Rob Butler on the Origin of the Alps
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The Alps are the most intensively studied of all mountain chains, being readily accessed from the geological research centers of Europe. But despite this, there remains considerable uncertainty as to how they formed, especially in the Eocene (about 40 million years ago) when the events that led directly to Alpine mountain-building started. In the podcast, Rob Butler explains how much of this uncertainty stems from our fragmentary knowledge of the locations and structures of sedimentary basins and small continental blocks that lay between Europe and Africa at that time. In his research, he combines detailed studies of the sedimentary rocks flanking the Alps with the large body of structural and petrological knowledge amassed over the past two centuries to try to unravel the sequence of events leading up to the formation of the Alps. Rob Butler is Professor of Tectonics at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
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