UCL Earth Sciences

Prof David Dobson

Prof David Dobson

Prof David Dobson



Professor of Earth Materials Kathleen Lonsdale, G13

Courses Taught: 

GEOLM003 Earth and Planetary System Science

Research Group(s):

Crystallography and Mineral Physics

Email Address:

Telephone Number: 

d.dobson@ucl.ac.uk 020 3108 6335 (56335)

Along with colleagues at UCL and the Bayerisches Geoinstitut, I perform high-pressure experiments on deep Earth minerals and rocks. We have several high-pressure devices, including multi-anvil presses, Diamond cells and a modified Paris-Edinburgh cell for neutron diffraction.

The core of the Earth is among the most inaccessible and least understood regions of Earth. The solid inner core and liquid outer core consist of iron plus several percent of a light element. Together with Dr Ian Wood and Prof Lidunka Vocadlo, I have been investigating the iron-alloys which are stable at high pressures. We have discovered a new high-pressure phase of FeSi which is a prime core candidate material.

The outer core is responsible for the Earth’s magnetic field. Geodynamo models require a knowledge of the viscosity and diffusivity of the outer core liquid. We have an active programme to measure these properties at high pressure.

High-pressure experiments on deep Earth materials; synthesis and properties of new Fe-alloy phases relevant to the core; transport properties of mantle mineral rocks and minerals; deep seismicity.

Research Publications

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