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Russell Pysklywec (Chair)

Professor and Chair of Earth Sciences
McRae-Quantec Chair in Geosciences


University of Toronto
Department of Earth Sciences

22 Ursula Franklin Street, Toronto
Ontario, Canada M5S 3B1

Tel.:  416 978 4852
Fax.: 416 978 3938

e-mail: russ@es.utoronto.ca
Graduate Student Opportunities

Pysklywec Lab – Machine Learning


Research Interests

The focus of my research program is to study deformation of the solid Earth–in particular exploring the complex dynamical couplings between convection in the mantle, tectonics in the crust, and surface processes controlled by the atmosphere.  Broadly, the goal of the work is to determine the driving forces for lithospheric tectonics on the active surface of the Earth and other planetary bodies.

The research program is characterised by a cross-disciplinary methodology where computational models of mantle-crust-climate processes are used in conjunction with geophysical, geological, and geodetic observational constraints.

The geodynamics research relates to a variety of tectonic regimes that span Earth’s history from the Archean to present-day.  Specific areas of study include:  tectonics of Canada’s high arctic; active continental collision across South Island, New Zealand; slab retreat and overlying orogenesis of the Apennines belt in Northern Italy; lithospheric delamination beneath Eastern Anatolia; and mantle-crust interactions on Io.

Selected Recent Publications

(* indicates a student, PDF, or RA supervised by Pysklywec)

Gun*, E., R. N. Pysklywec, O. Gogus, and G. Topuz, Pre-collisional extension of microcontinental terranes by a subduction pulley, Nature Geoscience, in press, 2021.

Ghalehnovi*, S., V.E. Ardestani, and R.N. Pysklywec, Elastic Thickness Determination of the lithosphere using Gravity and Topography data. Case study: a region including Golpayegan, Arak, and the Qom Blocks, Arabian Journal of Geosciences, in press, 2021.

Santimano*, T., and R. N. Pysklywec, The influence of lithospheric mantle scars and rheology on intraplate deformation and orogenesis: Insights from tectonic analogue models, Tectonics, 39(5), 2020.

Heron, P., B. Murphy, D. Nance, R.N. Pysklywec, Pannotia’s mantle signature: the quest for supercontinent identification, Geological Society of London Special Publication: Pannotia to Pangaea: Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic orogenic cycles in the circum-Atlantic region, 503, 2020.

Shahnas*, M.H., R. N. Pysklywec, and D. A. Yuen, Toward A Unified Model for the Thermal State of the Planetary Mantle – Estimations from Mean Field Deep Learning, Earth and Space Science, May, 2020.

Memis*, C., O. H. Gogus, E. Sengul-Uluocak*, R. N. Pysklywec, M. Keskin, A. M. C. Sengor, and G. Topuz, Long wavelength progressive plateau uplift in Eastern Anatolia since 20 Ma: Implications for the role of slab peel-back and break-off, G3: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 21, 2020.

Sengul-Uluocak*, E., R. N. Pysklywec, O. H. Gogus, E. U. Ulugergerli, Multidimensional Geodynamic Modeling in the Southeast Carpathians: Upper Mantle Flow‐Induced Surface Topography Anomalies, G3: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 20, 3134-3149, 2019.

Heron, P. J., A. L. Peace, K. McCaffrey, J.K. Welford, R. Wilson, J. van Hunen, R. N. Pysklywec, Segmentation of rifts through structural inheritance: Creation of the Davis Strait, Tectonics, 38, 1-20, 2019.

Shahnas*, M.H., D. A. Yuen, and R. N. Pysklywec, Inverse Problems in Geodynamics Using Machine Learning Algorithms, Journal of Geophysical Research, 123, 1-15, 2018.

Heron, P. J., R. N. Pysklywec, R. Stephenson, and J. van Hunen, Deformation driven by deep and distant structures: Influence of a mantle lithosphere suture in the Ouachita orogeny, southeastern United States, Geology, 47(2), 147-150, 2018.

Shahnas*, M.H., R. N. Pysklywec, and D. A. Yuen, Penetrative Convection in Super-Earth planets: Consequences of MgSiO3 post-Perovskite Dissociation Transition and Implications for super-Earth GJ876d, Journal of Geophysical Research, 123, 16 pages, 2018.

Bodur*, O.F., O.H. Gogus, R. N. Pysklywec, A.I. Okay, Mantle lithosphere rheology, vertical tectonics and the exhumation of (U)HP rocks, Journal of Geophysical Research, 123, 1824-1839, 2018.

Heron*, P. J., R. N. Pysklywec, and R. Stephenson, Exploring the theory of plate tectonics: the role of mantle lithosphere structure, Geological Society Special Publication: Tectonic Evolution: 50 Years of the Wilson Cycle Concept, 470, 19 pages, 2018.

Gogus, O., R. N. Pysklywec, A.M.C. Sengor, and E. Gun*, Drip tectonics and the enigmatic uplift of the Central Anatolian Plateau, Nature Communications, 8, 1538, 1-9, 2017.

Shahnas*, M.H., R. N. Pysklywec, J.F. Justo, and D. A. Yuen, Spin transition-induced anomalies in the lower mantle: implications for mid-mantle partial layering, Geophysical Journal International, 210, 765-773, 2017.

Shahnas*, M.H., D. A. Yuen, R. N. Pysklywec, Mid-mantle heterogeneities and iron spin transition in the lower mantle: Implications for mid-mantle slab stagnation, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 458, 293-304, 2017.

Gogus, O., R. N. Pysklywec, C. Faccenna, Geodynamical models for continental delamination and ocean lithosphere peel away in an orogenic setting, Geophysical Monograph, “Active Global Seismology: Neotectonics and Earthquake Potential of the Eastern Mediterranean Region”, American Geophysical Union, 225, 121-139, 2017.

Heron*, P., R. N. Pysklywec, and R. Stephenson, Lasting mantle scars lead to perennial plate tectonics, Nature Communications, 7, June 10, 2016.

Shahnas*, M.H., R. N. Pysklywec, D. A. Yuen, Spawning superplumes from the midmantle: The impact of spin transitions in the mantle, G3: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 17, 13 pp., 2016.

Heron*, P., R. N. Pysklywec, and R. Stephenson, Identifying mantle lithosphere inheritance in controlling intraplate orogenesis, Journal of Geophysical Research, 121(9),6966–6987, 2016.

Heron*, P., and R. N. Pysklywec, Inherited structure and coupled crust‐mantle lithosphere evolution: Numerical models of Central Australia, Geophysical Research Letters, 43(10), 4962-4970, 2016.

Göğüş, O.H., R. N. Pysklywec, C. Faccenna, Postcollisional lithospheric evolution of the Southeast Carpathians: Comparison of geodynamical models and observations, Tectonics, 35, 2016.

Şengül Uluocak*, E., R. N. Pysklywec, and O. H. Göğüş, Present-day dynamic and residual topography in central Anatolia, Geophysical Journal International, 206(3), 1515-1525, 2016.

South slope of Mt. Tongariro, with Mt. Ngauruhoe in distance, 2020.