Mantle Convection Simulation
Geodynamics is concerned with the physical processes that drive motion like mountain building or plate tectonics in the Earth and planets. By its nature it is highly interdisciplinary, and provides the link between such diverse areas in the Earth sciences as tectonics, paleomagnetism, seismology, mineral physics, geo- chemistry or geodesy. There are many connections be- tween these fields. These connections arise because convection in the Earth's mantle and core is the source of all geologic activity we observe on our planet. Ultimately convection in the Earth and planets reflects their gradual heat loss, as these bodies slowly cool over time.
The methods of Geodynamics are firmly rooted in physics, specifically in continuum mechanics. Increasingly computer modeling and modern high-performance parallel computing are gaining ground in order to solve the equations of motion that govern geodynamic processes, although analog models to study physical processes at the laboratory scale are holding their own. Geodynamicists share the growing importance of computer simulations with researchers in other fields. For the coming decade this development, which is driven by rapid advances in computer hardware, promises dramatic progress in our ability to understand many complex Earth processes.
The Munich Geodynamics group is a leader in applying high-performance computing to problems in Geodynamics. We welcome students and offer a wide array of international collaborations. Particularly qualified students from Germany and abroad may apply for Ph.D. positions in the Elite Network of Bavaria, as part of the nascent Research School of Earth Sciences at Munich University.