Geodynamics
Geodesy  

Fundamentals  
Geodesy · Geodynamics Geomatics · Cartography  
Concepts  
Datum · Distance · Geoid Figure of the Earth Geodetic system Geog. coord. system Hor. pos. representation Map projection Reference ellipsoid Satellite geodesy Spatial reference system  
Technologies  
GNSS · GPS · GLONASS  
Standards  
ED50 · ETRS89 · GRS 80 NAD83 · NAVD88 · SAD69 SRID · UTM · WGS84  
History  
History of geodesy NAVD29  
Geodynamics is a subfield of geophysics dealing with dynamics of the Earth. It applies physics, chemistry and mathematics to the understanding of how mantle convection leads to plate tectonics and geologic phenomena such as seafloor spreading, mountain building, volcanoes, earthquakes, faulting and so on. It also attempts to probe the internal activity by measuring magnetic fields, gravity, and seismic waves, as well as the mineralogy of rocks and their isotopic composition. Methods of geodynamics are also applied to exploration of other planets.^{[1]}
Contents
Overview
Experts in geodynamics commonly use data from geodetic GPS, InSAR, and seismology, along with numerical models, to study the evolution of the Earth's lithosphere, mantle and core.
Work performed by geodynamicists may include:
 Modeling brittle and ductile deformation of geologic materials
 Predicting patterns of continental accretion and breakup of continents and supercontinents
 Observing surface deformation and relaxation due to ice sheets and postglacial rebound, and making related conjectures about the viscosity of the mantle
 Finding and understanding the driving mechanisms behind plate tectonics.
Physical concepts
Elasticity
A lot of geodynamics deals with the deformation of rocks in response to stresses. Stress is defined as the average force per unit area exerted on each part of the rock. The deformation can be measured as strain, a change in length normalized by the total length of the body. If the deformation is elastic, the rock can spring back to its original shape after the stress is released. In elastic solids, the strain is proportional to the stress.
Pressure is the part of stress that changes the volume of a solid; shear stress changes the shape. If there is no shear, the fluid is in hydrostatic equilibrium. Since, over long periods, rocks readily deform under pressure, the Earth is in hydrostatic equilibrium to a good approximation. The pressure on rock depends only on the weight of the rock above, and this depends on gravity and the density of the rock. In a body like the Moon, the density is almost constant, so a pressure profile is readily calculated. In the Earth, the compression of rocks with depth is significant, and an equation of state is needed to calculate changes in density of rock even when it is of uniform composition.^{[2]} Since it is not of uniform composition, information from seismology is also needed to determine the elastic properties of deep rock (see also Adams–Williamson equation).
As long as the deformation is small, the equations of elasticity can be used to describe how a solid deforms under stress. Equations for bending are used to calculate the effect on the lithosphere of adding or removing loads. Examples include bending of the lithosphere under volcanic islands or sedimentary basins, and bending at oceanic trenches.^{[2]}
Notes
 ↑ IsmailZadeh & Tackley 2010
 ↑ ^{2.0} ^{2.1} Turcotte & Schubert 2002
See also
Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics
References
 Script error
 Script error
 Script error
External links
 Geological Survey of Canada  Geodynamics Program
 Geodynamics Homepage  JPL/NASA
 NASA Planetary geodynamics
 Los Alamos National Laboratory–Geodynamics & National Security

cs:Geodynamika de:Geodynamik el:Γεωδυναμική es:Geodinámica fr:Géodynamique it:Geodinamica ka:გეოდინამიკა kk:Геодинамика mk:Геодинамика nl:Geodynamica nn:Geodynamikk ru:Геодинамика scn:Giodinàmica uk:Геодинаміка vi:Địa động lực học