The study of the structure and dynamics of Earth's deep interior represents one of the most active frontiers of Earth sciences. This book provides a definitive summary of current research in this field, which is revealing many surprises. In a thorough, immensely informed, yet easy-to-understand presentation, Shun-ichiro Karato deftly integrates the atomic-level description of Earth materials that mineral physics addresses with global-scale modeling and observations on mantle and core dynamics that are the purview of seismology and geodynamics. He depicts an Earth whose interior is as active as its surface, and whose processes in the deep interior often control surface dynamics.
The richly varied dynamic processes in Earth's deep interior can be understood only through a better understanding of the properties of materials under the conditions prevalent there, Karato emphasizes. Materials properties change dramatically in the deep interior, and this has decisive consequences on mantle convection, which is the engine of plate tectonics. The importance of the hydrogen in water in determining the structure of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary is discussed, as is the role of phase transformation in controlling the density and plastic flow properties of Earth's materials. Models for enigmatic observations such as deep earthquakes and the anisotropic structures at the center of the Earth are covered in detail. The Dynamic Structure of the Deep Earth is an indispensable text for advanced-level undergraduate students and graduate students of Earth sciences, materials sciences, and physics.
"The book will be of value to practitioners of the deep-Earth sciences. Particularly useful are its handy tutorial derivations of a broad range of simple mathematical concepts, and its reviews of some provocative current topics. I would recommend the book to advanced undergraduates, new graduate students or deep-Earth neophytes."--Quentin Williams, Nature
"Karato's book succeeds better than any other I have read in telling a story about what makes the deep Earth so interesting and so challenging a study. . . . The Dynamic Structure of the Deep Earth is also excellent supplemental reading for any student or researcher in the field."--David J. Stevenson, Science
"The book is well written, addresses new theories and concepts while paying due attention to classical work, and probably sets the standard from which future books on the subject will be measured."--Choice
"Karato has organized a great deal of new and important research in this area into a relatively small survey. The text is written in a popular science style with a minimum of mathematics. . . . A major strength of this book is that it presents a very broad overview of current research in solid-earth properties studies and their application to geodynamics in one easily readable volume. . . . I highly recommend this study for anyone who wants an up-to-date summary of recent advances in the complex study of the deep Earth's interior."--Patrick Taylor, The Leading Edge
"A veritable 'page turner' . . . I found myself having to read it all, every page. . . . . This book should . . . be a first port of call for anybody wanting more than just an introduction to the Earth's deep interior; Karato conveys his enthusiasm and evident understanding through every page."--Lidunka Vocadlo, Geological Magazine