PhD studentship
School of Earth Sciences

Deep Geophysics: Dynamics of the Core-Mantle boundary interface

The following project is now assigned to Bryony Youngs, commencing October 2003.

As part of a new multi-disciplinary study of the Core-Mantle Boundary, a PhD studentship funded by the Natural Environment Research Council is available beginning October 2002, for work on the above project in the School of Earth Sciences at Leeds University. Seismological evidence in conjunction with geochemical inference and dynamical modelling imply that the D" layer at the base of the mantle has anomalous seismic velocity, density, viscosity, and probably composition. This layer is not necessarily uniform in structure and thickness, and one interpretation sees this layer concentrated in regions that may be thought of as anti-continents: anomalously dense regions that occupy the interface between core and mantle, swept into regions of increased thickness by flow in the mantle convection system. The aim of this project is to construct self-consistent dynamical models of the D" layer and the convective regime of the lower mantle using the techniques of computational fluid dynamics, and to apply the constraints provided by seismological and geochemical data in order to determine aspects of this system such as viscosity, density distribution and composition.

The preferred candidate for this project will have a 1st class Honours degree in some field of applied mathematics, physics, or geophysics, and will be interested to develop their expertise in computational fluid dynamics. The successful candidate will join an active and experienced geophysics group with a strong record of research in geodynamical problems, under supervision of Prof G. Houseman. For further enquiries: e-mail:, or

The eligibility requirements set by NERC for this studentship basically specify UK citizenship or residence, and are set out in full detail at:  (commencing at page 11 of that document).