Tuesday, October 3, 2017


 1967 - An auspicious year 
( .. my part in the downfall of Plate Tectonics .. )
            (or Plate Tectonics' part in the downfall of me ?)

"First, in order to make an important discovery in science, it is essential to be in the right place at the right time."  [Jack Oliver, in Oreskes, 2001, p.162 talking about his experience, and the  development of Plate Tectonics.]  

Fig.1. 1968. Right place, Right time :-: Memory Lane. Morrison and me. (geologist - genuine article + boots, bag and hammer) (&"..When I wore a younger man's clothes .."&).  Morrison's pal, William, with an eye for a picture, took the shot. [Early morning, looking southwest along the Kyle of Durness, .. tide out, meeting Morrison and William departing Durness for London with a long cycle ride ahead of them [Dornoch to catch the bus to Inverness, then the train to London.] And right now, a wish - that it was me with the bike.

 My hopeful contribution to the downfall of Plate Tectonics lies in recognising three things, .. 1. the importance of boudinage structure in crustal deformation, 2. its importance as a control on the location and formation of ore deposits (identifying areas that are more likely to be mineralised than others), and 3.  its use at crustal scales as a framework for understanding Earth expansion.

Running it past you again? :-  highlighting the importance of the term, the structure, and the meme - ("BOUDINAGE" ) - regarding :- 

  • its role as an example of the Principle of Scale Invariance (self-similarity in essential form and dynamics across all scales).
  • Its control on the location and formation of ore deposits.
  • Its role in replacing Plate Tectonics with Earth expansion.

Fig.2. Boudinage structure (the Cutting Edge - 1967)
1= outcrop, 2 = regional, 3 = lithosphere

Time and Place.

1967 was an auspicious year in the Earth sciences for three reasons. 1. Jack Oliver and Bryan Isacks published the introductory paper that a year later, with another including Lynn Sykes, would form the basis for 'The New Global Tectonics' [see 'trinity'] [1] [2] and take the Earth sciences down a wrong road, 2. Dan McKenzie (new to the inner circle of those in the driving seat), published an article that could have prevented this but instead helped to spawn a plethora of papers exploring necking instabilities in the crust to support that new development, 3. At the same time and in ignorance of all of that I was embarking on field work for my Ph.D. that would recognise the importance of boudinage structure in determining structural chronology in regional deformation. Indeed, 1967 was as good a time as any to be resurrecting boudinage from the obscurity it had languished in for nearly two hundred years. So, beginning at the beginning :-

 Fig.3.  Beginning at the beginning :=: right time, right place.  My very nice thesis area; Rispond, Durness, Northwest Scotland
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