CIDER Summer 2016 group photo

CIDER 2015 Summer Program

"Solid Earth Dynamics and Climate --- Mantle Interactions with the Hydrosphere & Carbosphere"

June 28 to July 31, 2015,
U.C. Berkeley, Berkeley (CA), USA

Summer 2015 Overview (Registration closed February 1, 2015.)

Interactions between the mantle and the major surface reservoirs of water and carbon influence sea level, icesheet dynamics, the volume of the ocean, magma production, the volcanic flux of CO2 to the atmosphere, and the loss of carbon via subduction into the mantle. The carbon content and distribution on Earth are important controls on climate, which in turn controls the balance of water and loading processes at Earth’s surface. These loads deform the Earth, sometimes throughout the thickness of the mantle. Mantle-climate interactions over Earth history have led to a planetary surface with a unique H/C ratio, and one that has evolved through time. CIDER 2015 will involve cross-disciplinary discussions among geophysicists, geochemists, geodynamicists and paleoclimate scientists.

Science motivation for 2015 CIDER Summer Program

The earth's climate system interacts with its interior in many ways, some of which are just being discovered and quantified. The role of silicate minerals on weathering reactions that drawdown atmospheric CO2 is one such interaction, and it has long been proposed as a modulator of the climate system. Feedbacks in this interaction that involve the balance between tectonics and erosion, and the effects on topography and atmospheric circulation, have been rich topics of inquiry over the last decades. Recent research highlights the importance of coupling of the hydrosphere and mantle flow through mass loading, and the importance of carbon cycling through subduction zones. The purpose of CIDER 2015 is to bring together geophysicists, geochemists, geodynamicists and paleoclimate scientists to explore emerging dynamic interactions between the solid earth and climate systems.

Coupling of the hydrosphere and mantle flow through mass loads
Glacier and ice sheet dynamics and the shape of the ocean basins control surface loading, leading to uplift or subsidence of the land surface and sea level changes over timescales that vary from years to 1000's of years. Longer-term changes in the shape of the ocean basins extend the range of timescales to 1000's of millions of years. Such loads may further drive or suppress mantle melting and volcanism, which may affect the flux of mantle CO2 to the atmosphere in a climate-mantle feedback. Proper understanding of the Earth's response to these changing loads is also critical for proper interpretation of paleoclimate proxies.

Cycling of carbon through subduction zones
The mass flux of C subducted today is driven in part by the Mesozoic climate-ocean system and its control on the burial and preservation of carbonate and organic carbon on the seafloor, now being subducted largely in the Pacific. Some of this subducted carbon returns to the earth's surface via arc volcanism, which is controlled by the efficiency of decarbonation and melting reactions in the solid earth. Are there feedbacks in this system that have affected the surface and mantle reservoirs of carbon over earth history?

Fundamental to the solid Earth-climate system are the dynamic interactions between the hydrosphere and carbosphere. How has CO2 in the atmosphere and ocean affected the balance of ice and water on the earth's surface? How does H2O mediate weathering reactions that consume CO2 and metamorphic reactions that release CO2? How do water-rich vs. carbon-rich materials affect tectonically-driven slip and deformation?

Understanding these dynamic interactions requires multi-disciplinary approaches that involve geophysical and geochemical observations; geodynamic and thermodynamic models; active monitoring of volcanic gases, river chemistry, sea level and surface deformation rates; and the study of ancient rocks, sediments and fossils.

Key questions that will be addressed during the CIDER 2015 Program:

  • What is sea level and how does it vary in space and time?
  • What controls the rate of movement of water from ice to the ocean, the flow of mantle in response, and the changes in dynamic topography and volcanism?
  • How has the volume of the ocean changed through time due to the climate vs. the subduction system?
  • Is the earth's interior a source or sink of carbon to earth's surface? What have been the changes through time in different carbon reservoirs (e.g., biosphere, sedimentary carbonate, buried organic matter, oceanic C speciation, volcanic CO2 fluxes, diamonds, carbonatite melts, etc.)

    Potential topics of discussion for the CIDER 2015 Program:

    Mantle Interactions with the Hydrosphere/Cryosphere

  • climate and sea level: variations in sea level over space and time inference of paleoconditions prediction of sea-level response to climate variations
  • measuring solid Earth deformation in response to loads across varying timescales long-term changes in relative sea level uplift and subsidence of the land surface changes in gravity field and earth rotation
  • elastic and viscous strength of crust and mantle loading and earthquakes perturb the same Earth; are rheological models consistent? what is the sensitivity of surface deformation to Earth structure and load position?
  • mantle flow is there such a thing as dynamic topography?
  • loading history (ice history, water redistribution, tectonics) ice history reconstruction coupling between mass distribution in ice, ocean, mantle how much does tectonics matter? spreading rates, continental configuration.
  • amount of water in the ocean what controls how much / how fast water moves ice -> ocean? climate forcing of temperature: Milankovitch, CO2 amplification ice dynamics (incl. geothermal heat flux) is the ocean disappearing into subduction zones? what are constraints on ocean volume from paleo data? What are constraints on (changes in) ocean volume from modern observations?

    Mantle Interactions with the Carbosphere (Continents, Ocean, Atmosphere)

  • flux of carbon from the atmosphere/continents to the ocean thru time weathering flux, river flux, alkalinity, flux from atmosphere biogenic preservation, inorganic and organic, on the seafloor; variation in CCD deep biosphere in the oceanic lithosphere alteration of the oceanic crust carbonate and organic carbon balance of the oceanic crust, and in different ocean basins
  • flux of carbon to the mantle at subduction zones over earth history subducted flux of carbon (organic and inorganic) at different margins how does carbon leave the subducting plate? decarbonation, dehydration, melting what is the fate of surface carbon in the mantle? diamonds, deep carbon
  • carbon rising from the mantle to the surface mantle melting with carbon, carbonated silicate melts in the upper mantle, redox fronts flux of CO2 from volcanoes, including diffuse flux magmatic CO2 degassed in the lower crust, stored, released tectonic flux of CO2 have MOR spreading rates varied? how has this affected CO2 fluxes? LIPS and other major events in earth history that may affect carbon interactions of magmas and C stored on the seafloor as methane hydrates rate of serpentinization of the oceanic lithosphere and associated C fluxes
  • -How does atmospheric CO2 vary over time? paleo records of carbon - ice cores, ocean seds, terrestrial stores, isotopic records tectonic drivers of atm and ocean circulation - orogenesis, continent configuration how were the early Earth carbon reservoirs different? why does the Earth's exosphere have a unique H/C ratio?



    • Meredith Nettles (LDEO, Columbia Univ.)
    • Terry Plank (LDEO, Columbia Univ.)
    • Louis Derry (Cornell Univ.)
    • Jeff Freymueller (Univ. of Alaska)
    • Laurent Montesi (Univ. for Maryland)
    • Barbara Romanowicz (Univ. of California, Berkeley and Institut de Physique du Globe, Paris), Ex-officio


    As in previous CIDER summer programs, the program will be structured as follows:

    Week 1 (June 28 to July 4th): Informal, unstructured program for participants at the assistant professor level or higher -

    During this time period an international Deep Carbon Observatory Thematic Institute on "Carbon, from the Mantle to the Surface" will occur (July 1-3rd). For more information, and to apply ***before the February 28, 2015 deadline***, please go the DCO meeting site: DCO meeting site

    Weeks 2-5 (July 5th- July 31st): Lectures, tutorials and workshop open to advaned graduate students and post-docs, as well as senior participants.
    View the preliminary lecture schedule

    A "kick-off" workshop was held at Berkeley on Sunday December 14,2014 . The program of that workshop is available on the workshop website



    Senior participants:

    • Geodynamics: David Bercovici (Yale U.), Helge Gonnerman (U. of Hawaii), Robert Moucha (Syracuse U.), Wouter Van der Wal (Tech. U. Delft)
    • Geochemistry: Tobias Fischer (Univ. of New Mexico), Erik Hauri (Carnegie Inst. Washington), Marc Hirschmann (U. of Minnesotta), Charlie Langmuir (Harvard U.), Craig Manning (UCLA), Damon Teagle (Southampton U., UK), Paul Wallace (U. of Oregon)
    • Paleoclimate: Page Chamberlain (Stanford U.), Yves Godderis (Toulouse, France), Peter Huybers (Harvard U.), Rachel James (Southampton, UK), Mark Pagani (Yale U.), Maureen Raymo (LDEO), David Rowley (U. Chicago).
    • Geodesy: James Davis (LDEO), Fred Pollitz (USGS).
    • Seismology: Doug Wiens (Washington Univ., St Louis).
    • Rheology: Christine McCarthy (LDEO), Uli Faul (MIT)
    • Geology: Eric Kirby (Oregon State), Jeanne Sauber (NASA), Alberto Malinverno (LDEO).

    View full list of participants.

    Researchers at the assistant professor level and higher are welcome to sign up for any part of the program, and we encourage overlap between the first and second part of the program.

    The unstructured part of the program is meant to facilitate interaction between members of the community that have burgeoning plans to develop collaborative projects. Come to CIDER to plan your CSEDI proposals!! You will have office space, access to a desktop computer and printers, a quiet environment away from your home institution, and the possibility to interact with colleagues from various disciplines in an informal way.

    Graduate students and post-docs : The lecture/tutorial program is meant for graduate students that have completed their qualifying examination, as well as post-docs. Some exceptions may be granted if well justified. The lecture program is designed to bring everyone to a fundamental understanding of progress and challenging in disciplines other than their own.

    Graduate students and post-docs signing up for the tutorial part (weeks 2 -5) are required to stay at least for the 4 weeks of the tutorial program. Exceptions may be considered but priority will be given to those that commit to stay for 4 weeks. During the 2nd week of lectures (week 3 of the summer program), research questions that require a multi-disciplinary approach will be formulated, and the participants will be divided up into several groups (typically 3-5), composed of a mix of junior and senior participants, and a balance of disciplines. During the following two weeks these research groups will work on defining and addressing a well focused research project. Our experience is that one week of "workshop" is not enough to get anything done, so staying for the 4th week, i.e. 2nd week of workshop, is essential. Each group will present their work/findings on the last day of the program (see presentations from previous CIDER programs). Participants will also have free time to catch up with their regular research and other duties.

    Participants may bring spouses and we will do our best to accommodate families, and in particular give references for childcare. There are many programs for children on and off campus.


    Travel and on-site expenses will be provided to those senior participants that stay for two weeks or longer. We cannot provide support for travel from outside of the US. However, on-site support for foreign participants (senior or junior) will be provided.

    The number of participants is limited, so early applications are encouraged!

    Support for CIDER 2015 participants will be provided by the NSF/FESD program through the CIDER Synthesis Center grant to U.C. Berkeley (PI B. Romanowicz).


    This summer program will be held at the University of California, Berkeley, USA.



    Application deadline was February 1, 2015