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Russell Pysklywec (Chair)

Professor and Chair of Earth Sciences
McRae-Quantec Chair in Geosciences


University of Toronto
Department of Earth Sciences

22 Ursula Franklin Street, Toronto
Ontario, Canada M5S 3B1

Tel.:  416 978 4852
Fax.: 416 978 3938

e-mail: russ@es.utoronto.ca
Graduate Student Opportunities

Pysklywec Lab – Machine Learning


Research Interests

The focus of my research program is to study deformation of the solid Earth–in particular exploring the complex dynamical couplings between convection in the mantle, tectonics in the crust, and surface processes controlled by the atmosphere.  Broadly, the goal of the work is to determine the driving forces for lithospheric tectonics on the active surface of the Earth and other planetary bodies.

The research program is characterised by a cross-disciplinary methodology where computational models of mantle-crust-climate processes are used in conjunction with geophysical, geological, and geodetic observational constraints.

The geodynamics research relates to a variety of tectonic regimes that span Earth’s history from the Archean to present-day.  Specific areas of study include:  tectonics of Canada’s high arctic; active continental collision across South Island, New Zealand; slab retreat and overlying orogenesis of the Apennines belt in Northern Italy; lithospheric delamination beneath Eastern Anatolia; and mantle-crust interactions on Io.

Selected Publications

(* indicates a student, PDF, or RA supervised by Pysklywec)

Sengul-Uluocak*, E., R. N. Pysklywec, O. H. Gogus, E. U. Ulugergerli, Multidimensional Geodynamic Modeling in the Southeast Carpathians: Upper Mantle Flow‐Induced Surface Topography Anomalies, G3: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 20, 3134-3149, 2019.

Heron, P. J., A. L. Peace, K. McCaffrey, J.K. Welford, R. Wilson, J. van Hunen, R. N. Pysklywec, Segmentation of rifts through structural inheritance: Creation of the Davis Strait, Tectonics, 38, 1-20, 2019.

Shahnas*, M.H., D. A. Yuen, and R. N. Pysklywec, Inverse Problems in Geodynamics Using Machine Learning Algorithms, Journal of Geophysical Research, 123, 1-15, 2018.

Heron, P. J., R. N. Pysklywec, R. Stephenson, and J. van Hunen, Deformation driven by deep and distant structures: Influence of a mantle lithosphere suture in the Ouachita orogeny, southeastern United States, Geology, 47(2), 147-150, 2018.

Shahnas*, M.H., R. N. Pysklywec, and D. A. Yuen, Penetrative Convection in Super-Earth planets: Consequences of MgSiO3 post-Perovskite Dissociation Transition and Implications for super-Earth GJ876d, Journal of Geophysical Research, 123, 16 pages, 2018.

Bodur*, O.F., O.H. Gogus, R. N. Pysklywec, A.I. Okay, Mantle lithosphere rheology, vertical tectonics and the exhumation of (U)HP rocks, Journal of Geophysical Research, 123, 1824-1839, 2018.

Heron*, P. J., R. N. Pysklywec, and R. Stephenson, Exploring the theory of plate tectonics: the role of mantle lithosphere structure, Geological Society Special Publication: Tectonic Evolution: 50 Years of the Wilson Cycle Concept, 470, 19 pages, 2018.

Gogus, O., R. N. Pysklywec, A.M.C. Sengor, and E. Gun*, Drip tectonics and the enigmatic uplift of the Central Anatolian Plateau, Nature Communications, 8, 1538, 1-9, 2017.

Shahnas*, M.H., R. N. Pysklywec, J.F. Justo, and D. A. Yuen, Spin transition-induced anomalies in the lower mantle: implications for mid-mantle partial layering, Geophysical Journal International, 210, 765-773, 2017.

Shahnas*, M.H., D. A. Yuen, R. N. Pysklywec, Mid-mantle heterogeneities and iron spin transition in the lower mantle: Implications for mid-mantle slab stagnation, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 458, 293-304, 2017.

Gogus, O., R. N. Pysklywec, C. Faccenna, Geodynamical models for continental delamination and ocean lithosphere peel away in an orogenic setting, Geophysical Monograph, “Active Global Seismology: Neotectonics and Earthquake Potential of the Eastern Mediterranean Region”, American Geophysical Union, 225, 121-139, 2017.

Heron*, P., R. N. Pysklywec, and R. Stephenson, Lasting mantle scars lead to perennial plate tectonics, Nature Communications, 7, June 10, 2016.

Shahnas*, M.H., R. N. Pysklywec, D. A. Yuen, Spawning superplumes from the midmantle: The impact of spin transitions in the mantle, G3: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 17, 13 pp., 2016.

Heron*, P., R. N. Pysklywec, and R. Stephenson, Identifying mantle lithosphere inheritance in controlling intraplate orogenesis, Journal of Geophysical Research, 121(9),6966–6987, 2016.

Heron*, P., and R. N. Pysklywec, Inherited structure and coupled crust‐mantle lithosphere evolution: Numerical models of Central Australia, Geophysical Research Letters, 43(10), 4962-4970, 2016.

Göğüş, O.H., R. N. Pysklywec, C. Faccenna, Postcollisional lithospheric evolution of the Southeast Carpathians: Comparison of geodynamical models and observations, Tectonics, 35, 2016.

Şengül Uluocak*, E., R. N. Pysklywec, and O. H. Göğüş, Present-day dynamic and residual topography in central Anatolia, Geophysical Journal International, 206(3), 1515-1525, 2016.

Heron*, P., R. N. Pysklywec, and R. Stephenson, Intraplate orogenesis within accreted and scarred lithosphere: Example of the Eurekan Orogeny, Ellesmere Island, Tectonophysics, 664, 202-213, 2015.

Schoettle-Green*, P., and R. N. Pysklywec, Continental passive margins and the dynamics of collisional orogenesis, Geophysical Research Letters, 39, 6 pp., 2014.

Nilfouroushan*, F., R. N. Pysklywec, A. R. Cruden, and H. Koyi, Numerical modeling of salt-based mountain belts with pre-existing basement faults: application to the Zagros fold- and thrust belt, southwest Iran, Tectonics, 32, 1-15, 2013.

Gray*, R., and R. N. Pysklywec, Influence of viscosity pressure dependence on deep lithospheric tectonics during continental collision, Journal of Geophysical Research, 118, 3264-3273, 2013.

Shahnas, M. H., R. N. Pysklywec, and R. Peltier, Layered convection in Io:  Implications for short-wavelength surface topography and heat flow, Icarus, 225, 15-27, 2013.

Komut, T., R. Gray*, R. N. Pysklywec, and O. Gogus, Mantle Flow Uplift of Western Anatolia and the Aegean: Interpretations from Geophysical Analyses and Geodynamic Modeling, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, 14 pp., 2012.

Gray*, R., and R. N. Pysklywec, Influence of sediment deposition on deep lithospheric tectonics, Geophysical Research Letters, 39, 6 pp., 2012.

Gray*, R., and R. N. Pysklywec, Geodynamic models of mature continental collision:  Evolution of an orogen from lithospheric subduction to continental retreat/delamination, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, 14 pp., 2012.

Hardebol*, N. J., R. N. Pysklywec, and R. Stephenson, Small-scale convection at a continental back-arc to craton transition: Application to the southern Canadian Cordillera, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, 18 pp., 2012.

Ramsay*, T. S., and R. N. Pysklywec, Three-dimensional edge-driven convection and dynamic topography at passive continental margins, J. Geodynamics, 52(1), 45-56, 2011.

Gray*, R., and R. N. Pysklywec, Geodynamic models of Archean continental collision and the formation of mantle lithosphere keels, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, 2010.

Pysklywec, R. N., S. Ellis, and A. R. Gorman, Three-dimensional mantle lithosphere deformation at collisional plate boundaries:  A subduction scissor across the South Island of New Zealand, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 289, 334-346, 2010.

Pysklywec, R. N., O. Gogus*, J. Percival, A. R. Cruden, and C. Beaumont, Insights from geodynamical modeling on possible fates of continental mantle lithosphere:  Collision, removal, overturn, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences (Lithoprobe Synthesis Volume), 47(4), 541-563, 2010.

Gogus*, O., and R. N. Pysklywec, Mantle lithosphere delamination driving plateau uplift and syn-convergent extension in Eastern Anatolia, Geology, 36(9), 723-726, 2008.

Gogus*, O., and R. N. Pysklywec, Near surface diagnostics of dripping or delaminating lithosphere, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, 11 pp., 2008.

Percival, J. A., and R. N. Pysklywec, Are Archean lithospheric keels inverted?, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 254, 393-403, 2007.

Shaw*, M., and R. N. Pysklywec, Anomalous Uplift of the Apennines and Subsidence of the Adriatic: The Result of Active Mantle Flow?, Geophysical Research Letters, 34, doi:10.1029/2006GL028337, 2007.

Pysklywec, R. N., Surface erosion control on the evolution of the deep lithosphere, Geology, 34(4), 225-228, 2006.