Course Meeting Times

Seminars: 1 session / week, 2.5 hours / session

Course Overview

The Core Mantle Boundary (CMB) represents one of the most important physical and chemical discontinuities of the deep Earth as it separates the solid state, convective lower mantle from the liquid outer core. In this seminar course, we will examine our current understanding of the CMB region from integrated seismological, mineral physics and geodynamical perspectives. Instructors will introduce state-of-the-art methodologies that are employed to characterize the CMB region and relevant papers will be discussed in class. Topics will include CMB detection and topography, D'' anisotropy, seismic velocity anomalies (e.g., ultra-low velocity zones), temperature, chemical reactions, phase relations, and mineral fabrications at the core-mantle boundary. These results will be integrated to address the CMB's fundamental role in both mantle and core dynamics.


  • The D'' Region
  • Ultralow Velocity Zones and Partial Melting
  • Anisotropy and Mineral Texture
  • Core Rigidity Zones and Chemical Reactions/Sedimentation
  • Mantle Flow Near the CMB
  • Coupling Between the Core and the Mantle
  • CMB and the Geomagnetic Field

Term Paper

NSF-type proposal focused on outstanding CMB question, including a detailed research plan; 3-5 students per team; 15 pages maximum (including text + figures, but excluding references)