In 2022, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme, Reconstructing the Deep Dynamics of Planet Earth over Geologic Time (DeepDyn) (SPP 2404). The programme is designed to run for six years. The official call for individual proposals was published on 27 June 2022 for the first three-year funding period.

One of the most striking properties of the geodynamo are complete reversals of the dipole field. The reversal frequency changes over geologic time scales typical of mantle convection. Numerical simulations indeed indicate that the lower mantle has a manifold impact on the dynamo where the absolute value and pattern of the heat flux through the core-mantle boundary affects the field strength, field geometry and reversal rate. However, neither the long-term evolution of the lower mantle and the dynamo, nor the coupling between the two are well understood, which forms the basis of DeepDyn.

To reconstruct the long-term evolution of the Earth, DeepDyn aims to understand how the iron core, stratified layer, and rocky mantle interact and how material properties affect the processes. Moreover, geomagnetic field strength and reversal rate likely influence the survival and evolution of magnetoreceptive organisms, especially magnetotactic bacteria. Magnetofossil records may therefore provide important additional information on the ancient geomagnetic field that complements paleomagnetic data.

To tackle this highly integrated project, we solicit individual proposals for DeepDyn that fall within five overriding themes: (1) reliable paleomagnetic data and geomagnetic models and (2) state-of-the-art dynamo simulations that together provide information on the evolution of the core dynamo; (3) realistic mantle evolution reconstructions over >10 Myr time scales that provide essential boundary conditions for the long-term core dynamics; (4) robust estimates of core and mantle structure and properties that determine the parameters of core and mantle dynamics; and constraints on geomagnetic field evolution from (5) magnetotactic species (biomagnetism). Individual proposals should specify which theme(s) the proposal is/are of most relevance; proposals spanning multiple themes are particularly encouraged.

Research themes within the goals of DeepDyn should clearly aim at understanding the long-term evolution of Earth’s deep interior, for example :
• The dynamics of and interaction between core and mantle
• The changes in magnetic reversal frequencies and superchrons
• The characteristics of field reversals
• The composition, structure and properties of the lower mantle and core
• Effects of stratified layers, CMB topography and inner core growth on core dynamics
• The influence of time-varying magnetic fields on the adaptation and evolution of magnetotactic species and the preservation of magnetofossils in the rock record

In order to keep the programme focused, DeepDyn will not consider :
• Proposals outside the Earth system (not comparative planetology)
• Anything related to Sun-Earth interactions (space weather)
• Anything on early solar system or planetary formation
• Anything related to the upper layers of the Earth (lithosphere, upper to mid-lower mantle)
• Observations from satellites or observatories (not the recent magnetic field)
• Biologic studies should be restricted solely to organisms that leave magnetofossils

Individual proposals must be written in English and submitted to the DFG by
19 October 2022 on the DFG-ELAN portal. Click here for a .zip file containing 3 pdf files of important information from the DFG.

Theme Coordinators

(1) Paleomagnetism & Geomagnetism
Stuart Gilder, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München
Monika Korte, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum, Potsdam

(2) Dynamo models
Johannes Wicht, Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Göttingen

(3) Mantle structure and evolution
Peter Bunge, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München
Christine Thomas, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster

(4) Material properties
Ronald Redmer, Universität Rostock

(5) Biomagnetism
Dirk Schüler, Universität Bayreuth

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:
Stuart Gilder, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Theresienstrasse 41, 80333 Munich, Germany
Tel: +49-8921804239