UCL Earth Sciences


Maria-Jose Vera

“The multi-scale seismic description of a plate will provide a much better understanding of the physico-chemical processes linked to the making of the platethe formation of continent lithospere"

PhD project title:

Multiscale characterisation of seismic scattering, diffraction and anisotropy in the lithosphere/asthenosphere system.

Maria-Jose Vera
Project description:

The formation of a tectonic plate is one of the fundamental processes that is yet to be fully understood. A plate invokes two basic componets, a more rigid lithosphere and a more ductile asthenosphere. 

Presumably, processes such as damages, thermal cooling and cracking, melt extraction and servere deformation and stretching may involve in making the lithosphere and asthenosphere. Ultimately, the plate is subducted and recyled back into the mantle. Fortunately, these processes leave detectable seismological footprints such as seismic anisotropy and scattering that are extremely useful in inferring the processes that make a plate, lithosphere and asthenosphere. In this project, we will focus on observations and numerical modeling of high-frequency scattering (1-10 Hz), seismic diffraction (0.1-1 Hz) and shear wave splitting (1-0.1 Hz) recorded in on-land and oceanic bottom seismometers, in the hope to construct a multi-scale seismic description of ” a plate”.