Andy Nowacki

Andy Nowacki

University of Leeds

Ongoing projects

MC²: Mantle Circulation Constrained

A multidisciplinary 4D Earth framework for understanding mantle upwellings

The Leeds component of a NERC-funded four-year large grant to understand how the rocky interior of the Earth has evolved over the last billion years.

Mantle convection simulation, showing in red a contour of mantle temperature at 2800 K (about 3100°C). The green blebs show lower mantle regions of basalt, subducted to depth from the surface. Model courtesy Huw Davies, Cardiff University.

My contribution

In Leeds, our aim is to test how well our models of mantle convection match the present-day state of the Earth. We will use new observations of the small-scale structure of the mantle and compare these with large-scale seismic simulations, allowing us to decide which convection models best match the real Earth, and thus what the interior of the Earth looked like hundreds of millions of years ago.


  • Huw Davies, Cardiff University (Project leader)
  • Andy Biggin, University of Liverpool
  • Chris Davies, University of Leeds
  • Ana Ferreira, UCL
  • Paula Koelemeijer, Royal Holloway University of London
  • Don Porcelli and Andrew Walker, University of Oxford
  • Gareth Roberts, Imperial College London
  • Oli Shorttle, University of Cambridge
  • James Wookey, University of Bristol

Completed projects

REMIS – Reliable Earthquake Magnitudes for Induced Seismicity (NERC) (2017–2021)

A NERC-funded three-year project to quantify the uncertainty inherent in using seismic wave arrival times to jointly infer earthquake locations and magnitudes, and the seismic velocity structure of the subsurface.

Cartoon showing the joint event hypocenter–velocity tomography inference problem. The arrival times of waves from earthquakes at depth are the information we use. We perform fully non-linearised inference to obtain probabilities that a given event occurred within a certain volume and time, and also that any point in the subsurface has a certain range of velocities.


  • Andrew Curtis, University of Edinburgh
  • Brian Baptie, British Geological Survey

Project researchers

  • Corinna Roy, University of Leeds (PDRA)

A secret history of the Earth's mantle (2015–2018)

A Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship to study the history of the Earth's rocky mantle using seismic observations and modelling.