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Tony Watts

Coloured block

Marine Geologist and Geophysicist

My passion for Geology began at school in the Mendip Hills where I collected fossils and minerals. After school, I completed a BSc. in Geology and Physics at University College, London and a Ph.D in Geophysics at the University of Durham. My research project at Durham involved a study of the sea floor and what lay beneath it north of Scotland. The idea of doing geology at sea both fascinated and challenged me and after I learnt how to deal with the rough seas and heavy swells of the North Atlantic I was hooked. My subsequent career as a Marine Geologist and Geophysicist first at Columbia and then Oxford University has led me to the far corners of the world’s ocean basins and their margins. It has been a privilege to have undertaken more than 25 oceanographic expeditions on UK, US and German research ships and to share with their Officers and Crew and the Public at large the wonders of the ocean floor at mid-ocean ridges, fracture zones and transform faults, deep-sea trenches, and seamounts - those true ‘mountains in the sea’.

Thursday 5th Dec 2019, 12.30pm

Our mysterious ocean floor

Oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth's surface, yet only 15% of the ocean floor has been mapped in detail. Much remains unknown, including the location of potentially hundreds of thousands of seamounts, which can be hazardous to navigation. Scientists at the University of Oxford are working with others to compile the most comprehensive...