Multi-data and multi-scale inversion and modelling for the physical state and evolution of the Earth's interior
About the Event:
The last 20 years have witnessed an outstanding increase in computing power, data‐fusion techniques, and geophysical data acquisition programs worldwide, a trend that is likely to accelerate in the next few decades. These advances now allow the Solid Earth community to pursue massive data‐driven simulations and probabilistic joint inversions for the physical state and geodynamic evolution of the Earth's interior with unprecedented complexity and resolution. In fact, the current state of affairs is such that the boundaries between the fields of geodynamics, geochemistry and inverse geophysical theory, traditionally viewed as separate disciplines, are becoming increasingly blurred and symbiotic. Clearly, Earth models that are simultaneously constrained by multiple and complementary observables are necessary to bring a step change in our understanding of, for example, the nature (i.e., temperature, composition, and architecture) and evolution of the lithosphere, its interaction with the sublithospheric mantle, and the forces driving tectonism and plate motion. In this presentation, I will focus on emerging techniques capable of fusing multiple data sets of different nature (e.g. geochemical, geodetic, geophysical) to obtain 4D physical models of the Earth's interior with unprecedented resolution and confidence. Such models provide critical information on i) multi-scale processes, such as magmatism/volcanism and lithospheric deformation, and ii) natural hazard management and resource exploration frameworks.
About the Speaker:
Professor Juan C. Afonso is a theoretical geophysicist and geodynamicist. His research focuses on the thermochemical structure and evolution of the lithosphere, the mechanical and geochemical interactions between tectonic plates and the sublithospheric upper mantle, and their effects on small- and large-scale tectonic processes. His most recent research combines multiscale probabilistic inversion and numerical modelling techniques to address some of the most fundamental questions about the nature and evolution of the lithosphere and upper mantle using a formal combination of multiple satellite- (e.g. gravity, magnetic field) and land-based (e.g. geochemistry, seismic) data sets. He also works on the development of numerical algorithms to model the complex couplings between geochemical and geodynamic processes inside planets at multiple scales.