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Research School of Earth Sciences
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Research Activities


Research into the structure and dynamics of the Earth uses a range of modern physical and mathematical techniques grouped into four themes of Geodynamics, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Seismology and the Centre for Advanced Data Inference.

There are considerable interactions between these areas particularly through common use of computational methods. Work in Earth Physics spans observational, theoretical, computational
laboratory and data oriented studies that are all directed to understanding the structure and processes in the solid and fluid Earth and their environmental consequences.

Funding for the Terrawulf PC-cluster was secured from the ARC LIEF process at the end of 2002 and the machine was commissioned during the year, with results beginning to emerge in a number of different areas, as can be seen from the detailed reports.

An RSES strategic initiative linked to the Terrawulf was the establishment of the Centre for Advanced Data Inference in July 2003 under the joint direction of Malcolm Sambridge and Jean Braun.

The observational component of work in Earth Physics in 2003 has continued to be varied, with geodetic studies in Papua New Guinea, a broad-scale seismic experiment surrounding edge of the Precambrian shield and both geodetic and seismic deployments in Antarctica (with
some co-located sites).

Laboratory work is mostly in geophysical fluid dynamics and is frequently coupled to computational studies as in studies of the fluctuations in the thermo-haline circulation of the oceans.

Research in computational geophysics has taken many forms in 2002, with studies of the evolution of mountain belts, development of techniques for adaptive inversion of data sets and new dynamic models for the behaviour of the mantle in 3-D.

Data oriented work has seen the development of new methods for surface wave tomography with a consequent improvement of resolution of seismic structure beneath the whole Australian region with the incorporation of data from western Australia and a reanalysis of
all available surface wave paths.

Work on the development of ice-models for the last European and North American glaciations continues with incorporaion of new sea level information.

Geophysical Fluid dynamics
Seismology and Geomagnetism