KEGS/BCGS Roundup Breakfast – Tuesday, January 24, 2017
SPEAKER: Dr. Martyn Unsworth, Professor of Geophysics, University of Alberta
TITLE: A geophysical view of mountain building: perspectives from the Andes, Himalaya and Antarctica
DATE/TIME: Tuesday, January 24, 2017
LOCATION: Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Princess Louisa Room, Vancouver
REGISTRATION: Online at www.kegsonline.com (Registration opening soon)
Geophysical imaging has proven to be a valuable tool in understanding the geological processes that occur within plate boundaries. Magnetotelluric (MT) exploration is especially useful in these studies since it can measure electrical resistivity, a rock parameter which is sensitive to the presence of fluids such as water or partial melt. In this presentation I will describe how MT has been used to study mountain building. In subduction zones, MT has defined the pathways taken by molten rock from the mantle to the surface where it is erupted by volcanoes. It has also detected some of the largest magma bodies on Earth and shown that the melt can have a high water content. The Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau were formed by the collision of the Indian and Asian plates and MT studies have imaged regions of molten rock that are sufficiently weak to flow. A final example will focus on Mount Erebus in Antarctica, where MT data are being used to image the magma system of a volcano which is not located on a plate boundary.