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The destructive nature of Planet Earth can be seen in natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Although terrifying, the processes underlying these events are truly fascinating! Join us for an evening of talks exploring just how and why such disasters occur, and how they shape the geological structure of our Earth!
"A journey through a tectonic plate boundary: how can water control earthquake rupture?"
Dr Catriona Menzies (Lecturer in Geology, University of Aberdeen)
Plate boundaries, where tectonic plates slide past each other, are the principal regions on Earth where the greatest and most rapid geological changes occur. As the upper portions of our Earth are brittle, differential movement at these boundaries often results in catastrophic earthquakes. In this talk, I will show you what a tectonic plate boundary looks like and describe the controls on how and when earthquakes occur and the role that (rain)water plays in the earthquake cycle.
The Ancient Volcanoes of Scotland
Jessica Pugsley (PhD student in Geology, University of Aberdeen)
Let me take you back 60 million years. All along the west coast of Scotland are a series of active volcanoes, erupting vast quantities of lava onto the land. Eruptions are regular and individual lava flows can be as thick as houses, reaching distances equivalent from Aberdeen to Stonehaven. Between eruptions vegetation reclaims the land, eventually creating forests. My research focuses on the ancient Isle of Mull volcano where I conduct geological fieldwork in order to unravel its complex evolution.
North Borneo uncovered: using earthquakes to discover how our planet works
Dr Amy Gilligan (Royal Astronomical Society Research Fellow in the School of Geosciences at University of Aberdeen)
The dramatic features that we see on the Earth's surface are a result of processes happening deep inside. One way to understand these processes is to use the waves generated by earthquakes to create images of our planet's interior, similar to an ultrasound scan of the body. In North Borneo are many enigmatic landforms, from the 4095m high Mt Kinabalu, to the almost perfectly circular Maliau Basin, but we don't yet understand how they formed. Come and hear about the NBOSS project that is using earthquakes to probe into the Earth below North Borneo to uncover its secrets.