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Copyright left image: Columbia Uni. Copyright right image: Cornell Uni

Picture Info

Jack Oliver, 1923 - 2011

Source article

USA Today

Published By

M.Sc. Armand van Wijck



plate tectonics, continental drift

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Jack Oliver has passed away

14.01.2011, Age: 3938 days

John "Jack" Ertle Oliver, died at 87 on January 5, 2011. As the news slowly spreads, interesting anekdotes and research results of the professor who was the first to proof the existence of continental drift, show up everywhere.

For instance, Andrew Alden reports in his Geology Blog on about.com that 'Oliver was one of the founding fathers of plate tectonics. His specialty was seismology, one of the major lines of evidence that brought about the plate-tectonic scientific revolution in the 1960s. He is most famed in the literature for the 1968 Journal of Geophysical Research paper "Seismology and the New Global Tectonics" (vol. 73 no.18, p. 5855), which he wrote with Bryan Isacks and Lynn Sykes.'

Isacks, B. L., Oliver, J., and Sykes, L. R. (1968) Seismology and the new global tectonics. Journal of Geophysical Research, 73, 5855–900.


New York Times reporter Kenneth Chang in his article quotes one of Oliver's self made limericks from Oliver's autobiography:

'The youth wondered what he should be.

His prof said, “You’re missing the key.

Life’s not to be, but to do.

Pick a task, follow through.

You’ll live ever after most happily.'

This certainly is an indication of the hard workmanship which has led Oliver to his astonishing repertoire.

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