Amsterdam, Netherlands

Understanding Plate Tectonics: From Theory to Experiments

when 16 July 2023 - 23 July 2023
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 1050

What do volcanoes, earthquakes, mountain ranges, and ocean ridges have in common? They can all be explained by one single theory: plate tectonics!

Plate tectonics, although a recent theory, provides a global framework for understanding and explaining a variety of major natural phenomena and features, such as earthquakes, volcanism, oceans and mountain ranges on continents and seas. In this course, I will teach you how the tectonic plates formed, why and how they move and why they give rise to such diverse features on and beneath the Earth's surface. We will focus not only on the theory, but on also exercises in small groups, and discussions. We will learn how to discover the underlying processes for important geologic formations such as the Andes, the Himalaya, and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We will play with everyday materials to create our own subduction zone and small mountain range; we will also see how small changes in the material can make a big difference in the tectonics story of an area, using numerical models.

The course is aimed as an introduction to Plate Tectonics for Earth Science students, and also for students whose disciplines are outside the (geo)sciences, but are curious about Earth and how science works.

Course leader

Paraskevi Io Ioannidi, PhD.

Fee info

EUR 1050: Tuition fees one-week course

VU Students/PhD candidates and employees of VU Amsterdam* or an Aurora Network Partner €500
Students at Partner Universities of VU Amsterdam €650
Students and PhD candidates at non-partner universities of VU Amsterdam €750
Professionals €950

Early Bird offer
Applications received before 15 March (14 March CET 23:59) receive €50 Early Bird discount!


VU Amsterdam Summer School offers two kinds of scholarships: the Equal Access Scholarship and the Photographer Scholarship. More information can be found on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.