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GSL Public Lecture: How and why the Earth is different

29 January 2020
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The Geological Society, Burlington House
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The Earth is one of the four rocky planets of the Solar System, but is the only one with an active hydrosphere and biosphere. It also differs in having continents and oceans, with different lithosphere compositions and structures, in exhibiting plate tectonics and a strong magnetic field.

In this talk, Nick Rogers will explore how these features are interlinked to create an environment suitable for the evolution of complex life. Critical to this is the continued presence of a hydrosphere and the cycling of water into the deep Earth. Without water, there would be no plate tectonics, certainly no life, and probably smaller masses of continental crust if any at all. The conundrum of how the Earth retained its surface water remains unsolved.


Nick Rogers, President of the Geological Society

Nick Rogers is Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at the Open University. He spent almost all his career at the OU, running the trace element analytical laboratory and indulging in research into the origins of alkaline rocks, the evolution of the African Rift valley, the composition and evolution of the mantle and latterly mantle plumes. He was also for a time the Science Programme Director, overseeing the whole of the science curriculum at the OU.

He has been involved with the Geological Society for many years, having previously served as Chief Editor of the Journal of the Geological Society, Chair of the Education Committee and Publications Secretary. He currently has the enjoyable privilege of being the Society’s President.


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