Course ObjectiveThe main goal of this course is to develop deep insight and
understanding of the processes of subduction, mantle flow and overriding
plate deformation and, more generally, to gain knowledge and
understanding of geodynamics, geodynamic modelling and plate tectonics.
The mutual dependence and interrelatedness of different aspects of
subduction will be demonstrated, including subduction zone geology,
subduction zone kinematics, subduction zone geometry, subduction zone
dynamics and subduction-induced mantle flow. This provides the student
with an integrated view of subduction zone processes, mantle flow and
overriding plate deformation. The integrated view is further
substantiated through both global and local approaches, and both
process-oriented and phenomenological approaches.
The students will develop skills: (1) To quantify plate velocities and
plate boundary velocities on a sphere; (2) To identify and quantify
driving and resistive forces in subduction systems; (3) To evaluate and
quantify overriding plate deformation rates at subduction zones; (4) To
apply simple equations from fluid dynamics to geodynamic and geological
problems; (5) To critically assess and discuss the relevant scientific
including geodynamic modelling results, presented in such papers.
Course ContentThis course will provide you with an overview of the geodynamics and
tectonics of subduction zones, which are located at convergent plate
boundaries on Earth, and more generally of plate tectonic processes and
mantle flow. Key aspects of subduction zones are discussed from a
geological, kinematic, geometric and geodynamic viewpoint, as well as in
the context of the global set of active subduction zones on Earth and
case studies of natural examples.
Specific topics of the course are:
1. Subduction zone geology
2. Subduction zone kinematics, plate kinematics
3. Subduction zone geometry
4. Subduction zone dynamics
5. Overriding plate deformation during subduction
6. Geodynamic modelling (analogue, numerical)
7. Geodynamic modelling (Stokes flow)
8. Geodynamic modelling (scaling, boundary conditions)
9. Subduction zone initiation
10. Subduction zone termination (collision, obduction, slab detachment)
11. Unusual subduction (ridge/plateau subduction, flat slab subduction,
Teaching MethodsLectures (11 x 2 hours) and practicals (11 x 2 hours), one day of oral
presentations (8 hours).
Method of AssessmentPractical exercises (63%), written paper review (12%), oral presentation
Entry RequirementsBSc Geology
LiteratureThe course is mostly based on published scientific literature in the
fields of Geodynamics, Tectonics, Geophysics and Geology.
Target Audience1st year MSc students in Solid Earth Sciences.
Recommended background knowledgeGeodynamics, Tectonics, Structural Geology and Geophysics courses at BSc
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
|Course Coordinator||prof. dr. W.P. Schellart|
|Examiner||prof. dr. W.P. Schellart|
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Last-minute registration is available for this course.
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