Basin and Range

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Tanya Atwater, a marine geologist who eventually joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was then a graduate student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In a letter written to Allan Cox at Stanford, she re-creates the milieu of the time. “Seafloor spreading was a wonderful concept because it could explain so much of what we knew, but plate tectonics really set us free and flying. It gave us some firm rules so that we could predict what we should find in flexplek huren amsterdam unknown places ….F rom the moment the plate concept was introduced, the geometry of the San Andreas system was an obviously interesting example. The night Dan McKenzie and Bob Parker told me the idea, a bunch of us were drinking beer at the Little Bavaiia in La Jolla. Dan sketched it on a napkin. ‘Aha!’ said I, ‘but what about the Mendocino trend?’ ‘Easy!,’ and he showed me three plates. As simple as that! The simplicity and power of the geometry of those three plates captured my mind that night and has never let go since. It is a wondrous thing to have the random facts in one’s head suddenly fall into the slots of an orderly flexplek huren amsterdam zuidas framework. ┬áIt is like an explosion inside. That is what happened to me that night and that is what I often felt happen to me and to others as I was working out (and talking out) the geometry of the western U.S. … The best part of the plate business is that it has made us all start communicating. People who squeeze rocks and people who identify deep-ocean nannofossils and people who map faults in Montana suddenly all care about each other’s work I think I spend half my time just talking and listening to people from many fields, searching together for how it might all fit together. And when something does fall into place, there is that mental explosion and the wondrous excitement. I think the human brain must love order.” Deffeyes, meanwhile, had joined Shell before the excitement developed. Growing up in oil fields, he had grown to like them, to admire the skill and independence of the crews, the competent manner in which they lived with danger. “Like a bullfighter, you are careful. So danger is not an overwhelming risk But it is always there. And you can be crushed, burned, asphyxiated, destroyed by an explosion. A crew on a rig floor runs pipe in the hole with swift precision, and any piece of equipment can take your hand off just as fast.”

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