Research topics

From Earth's inner core to the other planets in our solar system, here is an overview of science being conducted in Dr Irving's research group. 

Dr Irving's research interests are in seismological studies of the deep Earth, with a focus on developing a better understanding of the structure and evolution of the core and mantle. The core was differentiated from the silicate mantle early in Earth's history and is the source of both Earth's magnetic field, and some of the heat required to drive mantle convection.  The inner core has been growing for hundreds of millions of years at the center of the planet.  By studying its seismic properties, the core can provide information about the conditions at the center of the Earth presently and through Earth's history. The mantle has evolved over time; heat transferred from the core through the mantle provides some of the driving force for plate tectonics.

Dr Irving uses body wave observations and normal mode oscillations to study the properties of the Earth's core.  By combining these two techniques, she seeks to better understand both the large and small scale structures in the inner core. Dr Irving's group use a range of seismic techniques to probe different structures hidden deep in the Earth.

Beyond the interior of our own planet, Dr Irving is interested in how normal mode and body wave data could, in the future, be used to understand the interior of other planets and moons in our solar system.