Tectonic Origami: Rocks Can Fold Like Paper – 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Though geologic formations are, by their very nature, ‘hard as a rock’, in the face of tectonic forces they commonly behave as if they were devoid of any strength.  Sedimentary formations, when viewed regionally, ‘resist’ deformation as if they were stacks of paper.  At deep levels in the earth’s crust, high temperatures and pressures render ‘paper-like’ the mechanical resistance of even the strongest rocks. A kind of ‘tectonic origami’ can operate when plate tectonic movements drive into the flanks of strata, creating patterns of dry- and wet-folding that belong in art museums.  Grasping the three-dimensionality of superposed folding is one of the great challenges for geologists.  If appreciating the art forms were not enough, incentives in mastering the geometry and kinematics of tectonic origami pay dividends in exploring for natural resources and in mitigating geologic hazards.

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Date: 01/25/2018

Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Price: $10

Class availability limitations: None


Dr. George Davis

Dr. George Davis

George Davis is Regents Professor Emeritus and Provost Emeritus at The University of Arizona. He is a field-oriented structural geologist whose main focus has been on the tectonics of the Basin & Range and Colorado Plateau. In addition George carries out geoarchaeological research in Greece at the Sanctuary of Zeus, Mt. Lykaion, in the Peloponnese. George’s publications number >200, including his undergraduate structural geology textbook now in its 3rd edition. He has been major research advisor for ~45 MS and PhD students and ~25 undergraduate majors, and served on Research Committees for ~125 graduate students.

George joined the faculty of the Department of Geosciences at The University of Arizona in 1970, and over the years has held a number of academic leadership positions, including Department Head (1982-86), Vice Provost (1986-89), Executive on Loan to the Arizona Board of Regents (1988-89), Acting Vice President for Business Affairs (1989-1990), and Executive Vice President and Provost (2000-2007). In addition, George served as President of the University of Vermont (1990-1992).