The Earth's outermost solid layer, the crust, is the substrate for all life. In addition, it contains all fossil fuels, minerals and ores. The processes that shape the crust reflect not only its internal structure, but the interactions with the upper layers (atmosphere, biosphere) and underlying mantle.
Norway heading north. Figure: Trond H. Torsvik
The most critical aspect in the study of the crust and the mantle is plate motions.At NGU the dynamics of the crust and the mantle are studied at all scales, from as small as individual minerals to as large as the entire globe.
The most critical aspect in the study of the crust and the mantle is plate motions. Plate motions are fundamental to an integrated understanding of our dynamic planet.
Researchers at NGU aim to quantify and understand Earth's behaviour by mapping past plate motions, studying the underlying processes that cause plate motions, and investigating the consequences of plate motions through time for the evolving Earth.
Field and laboratory
NGU study the processes that govern the evolution of the Earth's crust by combining field observations and laboratory techniques. The researchers relates large-scale features to the geologic evolution of terranes in their tectonic framework and to physical processes at the scale of minerals.
Key issues related to crust and mantle processes that are currently being addressed at NGU include:
- Driving forces for plate motions and the consequent deformation of the lithosphere
- Processes in the deep mantle and their relation to plate motions
- Crustal and mantle processes that govern topography, palaeo-topography and bathymetry and the formation of sedimentary basins
- Processes that govern the formation and break-up of supercontinents; the Wilson cycle
- Dynamic models of subduction integrating expertise in mineral physics and seismology
- Evolution of the geo-dynamo, processes in the outer core, their relation to mantle processes
- Relationships between plate reconstructions, ocean circulation, and paleoclimate
- The generation and distribution of hydrocarbons, ores and other natural resources that are critical to mankind and of huge economical importance
- Earth History
- Frontier Science and Exploration
- Atlas of Circum-Arctic Geological Maps
- Re-Os isotopic tracing of hydrocarbon systems in Arctic regions
- TOTEM, Tectonically controlled topographic development of Norway
- Geochronology and paleomagnetism of large igneous provinces
- Numerical modelling of the Wilson Cycle
- Geochronology of lithospheric processes
Published: 25. January 2008