Imperial College London

Saskia Goes

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Professor of Geophysics



+44 (0)20 7594 6434s.goes




4.47Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





I study the geodynamics of the Earth''s lithosphere and mantle by using a combination of numerical dynamic modeling, conversion of thermo-chemical structure into geophysical parameters such as seismic velocity and density, and mapping of surface strain rates. In our recent work we have tested various basic dynamic hypotheses (an average isochemical, fully convecting mantle, thermal whole-mantle plumes and slab-buoyancy driven subduction) against a range of observations. This allows us to quantify to which extent these commonly assumed "null-hypotheses" for the main features of the mantle actually satisfy the data. A description of the current projects my group is working on is given below.

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Selected recent publications

  • Styles, E., S. Goes, P.E. van Keken, J. Ritsema, H. Smith, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 311, 351-363 (2011), Synthetic images of dynamically predicted plumes and comparison with a global tomographic model.
  • Goes S, F.A. Capitanio, G. Morra G, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 184, 1-13 (2011), Signatures of downgoing plate-buoyancy driven subduction in Cenozoic plate motions.
  • Hieronymus CF, S. Goes S, Geophys. J. Int. 180, 999-1012, (2010) Complex cratonic seismic structure from thermal models of the lithosphere: effects of variations in deep radiogenic heating.
  • Van Wijk J, van Hunen J, Goes S, Geology 36,575-578 (2009), Small-scale convection during continental rifting: Evidence from the Rio Grande rift.
  • Goes, S., F.A. Capitanio, G. Morra, Nature 451, 981-984 (2008). Evidence of lower mantle slab penetration phases in plate motions
  • F.A. Capitanio, G. Morra, S. Goes, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 262, 284-297 (2007). Dynamic models of downgoing plate buoyancy driven subduction: subduction motions and energy dissipation
  • S. Jenny, S. Goes, D. Giardini, H-G. Kahle, Tectonophysics 415, 81-101 (2006). Seismic potential of Southern Italy
  • F. Cammarano, S. Goes, A. Deuss and D. Giardini, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 232, 227-243 (2005) Is a pyrolitic adiabatic mantle compatible with seismic data?
  • S. Goes, F.J. Simons, K. Yoshizawa, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 236, 227-237 (2005). Seismic constraints on temperature of the Australian uppermost mantle

- NERC 2009-2012 "Does downgoing plate density govern the variability in subduction behaviour around the Pacific? A 3-D dynamic modelling study"
- Swiss National Fund - 4-year Assistant Professor Fellowship 2003-2007
- Royal Society Conference grants
- ETH Zurich 2000-2004
- Munich Re 1999-2003


Jolante van Wijk, University of Houston

Arwen Deuss, Cambridge

Chris Hieronymus, Uppsala University

Fabio Capitanio, Monash University

Jeroen van Hunen, Durham

Jeroen Ritsema, Univ. Michigan Ann Arbor

Peter van Keken, University of Michigan

Suzan van der Lee, Northwestern

Gabriele Morra, Seoul National University, South Korea

Research Staff



Research Student Supervision

Cammarano,F, PhD Aug. 2004, now at UC Berkeley

Dillisse,I, MSci Utrecht 1999

Imperial,HS, MSci 2007-08

Imperial,LC, PhD 2008

Imperial,LT, MSci 2007-08

Jenny,S, PhD March 2004, now at Partner Reinsurance, Switzerland

Sargent,M, MSci ETHZ 2004

Schmid,C, MSci ETHZ 2002

Zurich,FCAETH, PhD 2007, now at Monash University Australia

imperial,ES, PhD projected 2010