After a long career studying the physics of the deep Earth I have written a memoir/history of how the deep mantle works to drive plates and continents around and of my adventures with the subject and the other scientists.

Stories from the Deep Earth

How scientists figured out what drives tectonic plates and mountain building

Plate tectonics can drift continents and push up mountains, but what drives the plates? This is an insider’s account of how we answered questions posed over two centuries ago, and completed geology’s quest for a driving mechanism. Forging through confusing evidence, apparent contradictions and raging debates we arrived at not one but two mechanisms: sinking plates and rising plumes.