Ross Parnell-Turner is an Assistant Professor in the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics.Parnell-Turner’s research concerns how the lithosphere is created and deformed, using geophysical and geological observations made in the oceans. Currently, his primary focus is on the mechanical structure of mid-ocean ridges, using the distribution of micro-earthquakes that occur as the tectonic plates spread apart.
He uses seismic reflection imaging and seafloor mapping using sonars mounted on ships and submersible robots to better understand how the crust is formed. His work also addresses how waxing and waning of the Iceland mantle plume through time has controlled crustal formation in the North Atlantic Ocean, and why plume activity has driven changes in dynamic support. He is investigating how this transient activity can lead to changes in seafloor bathymetry and deep-water oceanic circulation.
Born in San Francisco, California, he grew up in the UK. He holds an MEarthSc. in Earth Sciences from the University of Oxford, and spent four years in the hydrocarbon industry before obtaining a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the Bullard Laboratories, University of Cambridge. From 2015-2018 he was a Postdoctoral Investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and joined Scripps Institution of Oceanography in Summer 2018.