Magnetic Field Reversals: The Ups and Downs of Earth’s Dipole, as seen from South America – Laurie Brown – UMass

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Distinguished Faculty Lecture: Professor Laurie Brown

March 11, 2013
4:00 pm

Mullins Center
Room: Massachusetts Room
UMass Amherst Campus

Professor Laurie Brown of the Department of Geosciences will be presenting the prestigious Distinguished Faculty Lecture.  Her talk entitled, “Magnetic Field Reversals: The Ups and Downs of Earth’s Dipole, as seen from South America”.

While studying an active volcano in the Chilean Andes, Laurie Brown discovered lava flows that gave evidence of the most recent reversal of Earth’s magnetic poles. Paleomagnetism, the study of how Earth’s magnetic field is recorded in rocks, suggests that when the field reverses itself, it reduces to a low intensity. Since this field shields us from harmful solar rays, lessening it has the potential to have profound environmental effects.  Professor Brown will relate how her findings will help predict with more accuracy reversal processes and how future reversals may affect human activity.

Professor Brown will be presented with the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest recognition bestowed to faculty by the campus, at the conclusion of the lecture.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

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