Olga Narygina is a "commuter" between physics and mineralogy. In her doctoral thesis, the research for which was performed at the Bavarian Research Institute of Experimental Geochemistry and Geophysics, she demonstrated extraordinary skill in her investigation of the makeup of the Earth's core through experiments involving extreme pressure and temperatures. Among other findings, her work has contributed to the discovery that the overwhelming majority of minerals in the Earth's core remain heat- and light-transparent, despite high pressure. This means that the heat transfer of the Earth's core to the mantle could be up to 50 percent higher than had previously been assumed. These findings form an important contribution to our understanding of the formation of what are known as thermal "super plumes" in the Earth's mantle. Ms Narygina also uses synchrotron radiation to perform research into silicate perovskite, the main component of the lower mantle, in experiments replicating the pressure and temperature conditions found there.
Geophysicist Rebekka Steffen (24), University of Calgary
Rebekka Steffen's diploma thesis focused on the boundary between the Earth's mantle and its crust. It combines measurements taken on the ground in the Tian Shan region of Central Asia and the Almaty earthquake zone in Kazakstan with satellite calculations. This enabled her to model even this inaccessible region in 3-D and to make statements about the makeup of the Earth's crust. For her doctoral thesis, Steffen is researching the Hudson Bay, one of Canada's most seismically active regions. There, she is investigating the interaction between the melting glaciers and the Earth's crust. Her aim is to develop a better understanding of earthquakes. One potential use for her findings is in identifying earthquake-proof areas for the permanent storage of radioactive waste.
|Contact: Cornelia Pretzer|