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Olga Ortega Gelabert

How much of the Earth’s present day surface topography is of dynamic origin?

Olga is currently an ESA Living Planet Fellow at Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM, Spain).

She graduated in Physics from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB, Spain) in 2012 and completed a Master in Modelling for Science and Engineering in 2014. She also worked as a technician at the Research Group of Ionizing Radiations at UAB. In December 2020 she defended her PhD thesis in numerical methods at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC, Spain).

Her thesis, “Advanced numerical techniques for geophysical inverse problems”, combines Model Order Reduction techniques with probabilistic inverse problems to drastically reduce the high computational cost of the large number of required forward evaluations without losing accuracy in the inversion results. In particular, the methodology proposed is applied to an inversion example to infer the Earth’s lithospheric structure from dynamic topography data generated due to the sublithospheric mantle flow.

In 2021 she joined the Fusion Group at Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC, Spain) to further develop the capabilities of the neutron transport module within the multi-physics simulation code Alya.

Research objectives

  • Develop a consistent joint inversion framework for dynamic topography, satellite gravity and global waveform seismic tomography to consistently infer the upper mantle and crustal structure.
  • Implement a very fast and efficient Stokes solver to explicitly compute the dynamic topography according to the 3D distributions of densities and viscosities within the upper mantle and transition zone.
  • Modify the current WINTERC-G description of the gravity field to account for viscosity effects.

Read more on the research project sheet.


email address
Universidad Complutense de Madrid