Tuesday, 25 November 2014

December 2nd - Mountains under the Sea

Mountains under the Sea
Tuesday 2nd December, 8.00 p.m.
Professor Tony Watts FRS, Marine Geology and Geophysics in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford.

One of the mysteries of the sea are the large number of seamounts that rise up on the seabed and, in a few cases, break surface to form oceanic islands. Volcanic in origin, seamounts are widely scattered throughout the world’s ocean basins, especially in the Pacific. Recent estimates suggest that there maybe as many as 200,000 seamounts with heights that range from 0.1 to 6.7 km above the surrounding seafloor. Seamounts are generally circular in shape, have pointed, star-shaped, curved, or flat tops, and are often capped by a coral reef. They are of geological interest because they record the motions of Earth’s tectonic plates and the magmatic ‘pulse’ of its deep interior. They are also significant as ocean ‘stirring rods’, biodiversity ‘hotspots’, and hazards for megathrust earthquakes, submarine landslides, and navigation. Statistical studies suggest that there are as many as 24,000 seamounts higher than 1 km still to be discovered. The charting of these seamounts and the determination of their morphology, structure, and evolution is one of the many challenges facing marine geologists in the future.
Venue: Ground Floor Lecture Theatre, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3AN.  
The entrance is set back 30m from the road and has disability access. As many of you are aware, parking can be a problem and expensive and you may wish to take advantage of Oxford's Park and Ride scheme.  
Doors open at 7.30 pm for a prompt start at 8.00 pm.
If you arrive late, phone 07900 675338 to be let in.
Cost: £2 per person to cover expenses.
The talk will be followed by the Oxford Branch
Christmas Party
Please bring a plate of food to share. 
The branch will provide tea, coffee, soft drinks, 
wine and bread and cheese.

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