SMU’s Hamilton Visiting Scholar in Earth Sciences

Professor Don L. Anderson, renowned geophysicist and author of New Theory of the Earth, will lecture as SMU’s Hamilton Visiting Scholar in Earth Sciences Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Crum Auditorium of the Collins Executive Education Building. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Anderson will speak on the "the Subterranean Cycle: the Continental Drip Hypothesis." His theory for the Earth places plate tectonic evolution, hot spot volcanism, and the break up of continents into an evolutionary framework more consistent with insights from other planets.

Since the 1980s, according to Wikipedia, Anderson has also been known as the originator of some unconventional, provocative, and controversial ideas which depart from the views of the scientific mainstream. For instance, he has developed an alternative model of the mineralogical composition of the upper mantle, according to which its deeper parts consist of piclogite, a relatively pyroxene- and garnet-rich rock, rather than olivine-dominated peridotite with the chemical composition of pyrolite. Another of his hypotheses is that the theory of convective mantle plumes in the Earth, as proposed by W. Jason Morgan, is invalid and that hotspots and oceanic islands such as Hawaii or Iceland are rather caused by chemical/mineralogical anomalies in the upper mantle.

Winner of the Royal Swedish Academy's prestigious Crafoord Prize, Anderson is Professor of Geophysics in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at California Institute of Technology. He was Director of the Seismological Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology from 1967-1989 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1982.

Read more about Anderson and the Continental Drip Hypothesis.

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