Mantle Properties


Course Objective

Our main aim in this course is to make you appreciate that heat and its
transport provide a fundamental link between processes near the Earth’s
surface (subduction, orogenesis, rifting, dynamic topography), and
processes in the deeper parts of the Earth (including initial
differentiation, convection and partial melting). An additional
practical aim of this course is to start improving your communication
and writing skills.

Course Content

In this course we will (1) Provide you with an up-to-date overview of
what seismology, petrology, and mineral physics tell us about the
properties of and processes in the Earth’s interior; (2) Clarify the
links between heat, pressure, mineral properties, density variations,
and observations including the composition of the Earth’s core, seismic
structure of the mantle, dynamic topography, and melt compositions, in
part by having you perform a series of hands-on exercises. (3) Improve
your presentation skills by having you prepare a presentation and attend
a dedicated feedback session.

Teaching Methods

The course consists of eight half-day lectures that may include
exercises, one separate exercise session, one seminar session, and one
feedback session

Method of Assessment

The final mark you are given for this course consists of the following
components: (1) Presentation (20%); 1-page abstract (10%); Assignments
(20%); Written exam (50%)

Entry Requirements

Students should have a basic understanding of global geophysics,
mineralogy and petrology, as presented for example in the textbook of
Klein and Philpotts (Earth Materials)


Literature references that are required background reading will be
provided on Canvas at the start of the course.

Target Audience

Geology and Geochemistry specialization Year 1 students

General Information

Course Code AM_1211
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. W. van Westrenen
Examiner prof. dr. W. van Westrenen
Teaching Staff prof. dr. W. van Westrenen
prof. dr. W.P. Schellart
dr. P.Z. Vroon
prof. dr. G.R. Davies

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: