Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Interior of the Earth (GRS)
Gordon Research Seminar

The Natural History of Plate Tectonics


June 3-4, 2017


Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA


Zachary Eilon

Meeting Description

The Gordon Research Seminar on the Interior of the Earth is a unique forum for graduate students, post-docs, and other scientists with comparable levels of experience and education to present and exchange new data and cutting edge ideas.

The focus of this year's meeting is the "Natural History of Plate Tectonics". In the 50 years since the unified theory of plate tectonics was first presented, our understanding of what plates are and how they move has progressed enormously. However, the stagnant surface of other planets demonstrates that mobile plates are not to be taken for granted. This seminar will focus on outstanding questions concerning the initiation, deep driving forces, longevity, and evolution of Earth's mobile surface, integrating multidisciplinary research perspectives. We particularly solicit research on linkages between past and present tectonics and the Earth's deep interior, complementing the focus of this year's Gordon Research Conference.

Related Meeting

This GRS was held in conjunction with the "Interior of the Earth" Gordon Research Conference (GRC). Refer to the associated GRC program page for more information.


Meeting Program

2:00 pm - 5:00 pmArrival and Check-in
3:30 pm - 3:45 pmIntroductory Comments by GRC Site Staff / Welcome by the GRS Conference Chair
3:45 pm - 4:30 pmKeynote Session: The Evolution of Plate Tectonics
Discussion Leader: Juliane Dannberg (Colorado State University, USA)
3:45 pm - 4:20 pmDavid Bercovici (Yale University, USA)
"The Natural History of Plate Tectonics"
4:20 pm - 4:30 pmDiscussion
4:30 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmConnecting Plates to the Deep Interior
Discussion Leader: Susini DeSilva (University of Connecticut, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:45 pmTolulope Olugboji (University of Maryland, USA)
"Connecting Plates to the Deep Interior: Imaging and Bayesian Analysis"
7:45 pm - 7:50 pmDiscussion
7:50 pm - 8:05 pmJana Schierjott (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
"Towards Unraveling a Secret of the Lower Mantle: Detecting and Characterizing Piles Using a Grain Size-Dependent, Composite Viscosity"
8:05 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:25 pmZhou Zhang (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA)
"Fe-Ni-S Melt Is the Dominant Carbon Carrier in the Deep Upper Mantle, with Implications for Deep Diamonds"
8:25 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 8:45 pmPaula Koelemeijer (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
"Combining Seismic Tomography, Geodynamic Modelling and Mineral Physics Constraints to Study the Presence of Post-Perovskite in Earth's Lowermost Mantle"
8:45 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:05 pmShangxin Liu (Virginia Tech, USA)
"Plate Motions Predicted from Global Dynamic Models and Seismic Tomography: The Problem of North American Plate Motion"
9:05 pm - 9:10 pmDiscussion
9:10 pm - 9:25 pmSujania Talavera Soza (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
"Sensitivity to Simple 3D Attenuation Variations in the Mantle"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 11:00 amThe Cutting Edge of Plates: New Views on Plate Tectonic Initiation and the Present Day Character of Plate Boundaries
Discussion Leader: Simon Schneider (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
9:00 am - 9:15 amJuliane Dannberg (Colorado State University, USA)
"Chemical Trends in Ocean Islands Explained by Plume-Slab Interaction"
9:15 am - 9:20 amDiscussion
9:20 am - 9:35 amSean Langemeyer (University of Toronto, Canada)
"Trade-Offs Between Obtaining Plate-Like Surface Motion and Constraining Core Heat Loss in Global Mantle Convection Models"
9:35 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 9:55 amRene Gassmoeller (Colorado State University, USA)
"How Plume-Ridge Interaction Shapes the Crustal Thickness Pattern of the Reunion Hotspot Track"
9:55 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:15 amNicholas Mancinelli (Brown University, USA)
"A Global Search for the Cratonic Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary"
10:15 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:35 amRiddhi Dave (University of Houston, USA)
"Shear Wave Velocity and Radial Anisotropy Beneath the Wyoming Craton: Craton Destruction and Lithospheric Layering"
10:35 am - 10:40 amDiscussion
10:40 am - 10:55 amXi Liu (California Institute of Technology, USA)
"Understanding the Subduction Zone Topography in Free-Slip Models: The Role of Anisotropic Viscosity in the Weakzone"
10:55 am - 11:00 amDiscussion
11:00 am - 12:30 pmPoster Session

Coffee will be served in the poster area from 11:00 am - 11:30 am
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 2:30 pmMentorship Component: Articulating Science Beyond Academia
Discussion Leader: Erik Weidner (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)
1:30 pm - 2:30 pmPanel Discussion
"Science Communication"
  • Leah Burrows (Harvard University, USA)
  • Elizabeth Duffy (Federal Affairs Office, USA)
  • Lauren Lipuma (American Geophysical Union, USA)
2:30 pm - 3:00 pmEvaluation Period
Fill in GRS Evaluation Forms
3:00 pmSeminar Concludes
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