comes from a place in India covered in lava flows millions of years old. He shares his journey of discovery, from collecting rocks as a child to studying lava tubes and sinuous rilles on the Moon, Venus, and Mars. Volcanology, he says, provides insights about our past and hints about the future.
He discovered a large igneous province in India, explained the formation of sinuous rilles, compared lava tubes on Earth to those on the Moon, and researched the potential of rocks to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. His work led to a proposal for using farmlands in Maharashtra to capture carbon.
He emphasizes the significance of geology for our future, stating that the Earth is vast, as is the universe, and we know very little about the world around us. He encourages everyone to explore the world outside and find new ideas that can lead us toward a better future.
He concludes by urging people to pay attention to the ground beneath their feet, hoping they will find something interesting in their own environments, and inspire new ways forward. He suggests flying a drone on a rainy day might just lead to a groundbreaking discovery.
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Author Video Description
Sonit is the youngest volcanologist from India and has involved himself in research and understanding of how the volcanoes formed Earth’s geology. This also gives him the opportunity to connect the dots and establish theories on the formation of the whole Universe, including all the other planets. Sonit’s scientific journey began at age 10 with research on sound’s impact on plants, earning him National Gold Medals.
By 11, he delved into research in geology. In 2019, he won NASA’s CiS competition with research on the role of radiations in Martian soil reddening. He received the ‘PM’s Bal Puraskar’ (scholastic category) in 2021 and presented his research on lunar lava channels at NASA’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2021.
His co-authored research on Sylhet Traps was published in the Journal of Geological Society of India. In 2022, he led Team India to victory with a Gold and two Bronze medals at the International Earth Science Olympiad. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
[Applause] I come from a place in India which is covered in lava flows which are millions of years old let me take you on a journey of discovering the geological wonders around me and also in the universe around us I I was 2 or 3 years old when I used
To go to the nearby Hills with my father and collect interesting looking rocks I used to wonder what the large black rocks I saw everywhere were made of one day he told me that it was indeed lava that had erupted 65 million years ago I was stunned I could imagine lava flowing
Under my feet as I got more interested in rocks I tried to identify the ones that I had collected here are a few of them now look at these huge mountains the sadri as we know them do you see the horizontal black lines across all of them stacked upon each
Other they are the huge lava flows that once extended for hundreds of kilometers they did not erupt from the cone-shaped volcanoes that we usually see in the pictures according to the most accepted Theory they were all Fisher eruptions lava spewed up in fountains from large cracks in the Earth’s crust called
Fishers it was hot and flowy enough to cover a huge area around the cracks in sheets of lava and over the course of a few million years more such lava flows stacked one upon the other and today even after millions of years of erosion Dean lavas cover an area of 500,000 square
Kilm and are more than 2 km thick this is called a large ignas Province and Dean is one of the biggest of them in the world when I was 11 my journey in doing deep research on Deen began I was flying a drone near my house above a school
Playground it was a rainy day and the wind suddenly carried the Drone away from my range of control as I went to look for it desperately I saw a small cave on the hill I have not found the Drone yet but I had just made an inter interesting
Discovery I explored further and found more such caves and one of them was possibly a lava tube a lava tube is a cave that forms when a lava flow hardens from the outside and the lava inside drains away leaving it Hollow to saate my curiosity I contacted
A professor from a nearby University to help me with my research and soon he became my mentor the research on lava tubes is still going on and it is yet to be published now let’s go away from Dean here is a photo of the Moon what do you think is this huge
Snake like River like structure it is called a sinuous re which means snake like channels to get a sense of its size it is more than 2 km wide a few decades ago people had different theories regarding how these might have been formed some geologists even thought that
There used to be rivers on the moon only recently it was proved that those are indeed channels of lava and were formed by a process similar to that of lava tubes on Earth this is fascinating isn’t it I decided to research to compare Lava Tubes with sinus SS mathematically I found databases from
Other studies containing values mainly sizes for hundreds of them I used a lot of equations to calculate a lot of other quantities from The Limited set of data that was available I even managed to calculate how much lava had erupted when the channels or tubes formed then I presented the research at
An International Conference among thousands of geoscientists we found that the sinos on the moon are formed in the same way as lava tubes on the earth now here are a few channels from Venus and there is one from Mars and one from Moon there is a huge similarity between
Earth and other planets and the moon this is how we are connected to the solar system scientists have even started to study exoplanets planets that revolve around other stars who knows some of them might have structures similar to the Earth or we might find some completely different rocks which we could have
Never imagined about before well enough about the past but does geology have any significance for our future indeed geology can come to our rescue for solving some Global issues have you heard of rocks absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere you might have heard of technologies that work by sucking air from the
Atmosphere and then removing the harmful gases but the solutions for nature lie in nature itself in nature CO2 gets dissolved in raindrops reacts with the rocks and forms precipitates such as calcium carbonate thereby trapping the carbon on the ground I worked on comparing different types of rocks in India India to see
Which one of them is the best for absorbing carbon from this we proposed a plan for using the farmlands of semiarid regions in Maharashtra for capturing carbon the Earth is huge and so is the universe our human lives are insignificant as compared to this and in
That sense we know very little about the world around us we are like mere zeros exploring Infinity as human beings each one of us has the responsibility and power to know more about the world outside so let us begin today the next time you step outside your house your gaze will be
Directed towards the ground what kind of rocks will you see perhaps you will find something interesting about the rocks or landforms near your place perhaps you will find things that no one ever did before perhaps you will find new ideas new ways to lead us towards a better
Future I really wish you find something very interesting in your place too just fly a drone on a rainy day thank you [Applause] He
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Video “Volcanology has learnings about our past and hints about the future | Sonit Sisolekar | TEDxSurat” was uploaded on 01/12/2024 to Youtube Channel TEDx Talks