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THE MIND OF THE UNIVERSE

Starring Trond Torsvik (2017)

A journey along the frontiers of knowledge. VPRO Public Broadcasting (the Netherlands) with support by the Open University (UK) and UNESCO.

EPISODE 4: The Explorer (including Trond Helge Torsvik) ─ Towards a unified theory of the evolution of the earth and what makes our planet unique. Aired May 28 (2017).


CREATION OF ICELAND

Greenland is the largest island on Earth. In central Greenland researchers have located a corridor with thinned-out landmasses running from east to west, which they explain by Greenland drifting over a stationary hotspot. The thin lithosphere assisted volcanic activities across Greenland 60 million years ago.

Steinberger, B., Bredow, E., Lebedev, S., Schaeffer, A., Torsvik, T.H. 2018. Widespread volcanism in the Greenland-North Atlantic region explained by the Iceland plume. Nature Geoscience

HOW THE PACIFIC GOT ITS BEND

Starring Mathew Domeier (2017)

Hawaii sits at the end of a chain of volcanoes running across the Pacific Ocean floor, but in the middle of this chain lies a bend of 60 degrees. For many decades geoscientists have struggled to explain exactly how and why this feature occurred around 50 Million years ago. A new study in Science Advances led by postdoctoral researcher Mathew Domeier along with colleagues from CEED sheds light on this long-standing geological controversy – A massive collision at the edge of the Pacific Ocean was the culprit.

Domeier, M., G.E. Shephard, J. Jakob, C. Gaina, P.V. Doubrovine, T.H. Torsvik, 2017. Intraoceanic subduction govered Pacific plate motion from 80-47 Ma. Science Advances doi:10.1126/sciadv.aao2303

LOST CONTINENT MAURITIUS

Starring Lewis Ashwal

A fragment of continental crust has been postulated to underlie the young plume-related lavas of the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius based on the recovery of Proterozoic zircons from basaltic beach sands. 


Ashwal, L,D., Wiedenbeck, M. & T.H. Torsvik. 2017. Archaean zircons in Miocene oceanic hotspot rocks establish ancient continental crust beneath Mauritius. Nature Communications