Study processes below the Earth's surface
In the Master in Earth Structure and Dynamics programme, you will explore the composition, structure, and evolution of the Earth’s crust, mantle, and core. During this two-year programme, you will learn to link geological, geophysical, geochemical, and geodetic observations made at the Earth’s surface to physical processes operating within the planet.
Specialise in any aspect of Solid Earth Science
The programme combines geology, geophysics, mathematics, physics, chemistry and field studies to address how the solid Earth works. It allows you to specialise in virtually any aspect of solid Earth science, ranging from theoretical geophysics to pure geology or geochemistry. Many students choose a combined geology-geophysics focus.
Core areas of teaching and research
The main subject areas you will study consist of seismology, tectonophysics, mantle dynamics, structural geology, metamorphism, magmatic processes, sedimentary basin evolution, properties of Earth materials, including their relevance for sustainable, unconventional and conventional geo-resources. You will examine processes ranging from slow geodynamic processes - such as mantle convection, plate tectonics and mountain building - to those having an impact on human time scales. These include active crustal deformation, seismicity and volcanism, as well as subsidence, uplift and seismicity induced by hydrocarbon production, geological storage of CO2 and geothermal energy as well as applied and environmental mineral physics topics. You will work at scales ranging from satellite imagery and field observations to laboratory experiments and petrographic studies, and from global seismic tomography to electron microscopy. Observational data are linked to the Earth’s internal structure and to geodynamic processes through modelling, using the latest theoretical, physical, experimental and computational methods.
In the programme, you will address questions such as:
- How do mountain belts and sedimentary basins form?
- How can we image the internal structure of the crust and mantle?
- How does plate tectonics really work and how can we model it?
- What controls volcanic eruptions and earthquakes?
- Can CO2 be safely stored in reservoir rocks in the Earth’s crust?
- What are the key subsurface evaluation procedures for sustainable geo-resources?
You can choose one of three specialisation tracks based on your interests in the field:
- Earth Materials
Deformation and metamorphic and igneous processes operating in the crust and upper mantle
- Physics of the Deep Earth and Planets
An in-depth geophysical approach to understand the deep interior of the Earth and other planets
- Basins, Orogens, and the Crust-Lithosphere System
Understand the processes at the scale of the crust and lithosphere such as the formation and evolution of sedimentary basins or mountain chains. This is a combined track for a hybrid Geology-Geophysics (Solid Earth specialist) profile.