Featured Speaker: Philip Skemer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, and Director, Fossett Laboratory for Virtual Planetary Exploration, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences; Associate Director, Institute of Materials Science & Engineering (IMSE); Principal Investigator, Rock Deformation Lab, Washington University in
In everyday experience rocks may seem hard, brittle, inflexible; but deep in Earth’s interior, elevated temperature and pressure transform rigid rocks into soft, viscous blobs. These flowing rocks give rise to plate tectonics and ultimately most of the geology observed at Earth’s surface. However, direct observations of planetary interiors are essentially impossible. So how do we know what’s going on down there? Join geologist and geophysicist Philip Skemer for a look at how rocks can be deformed in the lab and how these experiments are providing new insight into the structure and evolution of Earth and other planets.