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2009-11-20 – SEMINAR by Dr. Volker Klemann: Kinematics of the viscoelastic Earth due to glacial loading

20 November, 2009 (14:00 GMT), 5 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Speaker: Dr. Volker Klemann, GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Germany.
Title: Kinematics of the viscoelastic Earth due to glacial loading.


When considering glacial loading of the Earth taking place on time scales larger than 10,000 yr, the isostatic adjustment of the solid earth results from the flexure of an elastic lithosphere overlying a viscous Earth mantle. For a consistent mathematical formulation of the dynamic process, the constitutive equation of viscoelastic material is applied to a continuum mechanical discription of the problem, where the Earth’s interior is considered as a spherically stratified continuum. Considering also the gravitational forces due to the deformation of the earth, the momentum equation of a selfgravitating spherical earth is formulated in the Lagrangian domain. The problem is solved by spectral finite elements allowing generalizations with respect to geometry and material law. These will be addressed during the talk, focussing on different features of the so called glacial isostatic adjustment.