California Institute of Technology
Seismological Laboratory Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences

Research

Geodynamics

Figure 1Seismic tomography delineates the current state of mantle convection. With the adjoint (inverse) algorithm implemented in CitComS, we can derive the past mantle structures starting with the tomographic mantle image, while using reconstructed plate motions as surface boundary conditions. The inversion can be constrained with various geological observations. (Lower) Vertical profile showing the mantle density structures along 42ºN latitude back at 70 Ma, where the flat-lying Farallon slab (blue color) caused the surface to subside dynamically. (Upper) Predicted pattern of the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway (WIS), with blue area indicating marine inundation over North America (brown is land mass).

A wide range of geodynamics research is carried out in the Seismo Lab.

We develop advanced numerical models of tectonic processes constrained by geological and geophysical observations. In particular, theuse of such models to provide a physical basis for interpretation of seismological observations made on local, regional, and global scales. Our development of geodynamic models is being coordinated through forward and backward numerical simulations.

We also collect geodetic observations, including radar interferometry and GPS (both temporary and permanent deployments), and the use of this data to constrain models of regional tectonic and volcanic processes, as well as the rheological structure of the lithosphere.

We have detailed descriptions of various projects in geodynamics.

Seismo Lab scientists doing research in this area:

Faculty

Graduate Students