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Computing the Evolution of Planet Earth: From the Surface to the Core-Mantle Boundary

Faculty Research Seminar

Speaker: Elbridge Gerry Puckett, UC Davis
Location: Zoom Zoom (see below)
Start time: Tue, Jan 18 2022, 12:10PM

The evolution of Earth's surface - the lithosphere - is driven by plate tectonics. This includes the formation of continents with mountains, volcanoes, rifts (valleys) and the multitude of other features that are familiar to us all. The motion of the tectonic plates is driven by convection in the Earth's mantle; which is that part of the Earth from the lithosphere to the outer core. The mantle is predominantly solid but on geologic time scales - 100's of millions to billions of years - it behaves like a viscous fluid. Mantle convection is a very slow creeping motion caused by currents that carry heat from the Earth's interior to its surface. As an applied mathematician and computational scientist I am working closely with computational geophysicists and other applied mathematicians to develop a very large computer model of the various geologic processes that determine the structure of the Earth's mantle and the lithosphere. I will give a broad overview of what this entails: from the partial differential equations that govern mantle convection to our current work designing numerical algorithms to model the rheological properties of the many materials, and the state of those materials, that are found from the Earth's deep interior to the its surface.

This meeting will be on Zoom: Meeting ID: 968 6439 4419 Passcode: 631425