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Shun-Ichiro Karato

Shun-Ichiro Karato
Shun-Ichiro Karato

The 2014 Augustus Love Medal is awarded to Shun-Ichiro Karato for outstanding wide-ranging contributions to geodynamics, epitomised by novel syntheses of theory with laboratory, geophysical and field data, and noted especially for pioneering studies of the anisotropy of Earth materials.

Shun-Ichiro Karato has made seminal contributions to geodynamics by providing profound understanding of the complex rheological behaviour and physical properties of deep Earth materials and insight on how these relate to an understanding of observations on Earth. Karato’s broad range of research topics includes the measurement of mineral properties in the laboratory and ingenious developments of new apparatus to identify key properties of minerals critical to understanding dynamic processes.

His numerous fundamental contributions to first-order problems in mantle and core dynamics, as well as experimental mineral physics include: the influence of grain size and partial melting on rheology, the implications of phase transformations in olivine and silicate perovskites for the rheology of slabs, and the uppermost lower mantle and the transition-zone water filter model which may explain the seismic low-velocity zone atop the 410 km discontinuity. The recently published synthesis Deformation of Earth Materials demonstrates the breadth of Karato’s contributions to our understanding of the mechanical behaviour of geological materials and the implications for geodynamics.

Karato is a giant in the field of mantle dynamics and structure including particularly the measurement of mineral properties in the laboratory. His numerous fundamental contributions to first-order problems make him a richly deserving recipient of the Augustus Love Medal.