The CIDER 2018 summer program returns to the theme of the original CIDER Program on Relating Geophysical and Geochemical Heterogeneity in the Deep Earth. Significant advances and discoveries since 2004 motivate a return to this long-standing question. Improvements in the quality and quantity of observations have combined with computational advances in modeling seismic-wave propagation to turn blurry images into sharply focused snapshots of the present-day structure. Meanwhile, advances in experimental and theoretical mineral physics have brought new insights into the crystal structure and transport properties of materials at high pressure and temperature. Growing confidence in the predictions for representative minerals informs our interpretation of geophysical heterogeneity in terms of the primary variables (e.g. temperature, pressure, major-element chemistry, trace-element chemistry and volatiles). Separately, advances in geochemical analysis reveal growing evidence for short-lived isotopes in the early Earth. These new observations have transformed our understanding of the Earth’s initial condition and raised new questions about the preservation of isotopic anomalies in a dynamic planet. Even the recent advances in our understanding of the formation of the Moon bear on this topic because it has important consequences for the possible thermal and compositional states that emerge in the aftermath of a Moon-forming collision.
The goal of this Summer Program is to bring together junior and senior scientists from different disciplines to cross-educate each other and help advance our understanding of the processes that govern the long-term evolution of our planet.