Institute of Geophysics of the CAS, v. v. i.


Anisotropy and Dynamics of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere System

Anisotropy and Dynamics of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere System

held in Prague, Czech Republic on May 22-25, 2016.

Dear colleague, we would like to invite you to participate in the 5th international workshop Anisotropy and Dynamics of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere System, organized periodically by the Geophysical Institute of the Academy of Sciences since 1976.

The aim of this multidisciplinary workshop is to bring together both scientists and students working in the fields of observational and theoretical seismology, electromagnetism, geodynamics, tectonics, mineral physics, experimental petrology, modelling and geochemistry to discuss the following topics:

  • Scales of upper mantle heterogeneity and anisotropy. Regional and global studies
  • Origin and imaging of upper mantle discontinuities (MLD, LAB, etc.) • Advantages and resolutions of different inversion methods for studying the Earth structure • Mantle deformation seen by seismic anisotropy measurements
  • Models of anisotropic mantle fabrics resulting from ancient and recent processes
  • Constraints from textures in xenoliths and exposed mantle sections
  • Mechanical interactions between the lithosphere and asthenosphere
  • Relationship between surface tectonics and the underlying mantle flow
  • The role of water in the development of anisotropy • The future of geophysical imaging


Special attention will be paid to the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB), the most extensive and active plate boundary on the Earth, which remains, particularly beneath continents, relatively cryptic compared to other first-order structural subdivisions of Earth. Whereas a number of proxies for detecting the LAB exist within individual disciplines in Earth Sciences, its definition, its depth and what the LAB means from the structural, rheological and physico-chemical point of view remains highly debated and represents a first-order problem in the geosciences. In reality, we face different physical definitions of the LAB depending on the methods used to map this boundary - namely, various versions of the LAB-S (seismological) depending on the seismological technique used, the LAB-M (mechanical), the LAB-T (thermal), the LAB-C (chemical) and the LAB-E (electromagnetic) -, all called the “LAB” by colleagues from different fields in Earth Science. But the boundaries differ in depth and thickness (i.e. whether they are discrete or more like a transitional layer), and highly likely they do not “define” the same entity at all! A general understanding on “WHAT is the LAB?” is still missing. Moreover, in the past 10 years, intensive research around the location of the LAB revealed the existence of inner lithospheric boundaries, called mid-lithospheric discontinuities (MLD), which have been misinterpreted as the LAB in a number of settings, especially in cratonic provinces. It is clear therefore that we will not reach a fundamental understanding of the nature and structure of the LAB until we understand the lithosphere-asthenosphere system as a whole.

Only multi-disciplinary and/or transdisciplinary efforts, bringing together various disciplines from the Earth Sciences, can shed light on the above questions and lead to i) a better understanding of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system, ii) unravel what the LAB truly is, iii) how it evolves, iv) how it can be better imaged, and v) what role it has played and still plays in the evolution of our planet.

The workshop will be linked in spirit with four previous international meetings held in the Czech Republic in 1976 (Castle of Liblice), 1986 (Castle of Bechyne), 1996 and 2006 (Castle of Trest), co-organised with Profs. V. Červený, Charles Univ. , Prague, R.C. Liebermann, Univ. of New York, Stony Brook USA or Jeffry Park, Yale Univ., New Haven, USA under auspices of IASPEI, ILP and UNESCO. Since the first workshop, various methods, amount of digital data, computer facilities and change in considering the importance of anisotropy enabled tremendous progress of Earth structural studies. Informal discussions and exchange of ideas will be emphasised during the workshop, which will take place at the Hotel Globus, Gregorova 2115/10, 148 00 Prague 4, (, presumably for 4 days.

The conference fee of ~80 EUR for the 4 day conference will cover the conference material, dinner and coffee breaks with refreshments

Deadline for abstract submissions is April 30, 2016Accommodation at ~35EUR/night at single room can be booked at the hotel Globus  individually.

We would appreciate, if you send us an indication of your interest to participate at your earliest convenience.

Please, fill the registration form at your earliest convenience and email it to preferably before April 1, 2016.


Jarka Plomerova

Geophysical. Inst. CAS Prague, Czech Republic


Shun-Ichiro Karato

Yale University New Haven, USA


Juan Carlos Afonso

Macquarie University Sydney, Australia

Anisotropy and Dynamics of the L-A system_1st_call.pdf54.75 KB
registration_form.doc89 KB