The Geological Society of Minnesota is a public-spirited, nonprofit educational organization that has been in operation since 1938. Our ongoing mission has been to promote public interest and supply educational support in the geological sciences. We do this by sponsoring free lectures and labs at the University of Minnesota, conducting statewide and regional field trips, holding classroom presentations for schools, maintaining a media library, publishing relevant information for public distribution, and maintaining and expanding upon a series of geological markers located throughout the state.
Monday, March 10, 2014, 7:30 PM
Location: University of MN, Kenneth Keller Hall, 200 Union St SE, Room 3-210 in Keller Hall, also called the Computer Science-Electrical Engineering Building. It is near the corner of Washington Ave. and Union Street, with parking across Union Street. Washington avenue is now closed to traffic, so see the following detailed directions at the end of this e-mail.
Tectonic escape: an unusual mechanism to explain volcanoes, earthquakes and mountains in Turkey, and elsewhere
Donna Whitney, Ph.D.,
Professor, University of Minnesota
Tectonic escape: an unusual mechanism to explain volcanoes, earthquakes, and mountains in Turkey (and elsewhere)
The Arabian tectonic plate is colliding with the Eurasian plate in eastern Turkey (Anatolia), deforming the continental crust. Instead of being crushed between these plates, Anatolia is sliding to the west along two major, earthquake-prone strike-slip faults; it is tectonically "escaping" from the collision zone, moving towards Greece. There are many mysterious aspects of this tectonic zone: Is Turkey being pushed by the collision or pulled by extension in the Aegean Sea? There is no volcanic arc associated with the collision, so why are there giant volcanoes in the middle of Turkey? When seismologists look for the subducted Arabian plate beneath eastern Turkey, it isn't there: where did it go? Even more puzzling: how did the young, high mountains ranges in central Turkey form? They are not located in the collision zone.. These and other questions are the subject of a large international research project involving University of Minnesota researchers and students and many others. The project is called CD-CAT (Continental Dynamics-Central Anatolian Tectonics). The talk will describe ongoing work by UMN researchers, students, and colleagues to understand the "escape tectonics" in Turkey and elsewhere in the world.
Donna Whitney's undergraduate degree in Geology is from Smith College, and her PhD is from the University of Washington. She has been at the University of Minnesota since 1997. She is currently a Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Head of the School of Earth Sciences. Her research interests are in metamorphic petrology and tectonics, and she has current field sites in Turkey, France, Norway, western North America, and Australia. She has been working in Turkey for 20 years and is looking forward to talking about this fascinating place to the Geological Society of Minnesota.
Served by MetroTransit Bus Numbers 2, 3, 16, and 50,
Routes 2, 16 and 50 now stop at Oak Street/Washington and Coffman Union.
Note that route number 50 only runs during rush hours.
Route 3 stops at Jones Hall(east bound) or Eddy Hall (west bound).
Park in the Washington Street Ramp, bounded by Washington, Harvard, Beacon and Union Streets.
Washington Ave. is now permanently closed in front of Keller Hall, the Computer Science/Electical Engineering building that we have been meeting in for the past 10 years. This complicates driving. If you have used Washington Ave. to cross the Mississippi River, you will not be able to do that anymore. To get into the parking ramp across Union Street from Keller Hall, will take a bit of time and patience.
If you travel I-94, exit at Huron Ave, which is on the east side of the Mississippi River. The first stop light after the exit is SE Fulton. Turn left on Fulton to Harvard Street. Note that Fulton merges with East River Parkway just before it reaches Harvard, and technically, Fulton ends at the merger. Do not follow East River Parkway past the University Hospitals, instead turn right on Harvard.
Harvard is a narrow, busy street, so go slow and keep alert for pedestrians and cyclists, who seem to ignore cars. Cross Washington Ave. and the parking ramp is just on the other side. Turn left on Beacon Street, and left again on Union.
An easy way is via 35W to University Avenue. Then east to Church Street. Turn right (south) on Church at the Bell Museum. Go 1 block, then turn left on Union (between the Armory and the Architecture Bldg.). Follow Union around to the west side of the parking ramp.
For folks who must use I-94, another possibility is to exit at 280 and then exit onto University Avenue. Take Univ. west as far as Williams arena, then branch onto 4th St. as it becomes one way. Go a few blocks to 17th Avenue. Turn left. In 1 block you cross Univ. and then 17th becomes Church St. Then follow the directions in the paragraph just above.
GSM's exciting, illustrated Seminars are presented by leading professionals in their fields of Geology or Earth Science. These engaging talks are free and open to the public, and are especially valuable for enthusiastic learners from secondary school students to adults. A question and answer opportunity is always included. Where else can you enjoy an intriguing exchange with a leading scientist or educator? Our novice-friendly labs demonstrate at a comfortable pace the ideas and principles of geology and earth science. They allow an involved, hands-on learning experience for beginners, or a helpful refresher for the seasoned enthusiast. These instructive sessions are also free and open to the public. Where else can you actively practice science, under expert guidance, for free?
During the months of May through October, GSM conducts a series of professionally-guided, statewide and regional field trips. These are one to three day excursions made to points of geologic interest not usually experienced by the casual traveler. They afford a very memorable and satisfying learning experience as there are always plenty of hands-on and question-answering opportunities. A comaraderie with enthusiastic learners and people curious about their natural environment is always a reward in itself. There is a small charge for any shared expense, and a liability waiver must be signed for each participant.
Speakers for metro area elementary schools are available through the Public Service Committee to help enrich the education of young learners, particularly the 2nd to 4th grade levels.
Membership in the society is open to anyone with an interest in geology. The benefits of membership include
- Extensive Media Library - GSM maintains a collection of more than 125 geological videos and a growing number of interactive, multimedia CD-ROMs for both windows and Macintosh computers. These are available to the members at lectures or through the mail for a nominal rental fee.
- GSM Newsletter - A quarterly publication containing announcements of upcoming activities, interesting and informative articles on the earth sciences, GSM project and activity reports, and general club news and notices.
- GSM Directory - An annual book that is a handy information resource, and makes it easy to access your organization.
- Rocky Roots ... Three Geology Walking Tours of Downtown St. Paul - A free copy of this popular guidebook.
- The opportunity to meet others of diverse backgrounds who share an enthusiasm for learning and a curiosity for the natural world around them.
- The rewarding feeling of supporting a public-spirited, nonprofit organization dedicated to public education.