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Elvira Mulyukova

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Geophysics, Geodynamic Modelling, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
M.S., Physics of Geological Processes, University of Oslo, Norway
B.S., Physics, University of Oslo, Norway
Curriculum Vitae

I'm Recruiting



My research is aimed at understanding the physical processes that govern evolution of terrestrial planets, ranging from the atomic scale physics of mineral grains to the planetary scale of mantle flow. Specifically, I use mathematical methods to develop physically consistent models of rock mechanics, and incorporate them into larger scale geodynamic models of mantle convection, plate tectonics, earthquake cycles, and many other geological processes that shape the history and the future of rocky planets. Up to now, our home planet Earth has been the focus of my work, since it is the most accessible in terms of observational data, as well as the most relevant for human life. However, my larger goal is to develop physical models that are not limited to Earth, but can be applied to other terrestrial planets in our Solar system and beyond.

One of my main goals is to understand the microphysics of strain localization and weakening that lead to the formation and the subsequent evolution of tectonic plate boundaries – a unique and enigmatic feature of Earth’s surface dynamics. By constantly bringing new mantle material to the surface, plate tectonics affects the chemistry of the ocean and atmosphere, and thus also the long-term climate stability and the biological evolution. Understanding plate tectonics is thus a fundamental step towards understanding the Earth system as a whole.

Selected Publications

E. Mulyukova, D. Bercovici, (accepted), The Physics And Origin Of Plate Tectonics From Grain To Global Scales, Chapter for the book Dynamics of Plate Tectonics and Mantle Convection, edited by J. C. Duarte

D. Bercovici, E. Mulyukova, J. Girard, P. Skemer, (accepted), A coupled model for phase mixing, grain damage and shear localization in the lithosphere: Comparison to lab experiments

E. Mulyukova, D. Bercovici, (2022), On the Co-Evolution of Dislocations and Grains in Deforming Rocks, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 328, 106874,

D. Bercovici, E. Mulyukova (2021), Magnetization of Sinking Porous Diapirs in Planetesimal Cores, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 313, 106678,

D. Bercovici, E. Mulyukova (2021), Evolution and Demise of Passive Margins Through Grain Mixing and Damage, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 118 (4) e2011247118,

F. Crameri, V. Magni, M. Domeier, G. E. Shephard, K. Chotalia, G. Cooper, C. Eakin, A. G. Grima, D. Gurer, Á. Király, E. Mulyukova, K. Peters, B. Robert, M. Thielmann (2020), Subduction Zone Initiation on the Recent Earth Strongly Tied to Ongoing Subduction, Nature Communications, 11, 3750

E. Mulyukova, D. Bercovici (2020), Mantle Convection in Terrestrial Planets, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Planetary Science,

D. Bercovici, E. Mulyukova (2020), Two-Phase Magnetohydrodynamics: Theory and Applications to Planetesimal Cores, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 300, 106432,

D.Bercovici, E. Mulyukova (2020), Mantle Convection, Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics, 1-21, edited by H. Gupta, Springer International Publishing,

E. Mulyukova, D. Bercovici (2019), Origin of Plate Tectonics From Grains to Global Scales: A Brief Review, Tectonics, special volume “50th Anniversary of Plate Tectonic”, 38, 4058-4076,

E. Mulyukova, D. Bercovici (2018), A Theoretical Model for the Evolution of Microstructure in Lithospheric Shear Zones, Geophysical Journal International, 216, 803-819,

E. Mulyukova, D. Bercovici (2018), Collapse of Passive Margins by Lithospheric Damage and Plunging Grain Size, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 484, 341-352,

D. Bercovici, E. Mulyukova (2018), A Continuum Theory for Phase Mixing and Grain-Damage Relevant to Tectonic Plate Boundary Evolution, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 285, 23-44,

D. Bercovici, E. Mulyukova, M. Long (2018), A Simple Toy Model for Coupled Retreat and Detachment of Subducting Slabs, Journal of Geodynamics, 129, 275-289,

A. Bellas , S. Zhong, D. Bercovici, E. Mulyukova (2018), Dynamic Weakening with Grain-Damage and Implications for Slab Detachment, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 285, 76-90,

E. Mulyukova, D. Bercovici (2017), Formation of Lithospheric Shear Zones: Effect of Temperature on Two-Phase Grain Damage, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 270, 195-212,

E. Mulyukova, B. Steinberger, M. Dabrowski, S. Sobolev (2015), Survival of LLSVPs for Billions of Years in a Vigorously Convecting Mantle: Replenishment and Destruction of Chemical Anomaly, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 120, 3824-3847,