Water cycling between Earth’s surface and mantle over supercontinental timescales
Subduction of hydrated minerals is thought to transfer enough water into Earth’s interior to lower sea level by up to 1 meter per million years.
Much of this water loss is balanced by mantle degassing along mid-ocean ridges, but the rate of degassing may change with time during the supercontinental cycle. Thus, the rate of water exchange between Earth’s surface environment and its deep interior may change as supercontinents form and disperse, which affects the distribution of water within Earth’s interior and the convective patterns that occur there.
This project will use analytical and numerical models of large-scale mantle flow to understand the impact of water cycling on the supercontinental cycle and the long-term history of our planet.
Students can expect to gain an understanding of the fluid dynamics of mantle convection and experience with numerical modelling techniques, and should expect to publish their results in a scientific journal.