of October 15, 2 ...[Read More]

TS Must-Read – Wilson (1966) Did the Atlantic close and then re-open?

TS Must-Read – Wilson (1966) Did the Atlantic close and then re-open?

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 – Mckenzie and Parker (1967) The North Pacific: an example of tectonics on a sphere

TS Must-Read  – Mckenzie and Parker (1967) The North Pacific: an example of tectonics on a sphere

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]

TS Must-Read – Dietz (1961) Continent and ocean basin evolution by spreading of the sea floor

TS Must-Read – Dietz (1961) Continent and ocean basin evolution by spreading of the sea floor

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]

100 years of Marie Tharp – The woman who mapped the ocean floor and laid the foundations of modern geology

100 years of Marie Tharp – The woman who mapped the ocean floor and laid the foundations of modern geology

Marie Tharp (July 30, 1920 – August 23, 2006) would have turned 100 on this very day and she continues to live through her legacy of having mapped the world’s oceans. Similar to famous painters, some of whom only gain appreciation after their death, Marie Tharp is one of the most underappreciated scientists in the history of the earth sciences. Marie was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Due to h ...[Read More]

Beyond Tectonics: Building fictional worlds to better understand our own

Beyond Tectonics: Building fictional worlds to better understand our own

In this edition of “Beyond Tectonics” Ben Blackledge and Hannah Davies talk about worldbuilding and how it can be applied to the discipline of tectonics and tides. Ben Blackledge recently completed his MSc in Bangor and will soon be beginning a PhD in Bristol University.   Let’s begin with a question. Are the tides always the same on every planet? Because of the force of gravity, ...[Read More]

Beyond Tectonics: How mountain building shaped biodiversity

Beyond Tectonics: How mountain building shaped biodiversity

This edition of “Beyond Tectonics” is brought to you by Lydian Boschman. Lydian is a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zürich. She has a background in geology and plate tectonic reconstructions, but now works with a group of biodiversity modelers of the Landscape Ecology group at ETH, bridging the gap between geology and biology. In her research, she focuses on the uplift history of the Andes, and ho ...[Read More]

Beyond Tectonics: Can only tectonically active planets sustain life?

Beyond Tectonics: Can only tectonically active planets sustain life?

This edition of “Beyond Tectonics” is brought to you by David Waltham. David is a professor of Geophysics at Royal Holloway who studies Geology, Astronomy and Astrobiology. His current research focus is on whether the Earth is “special” because it is habitable, or if the Earth is one of a vast amount of life-bearing planets. “Is Earth Special? Do we live on a typical rocky ...[Read More]