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The ground we live on is not as rock-solid as we might think. Be it rain from the skies, or magma from deep beneath, the face of the Earth changes everyday. In our first talk, we will explore how we can decode the processes shaping our landscape, before we go deeper underground to look at magmas piercing the Earth's crust and thereby helping to produce fossil energy. A true geological roller coaster ride!
X-raying the Earth: Imaging the Hot Rocks Under Our Feet
Professor Chris Jackson (Professor of Basin Analysis, Imperial College London)
Magma intrusion in the Earth's crust, and the extrusion of this material on its surface, represent a natural hazard; however, these processes can also result in the formation of economic quantities of hydrocarbons. However, volcanoes are hot, loud and scary, thus we know little of their internal structure or underlying 'plumbing systems', which typically comprise a complex network of igneous dykes and sills. In this talk I will show how 3D seismic reflection data (essentially a tool that provides x-rays of the Earth) can illuminate the structure and emplacement mechanics of these 'hot rocks'.
History of Earth's Landscapes
Dr Gareth Roberts (Lecturer in Earth Science, Imperial College London)
How are Earth’s spectacular landscapes generated? We know that some combination of water, gravity, geological processes and time (from seconds to millions of years) is responsible for creating Earth’s landscapes. However, despite more than 100 years of study it is perhaps surprisingly that the relative importance of these processes is still debated. We will show how modern satellite data, combined with chemistry and new computational techniques are allowing us to read the history of Earth’s surface encoded in its landscapes.