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Mantle Convection for Geologists

By: Geoffrey F Davies(Author)

232 pages, 101 b/w illustrations, 5 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Feb 2011 | #187740 | ISBN-13: 9780521198004
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £31.99 $42/€36 approx

About this book

Mantle convection is the fundamental agent driving many of the geological features observed at the Earth's surface, including plate tectonics and plume volcanism. Yet many Earth scientists have an incomplete understanding of the process. Mantle Convection for Geologists describes the physics and fluid dynamics of mantle convection, explaining what it is, how it works, and how to quantify it in simple terms. It assumes no specialist background: mechanisms are explained simply and the required basic physics is fully reviewed and explained with minimal mathematics. The distinctive forms that convection takes in the Earth's mantle are described within the context of tectonic plates and mantle plumes, and implications are explored for geochemistry and tectonic evolution. Common misconceptions and controversies are addressed – providing a straightforward but rigorous explanation of this key process for students and researchers across a variety of geoscience disciplines.


1. Introduction
2. Context
3. Why moving plates?
4. Solid, yielding mantle
5. Convection
6. The plate mode of convection
7. The plume mode of convection
8. Perspective
9. Evolution and tectonics
10. Mantle chemical evolution
11. Assimilating mantle convection into geology

Appendix A. Exponential growth and decay
Appendix B. Thermal evolution details
Appendix C. Chemical evolution details


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Dr Geoffrey Davies is a Senior Fellow in the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University. He is an internationally honoured geophysicist who has been at the forefront of mantle convection studies for over three decades. He is also the author of the successful graduate textbook Dynamic Earth: Plates, Plumes and Mantle Convection (Cambridge University Press, 1999), and over 100 scientific papers. He has been at the forefront of attempts to reconcile mantle geochemistry with mantle dynamics, and in exploring the implications for the thermal and tectonic evolution of the Earth. Dr Davies was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 1990, and awarded the inaugural Augustus Love medal in geodynamics in 2005 by the European Geosciences Union.

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