Depths of erosion

Rock Type Models within the Crust

Rock type models within the crust

This project will develop a model of igneous and sedimentary protoliths and produce a model of heat production variation.

Geophysical data are commonly used to estimate rock compositions within the crust, which works in a general mafic versus felsic sense. 

Knowing whether rocks are igneous or sedimentary is also required to develop reliable models of crustal construction and evolution. Furthermore, trace element distributions are characteristically different for igneous and sedimentary systems.

As shown in the figure, previous geologic models characterise most of the crust below the surface as metamorphic … a basically useless designation.

Your task is threefold:

  • construct a multidimensional map of rock type, age, and maximum depth of burial;
  • develop a model for the proportion of igneous and sedimentary protoliths within the crust; and
  • use your model to produce a model of heat production variations with depth within the crust.

As part of this study, you will gain experience with GIS software and its application to large datasets (big data). You will learn basic computer coding using Matlab and statistical analysis.


  • Geophysics III and Tectonics III

Tagged in Honours projects - Geophysics, Honours Projects - Derrick Hasterok, Honours Projects - Alan Collins