John Tuzo Wilson

Geologist, Academic

1908 – 1993

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Who was John Tuzo Wilson?

John Tuzo Wilson, CC, OBE, FRS, FRSC, FRSE was a Canadian geophysicist and geologist who achieved worldwide acclaim for his contributions to the theory of plate tectonics.

Plate tectonics is the idea that the rigid outer layers of the Earth, the lithosphere, are broken up into numerous pieces or "plates" that move independently over the weaker asthenosphere. Wilson maintained that the Hawaiian Islands were created as a tectonic plate which shifted to the northwest over a fixed hotspot, spawning a long series of volcanoes. He also conceived of the transform fault, a major plate boundary where two plates move past each other horizontally. His name was given to two young Canadian submarine volcanoes called the Tuzo Wilson Seamounts. The Wilson cycle of seabed expansion and contraction bears his name.

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Born
Oct 24, 1908
Ottawa
Nationality
  • Canada
Profession
Education
  • St John's College, Cambridge
  • Princeton University
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Cambridge
Employment
  • University of Toronto
Lived in
  • Canada
  • Ottawa
Died
Apr 15, 1993
Toronto

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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