In collaboration with Australian and British research institutions, NWU published an article entitled “Assembly of the basal mantle structure beneath Africa” in Nature on March 30th of 2022, London time.The article was published by Professor Simon Edward Williams of Department of Geology, NWU, in collaboration with Dr Nicolas Flament and Dr Ömer F. Bodur from the University of Wollongong, Australia, and Dr Andrew S. Merdith from the University of Leeds, UK, with Professor Simon Edward Williams as third author.
This latest research finds that the shape and position of the LLSVP changed far beyond earlier predictions by scholars, and that these LLSVP converged over time to form super-LLSVP and subsequently cleaved, similar to the convergent cleavage of super-continents. At the same time, the study found that the LLSVP at the base of the African plate only converged 60 million years ago, nearly 10 times younger than previously postulated. The publication of this research is important for understanding the current status and evolution of the deep mantle structure, as well as the study of the nature of mantle convection.
Professor Simon Edward Williams is a member of the supercontinent discipline team at Department of Geology. He has worked on the history of plate motion, mainly through global-scale tectonic plate reconstruction models to reconstruct absolute plate motion over time, and has led several oceanic voyages as Chief Scientist, collecting and interpreting rock samples and geophysical observations from the ocean depths, combining geophysical data and geological evidence to better study the movement of continental plates during the Pangea supercontinent break-up.