Graduate Student, University of Utah
Audrey studies the elastic and plastic properties of iron-nickel alloys, from their presence in meteorites to collision during planetary accretion, crystallization in planetary cores, and subsequent deformation. Specifically, Earth’s inner core displays a property called seismic anisotropy, which describes the phenomenon of seismic waves propagating through a body at different velocities depending on orientation. Seismic anisotropy is caused by texture development in mineral grains due to deformation. By experimentally investigating crystallographic preferred orientation development in iron-nickel alloys, we can learn about the origins of inner core seismic anisotropy and the evolution of our planet’s inner core. Audrey conducts high P/T deformation experiments using dynamic diamond anvil cells in both axial and radial configuration and laser-heating techniques to deform and heat samples, simulating inner-core temperatures and pressures.