Opendata, web and dolomites


Experiment to Unearth the Rheological Oceanic Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EURO-LAB project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EURO-LAB project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EURO-LAB" about.

date    chemical    magnetotelluric    difficulties    nature    reached    atlantic    systematically    tectonic    indirect    hazard    instruments    instrumentation    juncture    asthenosphere    efforts    imaging    questions    image    forces    estimate    pacific    plate    weakens    suggested    techniques    mt    obs    oceanic    driving    provides    critical    definition    ideal    mechanical    resolution    geophysical    effort    interdisciplinary    base    laterally    scales    ocean    sensitivities    implications    natural    dynamics    physical    launched    oceans    lithospheric    rigid    earth    tectonics    fundamental    lithosphere    observations    geochemical    effect    geological    lab    tenet    seafloor    weaker    strength    remote    evolution    boundary    climate    science    seismometers    birth    proxies    temperature    consensus    deploy    additional    plates    nearly    remoteness    composition    location    rheological    planet    transition    mantle    proved    history    melt    rocks    ridge    beneath    mitigation    like    understand   

Project "EURO-LAB" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Highfield
postcode: SO17 1BJ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙827˙855 €
 EC max contribution 1˙827˙855 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-04-01   to  2021-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON UK (SOUTHAMPTON) coordinator 1˙827˙855.00


 Project objective

Plate tectonics has been a fundamental tenet of Earth Science for nearly 50 years, but fundamental questions remain, such as where is the base of the plate and what makes a plate, “plate-like?” A better understanding of the transition from the rigid lithospheric plate to the weaker mantle beneath – the rheological lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) - has important implications for the driving forces of plate tectonics, natural hazard mitigation, mantle dynamics, the evolution of the planet, and climate change. There are many proxies used to estimate the depth and nature of the base of tectonic plates, but to date no consensus has been reached. For example, temperature is known to have a strong effect on the mechanical behaviour of rocks. However, it has also been suggested that the chemical composition of the plate provides additional strength or that melt weakens the mantle beneath the plate.

We are at a critical juncture where large-scale efforts using geophysical, geochemical, and geological techniques are being launched to better understand the definition of the tectonic plate. The simple and short history of the ocean plate makes it the ideal location to advance our understanding. However, imaging the oceanic LAB has proved challenging given the remoteness of the oceans and associated difficulties in instrumentation. Most observations come from only one ocean, the Pacific, from indirect, remote observations, at different areas and scales.

I propose a large-scale effort to systematically image an oceanic plate beneath the Atlantic from birth at ridge to 40 My old seafloor. I will deploy ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) and magnetotelluric (MT) instruments, and I will image the plate at a range of resolution scales (laterally and in depth) and sensitivities to physical and chemical properties. This large, focused, interdisciplinary effort will finally determine the processes and properties that make a plate strong and define it.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Catherine A. Rychert, Nicholas Harmon, Saikiran Tharimena
Scattered wave imaging of the oceanic plate in Cascadia
published pages: eaao1908, ISSN: 2375-2548, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao1908
Science Advances 4/2 2019-05-06
2018 Catherine A. Rychert, Nick Harmon, Saikiran Tharimena
Seismic Imaging of the Base of the Ocean Plates
published pages: 71-87, ISSN: , DOI: 10.1002/9781119249740.ch4
Lithospheric Discontinuities, AGU monograph 2019-05-06
2018 Catherine A. Rychert, Nicholas Harmon, John J. Armitage
Seismic Imaging of Thickened Lithosphere Resulting From Plume Pulsing Beneath Iceland
published pages: 1789-1799, ISSN: 1525-2027, DOI: 10.1029/2018GC007501
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 19/6 2019-05-06
2018 Catherine A. Rychert, Nick Harmon
Predictions and Observations for the Oceanic Lithosphere From S -to- P Receiver Functions and SS Precursors
published pages: 5398-5406, ISSN: 0094-8276, DOI: 10.1029/2018GL077675
Geophysical Research Letters 45/11 2019-05-06
2018 Aude Lavayssière, Catherine Rychert, Nicholas Harmon, Derek Keir, James O. S. Hammond, J.-Michael Kendall, Cécile Doubre, Sylvie Leroy
Imaging Lithospheric Discontinuities Beneath the Northern East African Rift Using S -to- P Receiver Functions
published pages: 4048-4062, ISSN: 1525-2027, DOI: 10.1029/2018GC007463
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 19/10 2019-05-06

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