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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI oceanography lecture examines science behind earthquakes

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. -- April 15, 2005 -- All of the world’s great earthquakes have occurred in subduction zones, sites where rocky plates collide and descend into the Earth’s mantle. These sites are also associated with hazards like volcanic activity and tsunamis.

It’s a subject studied intensively by Christopher Kincaid, professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, and it’s the next topic in the Inaugural Lecture Series, scheduled for April 28 at 12:30 p.m. in Corless Auditorium on URI’s Bay Campus in Narragansett. It is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, “Modeling the circulation and thermal evolution of Earth’s mantle: A view from down under,” Kincaid will examine the circulation and the thermal and chemical transport within the Earth’s mantle in and around subduction zones.

The Inaugural Lectures are presented by newly promoted oceanography professors at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography and are designed to inform the scientific community and the general public about research being conducted by URI marine scientists.

Kincaid’s research interests involve the study of the fluid dynamics of a variety of Earth systems, from the coastal ocean to the interior of the planet. He uses observational methods and fluid dynamics models to investigate the movement of water and pollutants in estuaries and along the continental shelf. He also examines how materials move between the Earth’s interior and the ocean and atmosphere. His research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Navy, NOAA, the Narragansett Bay Commission and R.I. Sea Grant.

Kincaid teaches graduate courses in environmental fluid dynamics and geodynamics and an undergraduate course on Earth system science. He earned degrees from Wesleyan University and Johns Hopkins University.

For more information about the lecture, call 401-874-6246.