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Rosemary Hutton Lecture - Professor Maya Tolstoy

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The Hutton Lecture Theatre

Room 201, The Grant Institute

James Hutton Road, Kings Buildings

Edinburgh

EH9 3FE

United Kingdom

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Title: A New Perspective on Mid-Ocean Ridges

The talk will show how data from the deep seafloor is shedding new light on underwater volcanic processes that shape two-thirds of the surface of our planet. It will include some videos. It should be understandable by non-specialists. It will be followed by an informal reception in the Cockburn Museum to which all attendees are invited.

Abstract: Mid-ocean ridges are the largest source of volcanism on our planet, creating two-thirds of Earth’s surface. Yet few normal mid-ocean ridge eruptions have been observed and the timing and style of such eruptions are not well understood. Since 2015, a fibre optic cable has been streaming publicly available real-time geophysical data from Axial Seamount on the Juan de Fuca Ridge providing an opportunity to document seafloor volcanic processes in unprecedented detail. This site, while not normal mid-ocean ridge because it sits atop a hot-spot, provides a natural laboratory to study short and long-term forcing on the seafloor to better understand volcanic cycles and seafloor spreading. Studies at Axial Seamount and elsewhere suggest that seafloor spreading may be more complex than the steady-state conveyor belt model in the text books.

Speaker: Maya Tolstoy is a marine geophysicist specializing in seafloor earthquakes and volcanoes. She has led 18 research expeditions at sea as Chief or co-Chief Scientist. She is the recipient of the Wings Worldquest Sea Award honouring women in exploration, was a finalist for NASA’s Astronaut selection, and was the American Geophysical Union’s Birch Lecturer in 2016. Prof Tolstoy has also done extensive outreach work to communicate the excitement and importance of earth science to non-science audiences and worked with film-maker James Cameron on the IMAX documentary Aliens of the Deep. She is currently interim Executive Vice President of Arts and Sciences at Colombia University. She is a graduate of the Geophysics BSc programme at the University.

Further information about the lecture series: The Rosemary Hutton Lecture series was established in memory of Dr Rosemary Hutton (1925-2004), whose impressive research career and pioneering spirit serves as an inspiration to geophysicists today. In 1969, Rosemary joined the newly established Department of Geophysics at the University of Edinburgh as a lecturer, becoming a senior lecturer in 1973, Reader in 1982, and retiring as Honorary Fellow in 1991. She established a world-renowned research group, working principally on the electrical conductivity structure of the Earth and planets, continental rift systems, geothermal regions and geomagnetic source fields. This lecture series was made possible by a generous legacy by Rosemary Hutton’s sister Doreen, now supplemented by other alumni.

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Date and Time

Location

The Hutton Lecture Theatre

Room 201, The Grant Institute

James Hutton Road, Kings Buildings

Edinburgh

EH9 3FE

United Kingdom

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