Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
Observations of the seismic wavefield as a window into the dynamics of the deep Earth
Presented by Maureen Long, Yale
Processes that take place in the deep Earth, such as mantle convection, play a key role in controlling the evolution of our planet, including plate tectonics, mountain building, and climate. However, the deep Earth is difficult to study due to its inaccessibility.
One of the best tools that we have for studying the structure and dynamics of the Earth's deep interior is seismology; that is, the measurement of elastic waves generated from earthquakes that have passed through the Earth's interior.
In this talk I will discuss some of the key outstanding questions in the study of the Earth's deep mantle and describe recent progress in understanding the details of the structure and dynamics of the core-mantle boundary region using seismic observations.
In particular, I will discuss observations of seismic anisotropy, or the directional dependence of seismic wavespeeds, and how these observations can tell us about the patterns and drivers of flow in the deep mantle.
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