Our Cracking Earth – Malta Café Scientifique

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Our Cracking Earth – Malta Café Scientifique

9 May 2018 @ 7:00 pm

Tectonic plates – Seismology – Research expedition

Date and Time: 9 May 2018, 7:00PM

Venue: Studio B
Price: Free

How would you describe the shape of the earth? A sphere? Or rather an oval? Seismologist Matthew Agius likes to picture it as a boiled egg. This beautiful analogy not only suggests the Earth’s shape but more importantly describes the internal structure of the Earth in a surprising way.

The Earth has a solid core akin to the egg yolk encircled by a softer layer similar to the egg white and a thin outer egg shell that compares to the Earth’s lithosphere. Unlike a boiled egg, the Earth’s outer shell is cracked and consists of slowly moving tectonic plates that converge creating mountains and diverge creating oceans. In order to answer fundamental questions such as how does a tectonic plate form, thickens and age, a seismic experiment was run across the mid-Atlantic Ocean between 2016 and 2017.

A dedicated team of scientists took tens of specialised instruments beneath the ocean placing them across the ridge. They also mapped never-seen-before high-resolution bathymetry of the ocean sea floor, revealing underwater kilometres-high mountains and deep abysses.



9 May 2018
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Category:


St James Cavalier
Castille Place, Valletta VLT1060 Malta
356 21223200


Duration 180 mins
Cert All ages
Language English
Creative Team Project Manager: Danielle Martine Farrugia, Speaker: Dr Matthew R. Agius, Poster Designer: Samuel Ciantar
With the participation of Erasmus+ Key Action 2 Strategic Partnership, Spazju Kreattiv, University of Malta and Malta Chamber of Scientists.