Title: Seismic constraints on the evolution of Earth's interior
Speaker: Dr. Karen Lythgoe (BP Exploration Operating Co. Ltd.)
Earth's evolution is driven by cooling over time: the resulting mantle convection causes plate tectonics, while in the core, cooling solidifies the inner core and powers the geomagnetic field, vital for life as we know it on Earth. Understanding how the Earth has been evolving in this way provides key insights in to how a planet's habitability, or lack thereof, evolves. Within the core, Earth's history is written in temperature, pressure, minerals and textures - elucidating this history requires seismic imaging to directly probe its structure and validate geodynamic models. However lack of seismic data and poor sampling leaves the structure of the core poorly constrained. In this talk I will discuss outstanding questions about the structure and evolution of Earth's core and propose how modern seismic imaging can address these.