Geophysics & Geodynamics
The geophysics program at the University of Illinois includes mineral physics, seismology, geodynamics, and fluid dynamics. Prof. Jay Bass uses a variety of sophisticated techniques (including diamond anvils, Brillouin Spectroscopy, and the Advanced Photon Source) to characterize mineral phases that exist in the mantle, and to interpret the mantle‘s mineralogical and chemical composition. Prof. Xiaodong Song studies the structure and dynamics of the planet‘s interior by studying travel times of seismic waves. Song and his co-workers have monitored the motion of the Earth‘s inner core, resulting in publications that have demonstrated that the Earth‘s inner core rotates faster than its mantle. Prof. Lijun Liu works on modeling subduction and mantle convection. He is also interested in the driving forces for continents' vertical motions. Prof. Trish Gregg studies the dynamics of volcanoes, using numerical models to gain insight into the processes related to eruptions. Prof. Jonathan Tomkin models glacial erosion and tectonic uplift in active orogens.