Plate tectonics is the unifying paradigm for Earth sciences and links phenomena such as past climates, tectonism, volcanic events, and evolution of life. As discussed by P. Wessel et al. in our 2009 EOS Trans. AGU report, the Seminar on Advanced Plate Tectonics was offered by the Dept. of Geology & Geophysics in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology in Fall 2008 and again in Spring 2012. We examined the modeling and analysis techniques used in the kinematic study of plate tectonics, which has seen many technical innovations over the last decade not yet in textbooks. We reviewed seafloor morphology and its expressions in potential fields, the magnetic anomalies left by seafloor spreading and their interpretation, the status of seafloor and seamount chronology, and use of paleomagnetism. Unlike recent plate motions studied by GPS or VLBI, the analysis of past plate motions requires the use of finite rotations; we thus reviewed the basics (spherical trigonometry, matrix operations for rotations, quaternions, etc.) and proceeded to study techniques used to model relative (RPM) and absolute (APM) plate motions. A novel aspect of this course was remote guest lectures by leading experts from around the world. These talks were delivered via Skype or iChat, recorded, and converted into video podcasts. Note that these podcasts are also very conveniently accessible via iTunes U at the University of Hawaii. You may get individual tracks or simply subscribe to all podcasts and have them show up in iTunes on your Mac or Windows computer.

For those who cannot get access via iTunes (e.g., Linux users) the MP4 (codec H.264) files are also accessible from this page. If you are not using iTunes or QuickTime then VLC is a multi-platform video player that can play such files as well. Windows media players users may consider installing MP4 codecs. Podcasts are available in two resolutions: (640x480), which is suitable for portable players (e.g., iPods, iPhones) and (960x720), which is suitable for tablets, computer screens and HD-TVs.

The following eight podcasts are individually copyrighted (c) 2008 by Paul Wessel and the speaker:

Dr. Richard Hey is a Geophysicist at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology. His current research involves structural and hydrothermal investigations of Earth's fastest seafloor spreading center, the East Pacific Rise between the Easter and Juan Fernandez microplates, where the plate boundary geometry is presently being reorganized by a giant dueling propagator system which may be an initial stage in microplate formation. Dr. Hey is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Talk title: Propagating rifts (recorded Sept. 11, 2008).
Select or [202 Mb vs 354 Mb]

Dr. Walter Smith is a Scientist at NOAA's Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry. His research interests include the use of satellites to map the Earth's gravity field, and the use of gravity data to determine the structure of the sea floor and changes in the Earth's oceans and climate. He is also co-developer of the Generic Mapping Tools (GMT).

Talk title: Resolving seafloor tectonic fabric with satellite altimetry (recorded Sept. 18, 2008).
Select or [85 Mb vs 149 Mb].

Dr. Dave Sandwell is a Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD in La Jolla, CA. His research interests includes developing marine gravity from satellite altimetry, predicted and measured seafloor bathymetry, synthetic aperture radar interferometry (inSAR), and using these tools to study lithosphere geodynamics. Dr. Sandwell is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Talk title: Plate tectonics: Knowns and unknowns (recorded Oct. 2, 2008).
Select or [164 Mb vs 425 Mb].

Dr. Dietmar Müller is a Professor in the School of Geoscience at Sydney University, Australia. He has research interests in marine geophysics, tectonic plate motions, geodynamics, continental margin tectonics, petroleum exploration, and seafloor imaging. Dr. Müller is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Talk title: Reconstructing ocean basins through geological time (recorded Oct. 28, 2008).
Select or [205 Mb vs 433 Mb].

Dr. Anthony Koppers is an Associate Professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. His reearch interests include plate tectonics with an emphasis on geochronology and geochemistry of hotspot trails and their implications for plate motions and hotspot drift. He also maintains the EarthRef.org website.

Talk title: Understanding 40Ar/39Ar age systematics along seamounts trails and implications for the hotspot hypothesis (recorded Oct. 30, 2008).
Select or [125 Mb vs 246 Mb].

Dr. William Sager is a Professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. His interests lie in geologic oceanography including plate tectonics and tectonic reference frames, paleomagnetism and environmental magnetism, magnetostratigraphy and the magnetic polarity reversal time scale, Pleistocene-Holocene sea level variations, development of high-resolution geophysical methods and magnetic and gravity field interpretation.

Talk title: Do Hotspots blow in the wind? Does the Earth roll about? Perspectives from paleomagnetism and Pacific seamounts (recorded Nov. 13, 2008).
Select or [199 Mb vs 420 Mb].

Dr. John Tarduno is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science and the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Rochester University in Rochester, NY. His research Interests are Paleomagnetism, Geomagnetism and Geodynamics, including rates of plate tectonic, hotspot and polar wander (stability of Earth relative to the spin axis); mantle plume volcanism; the origin and long-term history of the geodynamo (paleointensity, paleosecular variation and reversal frequency); rock magnetism; environmental magnetism; Cretaceous climate. Dr. Tarduno is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Talk title: Paleomagnetic observations of motion: Plates, hotspots and the entire solid Earth (recorded Nov. 25, 2008).
Select or [126 Mb vs 320 Mb].

Dr. Bernhard Steinberger is a Researcher at the Geological Survey of Norway in Trondheim, Norway. His research interests include Global mantle flow models constrained by mineral physics and surface observations, and the geological implications of mantle flow, such as the effect on hotspot motion and what that means for models of plate motion.

Talk title: Global reference frames: Distinguishing plate motions relative to the mantle and true polar wander (recorded Dec. 9, 2008).
Select or [156 Mb vs 326 Mb].

The following eight podcasts are individually copyrighted (c) 2012 by Paul Wessel and the speaker:
Dr. Maria Seton is an Australian Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research interests are in the field of marine geophysics and geodynamics, in particular examining the links between plate tectonics, mantle processes and palaeo-climate.

Talk title: Magnetic anomalies, global plate motion and making the age grid (recorded Jan. 30, 2012).
Select or [197 Mb vs 612 Mb].

Dr. Karsten Gohl is a Senior Scientist in the Geophysics Section at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany. His research interests include studies on tectonic/geodynamic evolution of the polar areas, magmatic development of oceanic plateaus, and glacio-marine sedimentation processes for reconstructing paleo-ice sheet dynamics.

Talk title: Role of Antarctica in global tectonics (recorded Feb. 13, 2012).
Select or [223 Mb vs 582 Mb].

Dr. Jeff Gee is a Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research interests include studies of past geomagnetic field intensity variations, the processes of remanence acquisition in igneous rocks and the origin of associated magnetic anomalies, and application of paleomagnetic/anomaly data to crustal accretionary processes.

Talk title: Marine magnetic anomalies - The origin of the stripes (recorded Feb. 27, 2012).
Select or [156 Mb vs 288 Mb].

Dr. Richard Gordon is the Keck Professor of Geophysics at Rice University in Houston, TX. His research interests include quantification of plate non-rigidity; global plate motions from marine geophysical data and from space geodetic data; diffuse oceanic plate boundaries; strength, rheology, and deformation of oceanic lithosphere; "absolute" frames of reference for plate motions; and paleomagnetism and its application to regional and global tectonics. Dr. Gordon is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Talk title: Pacific plate apparent polar wander from the skewness of marine magnetic anomalies with implications for plate reconstructions, motion between hotspots, and true polar wander (recorded Mar. 5, 2012).
Select or [125 Mb vs 232 Mb].

Dr. Clint Conrad is an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu. Conrad uses numerical and analytical models of solid earth deformation to understand how Earth's interior dynamics affect a variety of geological processes such as volcanism, seismicity, mountain building, plate motions, and sea level change.

Talk title: Net characteristics and driving forces of plate tectonics (recorded Apr. 2, 2012).
Select or [89 Mb vs 288 Mb].

Dr. Trond Torsvik is a Professor of Geodynamics at the Centre for Physics of Geological Processes, University of Oslo. Current research activities focus on plate tectonics, global palaeogeography and Earth history, the nature of Wilson cycle tectonics, supercontinental assembly and dispersal, absolute plate motion reference frames and the dynamics of true polar wander. Dr. Torsvik is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Talk title: Global paleomagnetics, true polar wander and plate tectonics (recorded Apr. 9, 2012).
Select or [230 Mb vs 529 Mb].

Dr. Dave Stegman is an Assistant Professor of Geophysics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. His research interests in computational geodynamics aspire to understand the nature of plate tectonics on Earth and how the tectonic and volcanic processes which have shaped the Earth's surface have evolved over time.

Talk title: The Earth is NOT a ping-pong ball (recorded Apr. 16, 2012).
Select or [243 Mb vs 704 Mb].

Dr. Michael Gurnis is a Professor and Director of the Caltech Seismological Lab. He develops and applies computational models to geodynamic processes, including both the past and present earth. He is particularly interested in using constraints from the geological record on earth dynamics. Dr. Gurnis is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Talk title: Trench Rollback: From the Birth of Subduction to Global Plate Motions (recorded Apr. 30, 2012).
Select or [181 Mb vs 343 Mb].