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Integrated geodynamics: Reconciling geophysics and geochemistry

Objective

How are deep mantle processes related to the mapped geological record? How can we reconcile geochemical observations with geophysical inferences? These are first order unanswered questions despite our steady progress in imaging the Earth's internal structure and understanding the high temperature and pressure properties of minerals. To make a breakthrough, we have to understand solid-state convection in the Earth's mantle in much greater detail. Much is known about the physical processes, such as melting and the delicate interaction between thermal and chemical buoyancy, but the parameters that enter their mathematical description are not very well known. Once these parameters are determined, the thermo-chemical evolution of our planet can self-consistently be modelled. The state-of-the-art is to roughly estimate these parameters and qualitatively compare the modelling to some relevant geophysical, geochemical or geological observations. This comparison is not comprehensive and never explains all observables. We propose a radically new approach, where all observables are used together to infer these parameters directly, using a fully non-linear Bayesian inference technique based on neural networks. This will determine for the first time the initial conditions at the Earth's formation, the Earth-like flow parameters essential to model the thermo-chemical evolution of our planet and produce models that are simultaneously consistent with the main different geophysical and geochemical datasets.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/planetary science/planets
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/artificial intelligence/computational intelligence
  • /natural sciences/mathematics/applied mathematics/statistics and probability/bayesian statistics

Call for proposal

ERC-2012-ADG_20120216
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
Address
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 447 200
Principal investigator
Jeannot Alphonse Trampert (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Bas Leeflang (Dr.)

Beneficiaries (2)

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 2 447 200
Address
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Jeannot Alphonse Trampert (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Bas Leeflang (Dr.)
EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 1 033 400
Address
Raemistrasse 101
8092 Zuerich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Paul J. Tackley (Prof.)