2017 Advent Calendar / Advent calendar

Door 1 – 1.5 billion years of Plate Tectonic Stories

It hardly seems a minute since we were celebrating trilobites named after The Beatles, analysing the rock content of rock music with surprising accuracy, chasing William Smith around Wales and decorating our Christmas trees with dinosaurs – but the Great Geoadvent is back! Each year, we celebrate the advent season with an advent calendar of blog posts on Christmas, geology, our favourite terrible disaster movies, and pretty much anything in between…

If there is a theme this year – other than Christmas, of course – it was destined to be plate tectonics, following our celebrations of 50 years of the theory earlier this year. As well as a major conference, a website recounting the early days of the theory, and an exhibition at the Society, we marked the anniversary with the launch of Plate Tectonic Stories – a web resource highlighting 20 sites that tell the story of the UK & Ireland’s tectonic past.

One of the keynote speakers at our Plate Tectonics at 50 meeting was Chris Scotese, who showed a packed audience his new animation recounting how the continents have moved over the last 1.5 million years. Behind door 1 of the 2017 geoadvent, we present…1.5 billion years of plate tectonics:


Scotese, C.R., and Elling, R.P., 2017. Plate Tectonic Evolution during the last 1.5 Billion Years: The Movie. Plate Tectonics at 50, William Smith Meeting, October 3-5, 2017, The Geological Society, Burlington House, London, p. 16-17.

You can find out more about the PALEOMAP project, and how the animations are made, at www.scotese.com

The Great Geoadvent Challenge

Each of our geoadvent windows this year represents one of the 20 core sites which comprise our list of plate tectonic stories (plus, of course, there will be 4 wildcards, of which more later…) This year’s geoadvent challenge is simply to tell us which plate tectonic story is associated with which window – the first to comment below with the correct answer will win one point towards ultimate victory, and a Mystery Prize…. We’ve opened with an easy one, to start you off!

Contribute to the Geoadvent!

We still have a few slots in this year’s geoadvent left to fill (hyperventilates). If you fancy contributing with a tenuous link between Christmas and your geological research, your favourite plate tectonic reconstruction, your favourite geologist we didn’t know was a geologist (see here for a few examples…) or anything else you think we might like to feature, get in touch! Email sarah.day[at]geolsoc.org.uk, or leave a comment below.

3 thoughts on “Door 1 – 1.5 billion years of Plate Tectonic Stories

  1. Pingback: Door 19 – The Complete Drift Globe | Geological Society of London blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s