group photo of CIDER 2019 summer program participants at UC Berkeley campus with Campanile in background

CIDER 2018 Summer Program

"Relating Geophysical and Geochemical Heterogeneity in the Deep Earth"
9th of July to the 3rd of August, 2018,
KITP, Santa Barbara (CA)

Agenda and Video | Summer 2018 Participants | 2018 Wiki

Summer 2018 Overview

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.

Science motivation for 2018 CIDER Summer Program

Remote sensing of the Earth’s interior using seismic waves and other geophysical observations reveals a complex, three-dimensional structure. This structure is thought to be a consequence of mantle convection, driven by slowly cooling of the planet from a hot initial state. Supporting evidence for internal complexity comes from geochemical analysis of melts that erupt on to the surface. Systematic variations in chemistry and isotopic composition are related to the physical structure, but the connection between the physical structure and the geochemical heterogeneity is a long-standing question that holds the key to unraveling the geological evolution of our planet.

The goal of linking geophysical and geochemical heterogeneity is motivated by the prospect of adding the dimension of time. Local changes in chemical composition are facilitated by melting and mixing. Fractionation of major constituents is often accompanied by changes in minor radiogenic isotopes, which accumulate distinctive decay products over time. Short-lived isotopes (such as 182Hf, 129I and 146Sm) were present at the time of the Earth’s formation and their decay products now reflect events that happen in the first few hundred million years of evolution. The fact that these isotopic fingerprints have survived to the present time means that mixing due to convection has not homogenized the planet after billions of years. Complementary insights from long-lived isotopes, like Uranium and Thorium, offer a time-integrated perspective of processes in the interior.


  • Kanani Lee (Yale University)
  • Ved Lekic (University of Maryland)
  • Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni (University College London)
  • Sujoy Mukhopadhyay (U.C. Davis)
  • Bruce Buffett (U.C. Berkeley)
  • Barbara Romanowicz (U.C. Berkeley)


Preliminary list of Lecturers:

  • Geodynamics: Magali Billen, Bruce Buffett, Rene Gassmoller, Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni, Lijun Liu, Yanick Ricard, Max Rudolph
  • Seismology: Ebru Bozdag, Sanne Cottar, Jessica Irving, Ved Lekic, Maureen Long
  • Mineral Physics : Zhicheng Jing, Kanani Lee, Lowell Miygi, Mainak Mookherjee, Chrystele Sanloup, Lars Stixrude
  • Geochemistry Esteban Gazel, Sujoy Mukhopadhyay, Rita Parai, Dominique Weis

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 (tutorial) and second (research) parts of the program.

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 1 -4) 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 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 2018 participants will be provided by NSF through the CIDER Synthesis Center grant to U.C. Berkeley (PI B. Romanowicz).


This summer program will be held at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) in Santa Barbara, CA, USA.

Applications for 2018 are now closed.