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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Juan Rodriguez-gonzalez

Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Earth Sciences

(email at

A personal statement

Main projects
Most of my research is focused in the study of geodynamical processes using numerical models. My main project focuses in the feedback between volatiles and convection dynamics. The presence of water in the mantle significantly decreases its viscosity and can completely change the geodynamical evolution of the planet. I am using StagYY to develop global numerical models to study the water budget in the mantle and the thermal evolution of the Earth.
In the past I implemented three-dimensional models to study subduction processes at a regional scale using Comsol Multiphysics and CitcomS. I studied the influence of the thermal state of the overriding plate in subduction geometry, showing that slabs subduct with a lower dip beneath colder overriding lithosphere. I also studied how a slab with non-uniform dip can induce trench parallel flow in the mantle, which might have important implications for seismic anisotropy. I also investigated the implications of a non-uniform overriding plate and slab dip in subduction velocity and Euler pole parameters. I am looking forward to expanding these models including melt and fluid generation and transport. In particular, I am interested in understanding how the paths of melt and fluids are affected when the subducting slab induces a complex mantle flow, including an intense trench parallel flow and flow around the edges and gaps.

Other projects
I am also also working on a project to study ductile deformation and strain localization beneath strike slip faults. For this, I am using deal.II to write a finite element software to solve the viscoelastic equations in two and three dimensions.
I have also worked and am interested in GUI development, machine learning and computer vision.


2017-Present: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Durham University

The Feedback Between Volatiles and Mantle Dynamics.

2015-2017: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Univeristy of Maryland

Strain localization under strike-slip faults. Numerical models of viscoelastic deformation using deal.II.

2013-2015: Postdoctoral Research Consultant, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Geodynamical models of subduction processes: subduction velocity, influence of cratonic lithosphere.

2009-2013: PhD candidate, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Geodynamical models of subduction proceses: subduction under a non-uniform overriding plate, consequences for slab geometry and induced mantle flow.

Mantle flow induced by a sugducting slab with changing geometry

Research Groups

Department of Earth Sciences

Research Interests

  • Geodynamics
  • Subduction
  • Numerical Modelling
  • Volatiles
  • Finite Element Method
  • Lithospheric Deformation
  • Machine Learning
  • Computer Vision

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  • Rodríguez-González, J., Billen, M. I., Negredo, A. M. & Montesi, L. G. J. (2016). Along-strike variation in subducting plate velocity induced by along-strike variation in overriding plate structure: Insights from 3D numerical models. Journal of Geodynamics 100: 175-183.
  • Taramón, J. M., Rodríguez-González, J., Negredo, A. M. & Billen, M. I. (2015). Influence of cratonic lithosphere on the formation and evolution of flat slabs: Insights from 3-D time-dependent modeling. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 16(9): 2933-2948.
  • Rodríguez-González, J., Billen, M. I. & Negredo, A. M. (2014). Non-steady-state subduction and trench-parallel flow induced by overriding plate structure. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 401: 227-235.
  • Juan Rodríguez-González, A M. Negredo & E. Carminati (2014). Slab–mantle flow interaction: influence on subduction dynamics and duration. Terra Nova 26(4): 265-272.
  • J. Rodríguez-González, A. M. Negredo & M. I. Billen (2012). The role of the overriding plate thermal state on slab dip variability and on the occurrence of flat subduction. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 13(1).

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