The 2014 Division Outstanding Young Scientist Award is awarded to Rhodri Davies for fundamental contributions to the field of mantle dynamics.
Rhodri Davies has provided vital contributions to the field of mantle dynamics. He has significantly advanced the understanding of geodymanics by testing leading hypotheses for fundamental mantle processes. He has done this through a combination of improving geodynamics tools and developing exacting tests using detailed observations. Davies brought together a focussed team of workers to investigate whether or not the large low shear wave velocity provinces at the base of the mantle are chemical piles. His work was rigorous in looking at virtually all the arguments that discussed the compositional nature of these seismic features: high seismic velocity gradients, the shape of anomalies, and the ratio and anti-correlation between the P- and S-wave velocities. He has also made significant contributions to mantle science through estimating the Earth’s global surface heat flow, and showing that modelled mantle plumes can capture many of the properties of hot-spots once the vigour is Earth-like. His pioneering multi-resolution adaptation of the mantle’s convection code enabled these Earth-like vigour simulations to be resolved with limited computing resources. The quality of his science is reflected not just in his significant publications and citations but also in his securing major funds in very competitive applications, his invited presentations, extensive collaborators, and his successful teaching and supervision of more junior scientists.