Dr. Chauvel uses geochemistry tools to analyse the origins of the volcanic islands that constitute French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Lavas sampled from the islands (e.g. Pitcairn, Mangaia, Tubuai) contain material that was present on the earth’s surface 2 billion years ago, indicating that Planet Earth has been active for most of its history. Her collaboration with archeologists to trace the origin of Polynesian artifacts leads to intriguing theories about the exchange of goods over large distances (over 1500 km) more than 500 years ago
Catherine Chauvel is a CNRS ‘Directrice de Recherche’ at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP). Her research uses geochemical approaches to quantify global cycles in the Earth.
This lecture is presented in partnership with The Consulate General of France in Vancouver