Understanding the links between surface and deep Earth processes: Observations and numerical modeling


Pietro Sternai

From University of Geneva, Switzerland

Surface processes act at rates comparable to those of plate tectonics and can affect the lithospheric strain and magmatic activity. The relevance of research on surface and deep Earth processes is thus enhanced through a focus on their interactions, the understanding of which is crucial to apprehend the functioning of the Earth system as a whole.

In this presentation, I will focus on feedbacks between surface and deep Earth geodynamics and how they conditioned the Cenozoic evolution of the Tethyan margin. I will address case studies such as the India-Eurasia collision, the Mediterranean Messinain salinity crisis, and the Quaternary Alpine history, and use observations and numerical modeling to constrain the mechanisms through which feedbacks between mantle flow, crustal deformation, erosion, continental ice-cap building/melting, and sea level changes find expression. In addition, I will highlight possible future research directions on each of these natural laboratories.

Published Dec. 12, 2017 10:31 AM - Last modified Feb. 24, 2018 11:45 AM