Since 2015, the Wiess School of Natural Sciences has been hosting a Scientific Image Contest to highlight the artistry that is part of the science conducted at Rice. All types of imagery are accepted, from the macro to micro world, graphical and mathematical illustrations and in the case of Alana’s prize winning image,  visually compelling data science results.

The mages and the science behind them are highlighted in the School of Natural Sciences annual magazine Enquiry.

Perspective view of the inside of a model planet looking down on a hot upwelling plume (red blob) with arrows showing flow direction (size demonstrates speed). On Earth, this is where new crust is created. Warm upper mantle (warm colored arrows) and cold crust (dark blue arrows) move away from the plume, while lower mantle (shorter arrows moving toward the plume) moves toward it and up, feeding the upwelling. This model result shows that Earth’s asthenosphere can flow due to pressure differences and can even drive movement of the Earth’s top layer, the crust we stand on. (Caption from the Wiess School of Natural Sciences and Alana Semple)

Alana Semple is a graduate student working with Dr. Adrian Lenardic on modeling the dynamics of the asthenosphere and its role in plate tectonics.  See Rice News- Flow in the asthenosphere drags tectonic plates along-  for details of her recent work.

(Photo by Jeff Fitlow)