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Wednesday
February 23, 2011
7:00-8:30 PM

Schlafly Bottleworks, Maplewood, MO

Seismology in Antarctica:
Listening to the Sounds of Climate Change

Douglas A. Wiens, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Moderated by: Cynthia Wichelman, M.D.


A major question about the Earth's future is whether the massive Antarctic ice sheets will collapse as the Earth warms, causing sea level rise and flooding of coastal areas. In this meeting, we will discuss efforts to instrument the Antarctic ice sheets with seismographs and GPS receivers, to better understand the physics of ice flow and the feedbacks between ice sheets and the solid earth. These projects involve traveling to the remotest, coldest parts of the globe and designing instrumentation capable of unattended operation at temperatures down to -100°F. The surprising results thus far include the discovery that huge ice streams 60 miles wide lurch forward twice a day, and that the land surface in parts of Antarctica is rising as the ice melts.

Douglas Wiens is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. His specialization is imaging the Earth's interior using seismic waves, as well as the study of seismic waves radiated by moving glaciers. Doug has been heavily involved in efforts to deploy autonomous instrumentation in Antarctica over the last 14 years. In addition to his Antarctic studies, several of his other projects involve seismograph deployments on the ocean bottom in the Western Pacific to study deep earthquakes and map features of the Earth's interior associated with the “Ring of Fire.&rdquo Doug was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2007.

Science On Tap highlighted on St. Louis Public Radio and Voice of America!

Science On Tap is a place where, for the price of a beverage, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place outside a traditional academic context, in the Crown Room at Schlafly Bottleworks.


Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of the month during the academic year, usually from 7:00 - 8:30 PM. The standard format is as follows: 20 minutes of presentation, followed by a 7 minute break for attendees to introduce themselves to each other at the table, and then an hour of discussion. Seating is limited to the first 100 people.  No reservations accepted.

Crown Room at the Schlafly Bottleworks
7260 Southwest Ave.
Maplewood, MO 63143
(314) 241-2337

Register to receive e-mail announcements of future Science On Tap events.

Interested in learning about medicine? Check out Washington University's Mini-Medical School!

For more information: e-mail scienceontap@wustl.edu
or call (314) 935-9495