Special Seminar: Slichter Chair Search Candidate

Date: March 14, 2017

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Location: Slichter 3853

Vlada Stamenkovic

Coffee and cookies at 3:00 pm, Talk at 3:30 pm

Candidate: Vlada Stamenkovic - Caltech/JPL

Title: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Earth’s Evolution -
How to unravel the connections between solid Earth geophysics and life

Abstract: Solid Earth geophysical processes across the spectrum – from mantle convection, plate tectonics, and the formation and transport of melt and volatiles to the generation of a global magnetic field – are shaping surface environments, climate, and life. At the same time, surface environments modify the boundary conditions and the composition of planet interiors and hence feed back into the underlying geodynamic processes. Understanding how the interior of the Earth evolved over time and co-evolved with biology, climate, and its fluid envelope has the potential of answering some of the biggest questions asked by Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences.
In this talk, I will show how recent innovations from high-pressure physics and non-equilibrium mantle convection models have helped shape a new understanding of the thermal and tectonic evolution of the Earth’s interior and its surface from the Hadean more than 4.5 billion years ago to today. I will furthermore explore how these changes in cooling and tectonic history of the Earth impacted the deep water cycle and the generation of hydrogen, methane, and oxygen-rich oases throughout the Earth’s history to modern age. The here presented approach helps link deep time and deep life to the fundamental principles of global geodynamics and solid Earth geophysics and illustrates that in order to truly understand Earth, we must study our own planet as part of a diverse family of rocky planets - utilizing the rich data that we are right now obtaining not just from Earth but also from Mars and exoplanets around TRAPPIST-1.

Intellectual Engagement: Speakers have been asked to prepare a 50-minute presentation and to reserve 10 minutes for questions and answers. During the first 50 minutes, brief requests for clarifications will be allowed. Substantive questions should be confined to the Q&A period. A moderator will manage the order of questions starting at the 50-minute mark. Questions related to the speaker's presentation will take priority over other comments.