Undergraduate research in geodynamics was given a boost this past year thanks to the GLADE (Geodynamics of the Lithosphere and Deep Earth) REU program that supported undergraduate research projects in computational geodynamics. The program, organized by Dave Stegman at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, brought together members of the geodynamics community to mentor 6 undergraduates at 6 universities across the nation. The program not only accomplished an impressive amount of research over the summer, but helped undergraduates gain valuable skills, experience, and confidence to further their careers. A goal of the program is to develop and recruit a larger number of potentially highly qualified applicants to PhD programs in geodynamics across the nation. Participants were recruited from non-geosicence majors and from traditionally underrepresented groups. The 2016 participants included 6 college Juniors (Figure 2) majoring in physics and enigineering. All have subsequently or had plans to apply to graduate school
The program began with orientation week at Scripps Institution of Oceanography from June 19-24, 2016. During this orientation participants received tutorials on high performance computing, numerical modeling using ASPECT, visualization using Paraview, and mapping using GMT. They toured SDSC and saw and received accounts on SDSC’s Comet supercomputer for use on their projects. They also received an intensive GRE prep course. They then ventured off to their host institution to complete 8 weeks of research returning to their home institution in time for their next academic year. [read more]
Cross section from Joshua Straub (Harvey Mudd) and Lijun Liu (Univ. Illinois Urbana-Champagne) showing delamination underneath the Sierra Nevada using Citcom. Preliminary results from their 2-D slab-lithosphere interaction model indicate that the foundering of an earlier accreted Farallon slab causes the surface to uplift and the overriding plate to extend. The model can potentially reproduce the main tectonic characteristics of the region, offering new insights on the evolution of the lithosphere-mantle system. See T41D-2969 2006 Fall AGU.