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Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series Information


Events Calendar

The Physics of Sea Level

Friday March 26, 2021
3:30 pm

 Presenter:  Jerry X. Mitrovica is the Frank Baird Jr. Professor of Science in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. He did important early work showing that tectonic plates heave, tilt, and fall in addition to drifting across the surface of the planet.
 Series:  Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
 Abstract:  How sea level changes on a deforming Earth in response to ice mass flux is a long-standing problem in geophysics and the first gravitationally self-consistent "sea level equation" dates to the mid 1970s. Advances over the last decade have extended this theory to include the effects of shoreline migration, variations in the perimeter of grounded, marine-based ice sheets (e.g., The West Antarctic Ice Sheet), and the feedback of perturbations in Earth rotation on sea level. I'll begin the talk with a primer on the theory and physics of sea level, highlighting both the rich spectrum of behavior that is possible on viscoelastic Earth models and some rather counter-intuitive results - namely, that sea level falls within ~2000 km of a rapidly melting ice sheet. I'll then consider case studies involving enigmatic observations in both the geological record and the modern world that are resolved when a suitably accurate treatment of sea level change is adopted.
 Host:  Mousumi Roy
 File/Video Recording:  https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/d8c4dbf0-887c-4394-a799-e99e7c1c0c33
 Location:  TBD

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