Michael Welland: 'Shape-Shifting Landscapes'

Saturday 28 February

10:30 - 12:30

Paradiso, Main Hall

Michael Welland

The ‘Geologic Imagination’ must perceive the past, comprehend the present, and contemplate the future, and thus describe – and measure – change. The scale on which mankind has so profoundly changed the Earth’s surface and disrupted the ‘natural’ cycles of erosion and sedimentation is one of the least acknowledged symptoms of the Anthropocene – we are geological agents. Humanity now moves more geologic material around the planet than nature does, and changes the landscape on a timescale we can see and measure on a physical scale. This talk will discuss what is meant by this, review some examples of the dramatic reality of these scales, and ask the perhaps surprising question, ‘Is sand a sustainable resource?’ The audience should be prepared to think in gigatons.


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