Applied Math Seminar

03/29/2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
POT 745
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Keely O’Farrell, University of Kentucky
Title: Investigating the structure of Earth's interior

Abstract: This talk will focus on the fluid dynamics of Earth and planetary mantles (interiors) and their surface manifestations. By necessity, convection in planetary mantles is largely studied using numerical models on supercomputers, though the right parameter range is still often out of reach. In order to solve the equations governing fluid dynamics inside the Earth, we need to know about the velocity, temperature density and general structure (such as viscosity) of the interior. 

Over the past few decades, much work has been done to constrain the viscosity structure of the Earth's mantle using inverse techniques, viscoelastic modelling and post-glacial rebound data. Variations in the Earth's gravitational potential anomalies (geoid) provide constraints on the density structure in the mantle. Seismic tomography can be used to investigate radial viscosity variations on instantaneous flow models. By specifying a possible viscosity structure and predicting a synthetic geoid, we can compare with the observed geoid to see how well our viscosity structure matches the real Earth. Examining over 50 tomographic models we found 2 possible profiles for the viscosity structure inside the Earth.


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