DMG PhD short course „Mineralogy, Mineral Physics and Seismology of Earth’s Mantle“

Bayerisches Geoinstitut, University Bayreuth, 18 – 22 September, 2017 (in collaboration with the Universities of Münster and Utrecht, Seismology groups)

Application form can be downloaded here (application deadline is August, 18th 2017).


The goal of the PhD workshop is to bring together students from (experimental) mineralogy/mineral physics and seismology to define a common “language”, foster scientific dialogue and ultimately provide the basis for future collaborations. Students from seismology/geophysics will be introduced to the field of high-pressure/high-temperature experiments and the measurement of physical properties that are of relevance to the interpretation of seismic observables, such as:

  • Geochemical and petrological basics
  • Structure (and nomenclature) of mantle minerals
  • Thermodynamic basics, stable/metastable phases, phase transitions
  • Crystal symmetry and elasticity, anisotropic crystal properties
  • Experimental techniques, experimental uncertainties

Students from the field of mineralogy will learn how to treat seismic data and construct seismic models. Topics will include:

  • Seismological structure of Earth’s mantle, one-dimensional seismic profiles
  • Wave paths, seismic phases, seismic anisotropy
  • Seismic discontinuities, polarities, seismic reflectors
  • Fresnel zone, resolution limits, model uncertainties

In the course, we will also discuss how to construct seismic models from available mineral physics data, emphasising on current limitations and future perspectives. All lectures and practicals will be designed towards the goal of enabling future interactions among scientists from the two disciplines. All participating students will briefly present their own work in order to find possibilities for interdisciplinary collaborations. The course will be held at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut, University of Bayreuth and is financially supported by the German Mineralogical Society DMG.


The short course was held for the first time in Summer 2016 (see photos below) at the University of Münster. The program from the 2016 short course can be found here. Lectures and Practicals were given by Prof. Christine Thomas (Münster), Dr. Hauke Marquardt (Bayreuth) and Dr. Laura Cobden (Utrecht). The participant’s positive feedback motivated us the offer the course again in 2017 for a larger community as a full 5-day course.

Some feedback of PhD students participating in the 2016 short course:

„I came with no expectations to the workshop and I learned a lot about seismic data and how we should handle the results and the interpretation.”

“It was useful to see how “the others” work and what is behind the results of a paper.”

“The practicals were very helpful to understand how seismologists deal with their data”

“To me the level of the lectures in mineral physics was very good because gave me the opportunity to better understand and also extend my background in mineralogy, crystallography and mineral physics.”

“I think I will collaborate with mineral physics people are working on ppv and fpc.”

“Put together people with different background but working on the same ‚depth‘ of topic was a good idea and I would keep that for the next year.”



Participants of the 2016 short course on „Mineral Physics and Seismology“ of Earth’s Mantle“ held at the University of Münster


Computer practical organized by Dr. Laura Cobden (Utrecht) introducing a program to model seismic profiles based on mineral physics data sets.


Presentations of the PhD work of the participants in order to foster interdisciplinary dialogue