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From the grain to the continuum: two phase dynamics of a partially molten, polycrystalline aggregate


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11th April 2016 to 15th April 2016
Gideon Simpson
Lars Hansen

Organisers: Gideon Simpson (Drexel University) and Lars Hansen (University of Oxford)

Confirmed speakers:

  • Yann Capdeville CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) - (Université de Nantes)
  • Ulrich Faul (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Lars Hansen (University of Oxford)
  • Leila Hashim (Université d'Orléans)
  • Sash Hier-Majumder (Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • David Kohlstedt (University of Minnesota)
  • Claude le Bris (ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech) - (INRIA Paris - Rocquencourt)
  • Grigorios Pavliotis (Imperial College London)
  • Neil Ribe CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) - (Université Paris-Sud 11)
  • Harro Schmeling (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt)
  • Ralph Showalter (Oregon State University)
  • Gideon Simpson (Drexel University)
  • Yasuko Takei (University of Tokyo)
  • Andrea Tommasi CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) - (Université de Montpellier)
  • Andrew Turner (University of Oxford)
  • Wenlu Zhu (University of Maryland)

Workshop Theme

The dynamics of partially molten rocks in Earth's interior are critical to a wide range of geodynamic phenomena. The generation and extraction of melt at mid-ocean ridges, the link between subduction and arc volcanism, the rheological behavior of the deep interior, the chemical differentiation of Earth, and the ability to image these processes with geophysical observations all fundamentally rely on the grain-scale physics of partially molten systems.

Future breakthroughs on grain-scale processes in the partially molten mantle will require collaboration and innovation among theoretical, computational, and experimental subdisciplines. Physical models of melt migration, melt-rock reaction, and textural evolution must all be integrated with models of elastic, plastic, and viscous deformation in the solid state. These models need to agree with experimental observations while stimulating future experiments to test unconstrained aspects of the models. Finally, these physical models must be encapsulated so that grain-scale dynamics, at the millimeter scale and below, can be coarsened to geologically relevant scales of kilometers. This final step is particularly challenging given that (1) the grain-scale processes inherently occur in discontinuous media while the large-scale phenomena are preferably treated as continua, (2) the grain-scale processes may, themselves, depend upon sub-grain, atomistic, modeling, and (3) the material properties relevant to the upper mantle exhibit strongly non-linear behavior.

To overcome these major hurdles requires interaction and collaboration among experimentalists, computational geodynamicists, and applied mathematicians. The aim of this workshop is to bring together leading scientists from solid-earth science, materials science, and applied mathematics to discuss the current state-of-the-art and future directions in grain-scale physical models for partially molten systems, magma dynamics in the laboratory, elasticity theory and seismic wave propagation in partially molten rocks, and upscaling and homogenisation methods for applying grain-scale models to geodynamic processes.

The workshop will take place at the Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge, UK.


Deadline for applications: 4 March 2016

Apply now

Please note members of Cambridge University are welcome to turn up and sign in as a non-registered attendee on the day(s) during the workshop and attend the lecture(s). Please note that we cannot provide you with any support including name badge, meals or accommodation.

In addition to visiting the INI, there are multiple ways in which you can participate remotely.



Registration Only
  • Registration Package: £239
  • Student Registration Package: £189

The Registration Package includes admission to all seminars, lunches and refreshments on the days that lectures take place (Monday - Friday), wine reception and formal dinner, but does not include other meals or accommodation.

Formal Dinner Only
  • Formal Dinner: £50

Participants on the Registration Package, including organisers and speakers, are automatically included in this event. For all remaining participants who would like to attend, such as Visiting Fellows, programme participants or their guests, the above charge will apply.


Unfortunately we are unable to offer any accommodation and therefore ask that all successful applicants find their own. Please see the Hotels Combined website for a list of local hotels and guesthouses.



Lunch will be served at Wolfson Court in the Cafeteria from 12:30 to 13:30 on days that lectures take place.

  • Registration Package participants should present their badge as payment for their meal
  • Those issued with a blue Institute door entrance card can add money onto the card via the Porters' Lodge at Wolfson Court
  • Other participants must purchase their meal using their dining card via the Porters' Lodge (forms can be found on the registration desk or at the Porters' Lodge)

Evening Meal

Participants are free to make their own arrangements for dinner.

Formal Dinner

The Formal Dinner will take place on Thursday 14th April at Corpus Christi, Hall. Participants on the Registration Package, including organisers and speakers, are automatically included in this event.

University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons