UCL Earth Sciences


Kiran Chotalia

“Modelling changes in the mantle and surface due to the presence of water.”

PhD project title:

The effects of water content on mantle circulation, geochemical cycles and surface observables.

Kiran Chotalia
Project description:

My PhD looks at how water content in nominally anhydrous minerals (or otherwise) affects the rheology of the mantle. This change will determine how the circulation in the mantle behaves and how it interacts with the surface, changing features such as the dynamic topography and possibly long-term sea level. I use 2D and 3D finite-difference computational models looking at the whole mantle and tracking water content with tracers. The aim is to establish the general role of a water dependent rheology on mantle circulation and surface observables on a whole-mantle scale in models that take into account the heterogeneous distribution of water content within the mantle.

I spent my undergraduate years at UCL too completing an MSci in Geophysics before deciding to stay on in a research based environment. My 4th Year MSci Project looked at the possibility of shallow mantle plume sources due to the deflection and deformation of rising plume conduits, also using computational geodynamic models.