Geologist to unveil secrets of the Antarctic

Dr Kate Selway

Dr Kate Selway
Full Image (60.67K)

Monday, 12 April 2010

A University of Adelaide geologist who spent three months in the Antarctic last year researching the earth's crust will reveal her findings tomorrow at a free public lecture on the University's North Terrace campus at 5.30pm.

Dr Kate Selway, an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, is the guest speaker at the third Research Tuesdays seminar for 2010, one of Adelaide's most highly successful monthly seminar series.

The 2008 Young Achiever of the Year for South Australia specialises in large scale electromagnetic surveys of the earth's crust, providing 3D images to depths of around 70 kilometres.

This information helps provide a picture of the geological history of our planet and the breakdown of Gondwana, the earth's last great "supercontinent" - a vast tectonic amalgamation that included Australia, Antarctica and India around 500 million years ago.

In 2009 Dr Selway was stationed in the Antarctic for 12 weeks, carrying out the largest magnetotelluric survey to date there, joining about 80 other people, including scientists, tradespeople, pilots, engineers and chefs, on various missions.

"We helicoptered out each day from Davis Station to do our work, flying over glaciers and the ice shelf and living among penguins, seals and whales. It was an amazing experience," she said.

Dr Selway made headlines in 2006 when she found evidence of a collision between northern and central Australia 1.64 billion years ago.

After graduating with her PhD she worked on a collaborative project to improve mineral exploration techniques in the Olympic Dam region to help define the full extent of major mineral deposits in South Australia's mining belt.

The theme of her talk tomorrow night - "Defrosting Gondwana" - will demonstrate how electromagnetic "eyes" are piercing the Antarctic ice to reveal a former supercontinent's darkest secrets.

WHAT: Defrosting Gondwana
WHERE: Lecture Theatre 102, Napier Building, North Terrace Campus
WHEN: Tuesday 13 April, 5.30pm-6.30pm
COST: Free. Please book by email: or phone: (08) 8303 3692


Contact Details

Dr Kate Selway
Postdoctoral Research Associate
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5326
Mobile: 0448 867 889

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762