Homepage of Peter van Thienen

From spring 1999 to fall 2003, I have worked on my PhD project concerning the numerical modelling of early Earth geodynamics, focussing on the effects of chemical differentiation and composite rheologies. In the course of the project, its field has been expanded to include Mars and Venus as well. The results of my efforts are listed below, and can be downloaded as PDF.

In the period of March 2004 - February 2006, I worked as a postdoc in the framework of the MAGE network at the Département de Géophysique Spatiale et Planétaire of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) on the formation of Tharsis, heat flow of thermochemical systems, and phase transition permeability.

From April 2006 to March 2008, I was back in Utrecht to work on a 3-year project involving the dynamics and viscosity structure of the mediterranean mantle.

Since April 1, 2008, I no longer work in geosciences. I am currently employed at KWR Watercycle Research Institute .


Van Thienen, P., K. Benzerara, D. Breuer, C. Gillmann, S. Labrosse, Ph. Lognonné, and T. Spohn (2007) Water, life, and planetary geodynamical evolution. Space Science Reviews special issue on the ISSI planetary habitability workshop, doi: 10.1007/s11214-007-9149-7. The definitive version is available at Springer.

Van Thienen, P. (2007) Convective vigour and heat flow in chemically differentiated systems. Geophysical Journal International, 169, 747-766, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03377.x The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com

Van Thienen, P., A. Rivoldini, T. van Hoolst and Ph. Lognonné (2006) A top-down origin for martian mantle plumes. Icarus 185, pp.197-210.

Van Thienen, P., J. van Summeren, R.D. van der Hilst, A.P. van den Berg, and N.J. Vlaar (2005) Numerical study of the origin and stability of chemically distinct reservoirs deep in Earth's mantle. in: R.D. van der Hilst, J. Bass, J. Matas, J. Trampert (eds.), "The Structure, Evolution and Composition of Earth's Mantle", AGU Geophysical Monograph, pp. 117-136.

Van Thienen, P., N.J. Vlaar and A.P. van den Berg (2005) Assessment of the cooling capacity of plate tectonics and flood volcanism in the evolution of Earth, Mars and Venus. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 150, pp. 287-315.

Van Thienen, P., N.J. Vlaar and A.P. van den Berg (2004) Plate tectonics on the terrestrial planets , Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors , 142:1-2, pp. 61-74.

Van Thienen, P., A.P. van den Berg and N.J. Vlaar (2004) Production and recycling of oceanic crust in the early Earth , Tectonophysics, 386:1-2, pp. 41-65.

Van Thienen, P., A.P. van den Berg and N.J. Vlaar (2004) On the formation of continental silicic melts in thermo-chemical mantle convection models: implications for early Earth, Tectonophysics, 394:1-2, pp. 111-124.

Van Thienen, P., A.P. van den Berg, J.H. de Smet, J. van Hunen and M.R. Drury (2003) Interaction between small-scale mantle diapirs and a continental root , Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. , 4 (2), doi:10.1029/2002GC000338. animation 1 , animation 2 .

PhD thesis
- my PhD thesis, entitled Evolving dynamical regimes during secular cooling of terrestrial planets: insights and inferences from numerical models, which I successfully defended on November 24, 2003:
* PDF of entire document (note: 38 MB!)
* Table of contents with abstracts and chapters in separate files


- work presented at conferences and symposia


- see here

Non-science stuff can be found here ...

Visit my wife Karin Visser's website here.
And of course you should also visit the Theoretical Geophysics Homepage

contact: thienen AT geo.uu.nl

last update: March 19, 2008