An outstanding question in plate tectonics is how do oceans start to close? The Wilson Cycle describes the
life of an ocean in three phases: opening and spreading, foundering of its passive margins and development
of new subduction zones, and consumption and closure. It has been suggested that new subduction zones
are difficult to form and thereby they are more likely to spread from ocean to ocean like a sort of invasive
mechanism. This project will make use of laboratory models and plate kinematic modelling to understand
how subduction zones are initiating and propagating in the Atlantic. The study will provide clues on how
ancient oceans may have closed and whether the Atlantic is already in its turning point.