Plate tectonics is the surface expression of a cooling Earth and convection in the Earth’s interior. Constraining the patterns of convective mantle flow is therefore important for understanding the dynamics of our planet and how the surface of the Earth evolves through time. Most of our inferences about mantle flow and convection typically come from geodynamical models that simulate some aspect about the Earth. It is possible however to directly map mantle flow from seismological observations. Seismic anisotropy, a measure of the azimuthal dependence of seismic wave speed, primarily reflects the present-day alignment of crystals in the Earth’s interior by mantle flow.
Projects therefore exist to combine observations and models of mantle flow to better understand various interactions between the Earth’s interior and its surface, whether through volcanism, tectonics, dynamic topography etc.
For more information about this potential research topic or activity, or to discuss any related research area, please contact the supervisor.