Date(s) - 04/02/2019
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
PLEASE NOTE THE MEETING DATE CHANGE TO THE FIRST TUESDAY IN APRIL FOR THIS MEETING ONLY
LIVING IN A PLATE TECTONIC BOUNDARY
REBECCA L. DODGE, PhD, Emeritus Associate Professor
Kimbell School of Geosciences Midwestern State University
The island nation of Iceland sits atop the North Atlantic spreading center, and is also atop a mantle plume. This coincidence raises the spreading center above sea level, which makes it the only place on Earth where glaciers cover spreading center volcanoes and rifts. Iceland’s unique tectonic setting defines not only its geologic hazards, but the also the Icelandic culture and character. Since Iceland was first settled around 870 there have been nearly 200 volcanic eruptions, many with deadly results across the island and into Europe. In the 20th century alone there were over 700 earthquakes with a magnitude larger than 4 (most were < 5 and only a few were magnitude 7). Landslides and avalanches are also common, and massive floods related to subglacial volcanic eruptions add to the hazards. The first few generations of Icelandic settlers experienced all of these, repeatedly, and settlers kept on coming to the island. The resilience and ingenuity of Icelanders in the face of natural disasters has culminated in engineering advances and energy extraction developments that have been shared with the world. This presentation explores the geology of Iceland and demonstrates how the Icelandic people not only live in a tectonic plate boundary, but thrive there.
Dr. Dodge received her M.S. and Ph.D. from the Colorado School of Mines; her research concerned the mapping and dating of active faults in northwestern Nevada. Her first post-grad job involved photogeologic and field mapping of active faults in Nevada and Utah for the USGS Branch of Earthquake Tectonics and Risk. Her move to a petroleum career continued the imagery-application and structural mapping focus, and involved airborne and spaceborne photography and imagery. She spent fourteen years in the oil exploration business, applying remote sensing technology for both international exploration and environmental purposes. Since joining academia 22 years ago she has been researching and teaching the uses of satellite imagery for resource and environmental management applications. She is currently an emeritus geology and environmental science adjunct professor at Midwestern State University, following her retirement in August 2018. She retired to Midland, Texas. In addition, she is deeply committed to training and educating future science teachers in geosciences, earth system science, and environmental observation techniques, with an emphasis on the integration of field observations and geospatial technology.