Department of Earth SciencesWestern Science

2013 SCUGOG Lecture: "The Great Alaskan Terrane Wreck"

February 07, 2013

The Department of Earth Sciences, Western University is pleased to announce the 13th Annual SCUGOG Lecture in Earth Sciences. Our invited speaker is Dr. Stephen T. Johnston, past President of the Geological Association of Canada, and Director of the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria. His lecture is entitled: "The Great Alaskan Terrane Wreck: A Plate Tectonic Odyssey & the Origin of the Cordilleran Mountain System of North America."  The lecture will be held Thursday, March 7, 2013; 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm; on campus in the 3M Centre, Room 3250. Free parking is available in the Weldon lot.

 SCUGOG poster

Abstract: During the break-up of the supercontinent Pangea, from 180 million years ago onwards, exotic 1000 km long crustal blocks or “terranes” were added to the west coast of North America, giving us much of the present-day British Columbia, Yukon and all of Alaska. Where did these exotic crustal terranes originate, and how did they get there? The crust underpinning the Cordilleran mountain system of western North America was possibly assembled more than 15,000 km west of North America as a train of crustal blocks, and its arrival as a “terrane wreck” after a long plate tectonic odyssey gave rise to mountainous British Columbia and was responsible for the geological construction of Alaska. Such “terrane wrecks” may constitute an important mechanism for the growth of continents throughout much of Earth history.

The lecture is free and open to all members of the community! All are also invited for a Grad Club reception to follow.

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The SCUGOG Lecture was established through the generosity of an anonymous donor; it seeks to highlight geological work of broad public interest by Canadian Earth Scientists.