Tag Archives: plate tectonics

Riding the Moho

  Today is the anniversary of the birth (January 23, 1857) of a brilliant geophysicist with an unpronounceable name (unless you are Croatian) – Andrija Mohorovičić. (You may say On-Dree-Ya Mow-Hoe-Row-Vitch-Itch. Or, like many a grad student, you could simply … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Geology, History, How Geophysics Works, Plate Tectonics, The Book | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ben Franklin: Geophysicist

It’s a stretch to claim Benjamin Franklin as a fellow geophysicist. But I think we have more claim to him than the optometrists who consider Franklin a fellow glasses-maker. (Franklin invented bifocals.) Franklin, whose birthday is today, studied lightning and … Continue reading

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Tonga Shakes. Again.

Tonga. It’s an archipelago for the seismic history books. Tonga is in the news again, this time the submarine volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai was spotted by NASA satellites because the eruptions discoloured the Pacific waters amidst the island kingdom’s 176 … Continue reading

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Banana Peel Tectonics

The 24th annual Harvard Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded to courageous trail-blazing scientists who pushed the limits of curiosity and credulity during the past year. Among the winners of the 2014 prestigious momento were a Canadian who won the Neuroscience … Continue reading

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Tuzo

“Tuzo’s dead.” That was the first time I’d ever heard of Tuzo. It was April 1993 and I wondered who – or what – Tuzo was. Now he was dead. I had already completed my University of Saskatchewan geophysics degree … Continue reading

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Bad Russian Science

My daily Geo-calendar reminds me to consider events in the evolving history of Earth Sciences. Yesterday’s little blurb on that calendar commemorated the birth of Vladimir Belousov (1907-1990), the Soviet-era geologist who stopped plate tectonics, at least in his country. … Continue reading

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When Tectonics Started

The Earth is the only planet known to have continents adrift. Scientists are rather certain that the drifting began about a billion years into Earth’s history. This means that for a thousand million years, the continents just sat there. Idle. … Continue reading

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Those who can’t, teach…

Today, September 25, would be the 171st birthday of Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin. A discouraging character to honour. Born in 1843, by 1900 his ideas about science education and the scientific method came to dominate American science. Not all of his … Continue reading

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A Cultural Backlash

There seems to be a cultural backlash against science. Some of my liberal friends blame science for the evils of neonicotinoids, GMOs, and vaccines. They are wrong, of course. My conservative friends decry science for promoting Darwinism, the Earth’s real … Continue reading

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A Conversation with the Earth

How many of us recognize the most important moment in our career? The instant when you realize exactly what you should work on, even if you don’t know where that might lead. It happened to a young theoretical physicist. He … Continue reading

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