top of page
Thermal structure of the North China Craton
Juan Carlos Afonso + geophysics

A/Prof. Juan Carlos Afonso

A/Prof. Juan C. Afonso is a theoretical geophysicist and geodynamicist. His research focuses on the thermochemical structure and evolution of the lithosphere, the mechanical and geochemical interactions between tectonic plates and the sublithospheric upper mantle, and their effects on small- and large-scale tectonic processes. His most recent research combines multiscale probabilistic inversion and numerical modelling techniques to address some of the most fundamental questions about the nature and evolution of the lithosphere and upper mantle using a formal combination of multiple satellite- (e.g. gravity, magnetic field) and land-based (e.g. geochemistry, seismic) data sets. He also works on the development of numerical algorithms to model the complex couplings between geochemical and geodynamic processes inside planets at multiple scales.

Organic Chemistry
The National Chemistry


- Delighted to be an invited speaker at the "Unlocking Geothermal Potential in the EU" International Conference hosted by  Prof. Zdzisław Krasnodębski (Member of the European Parliament) in Poznań (Poland).

- We will be starting the NWO DeepNL Project
INTEGRATION very soon... fully funded PhDs and postdocs. Look for our adds at EGUJobs, Earthworks-jobs and ITC Vacancies. 

- In 2024 we are starting a historic seismic project with colleagues in Argentina, China and Australia to image the backbone of the Patagonian lithosphere!! PhD positions will be available very soon!  

- A new Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Network has been awarded to us by the EU!!! 10 PhD projects have been selected! 

- Our collaborations with Geoscience Australia re going strong. Some initial models can be downloaded from the GA website: model1 and model2. More models in full 3D are coming!!!!

- Happy to be part of the new ESA-funded '4D Earth' research program. 

- It is a great pleasure to become a VP in the Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences at SUSTech University!! 

- Excited to start a new position at ITC, University of Twente!!! 

- Great to start a new project with the Canadian Geological Survey and collaborate with Andrew Schaeffer and his team.

- Check our new manuscript on joint 3D MT + seismic probabilistic inversion with Constanza Manassero here:

- We are always looking for outstanding motivated students to join our PhD cohort. Send me an email if you are interested in doing a PhD with us.


  • Akinremi, S., et al., (2024) Waveform fitting of receiver functions for enhanced retrieval of crustal structure in the prescence of sediments. J. Geophys. Res., 129, doi:10.1029/2023JB02839.

  • Ball, P., Banks, G., Montgomery, M., Afonso, J.C., Rogers, T. (2024), Global screening for superhot rock geothermal energy: geodynamic settings, prospective heat endowments and extraction techniques. In: Livescu, S. and Dindoruk, B. (eds.). Geothermal Energy Engineering, Elsevier (in press) 

  • Dave, R., Darbyshire, F., Afonso, J.C., Fomin, I. (2024) Thermochemical structure of the Superior craton and environs: Implications for the evolution and preservation of cratonic lithosphere, G-cubed, 25, doi:10.1029/2024GC011454.

  • Manassero, M.C., Ozaydin, S., Afonso, J.C., Shea, J., Thiel, S., Kikby, A., Fomin, I., Czarnota, K. (2024) Lithospheric structure and melting processes in southeast Australia: new constraints from joint probabilistic inversions of 3D magnetotelluric and seismic data. J. Geophys. Res., 129, e2023JB028257.

  • Zhang, A., Guo, Z., Afonso, J.C., Shellnutt, G., Yang, Y. (2024), Mantle Plume-Lithosphere Interactions Beneath the Emeishan Large Igneous Province, Geophysical Research Letters, 51,

  • Burcet, M., Oliveira, B., Afonso, J.C., Zlotnik, S. (2023), A Face-Centred Finite Volume approach for coupled transport phenomena and fluid flow. Applied Mathematical Modelling, 125, 293-312,

  • Zhang, Y., Lü, Q., Shi, D., Yang, Y., Afonso, J.C., Xu, Y., Yan, J., Gong, X., Xu, T. (2023) The crustal and uppermost mantle Vs structure of the Middle and Lower reaches of the Yangtze River Metallogenic Belt: implications for metallogenic processes. J. Geophys. Res., 128,

  • Salajeghegh, F., Afonso, J.C. (2023), The upper mantle geoid for lithospheric structure and dynamics. J. Geophys. Res., 128, e2023JB026397.

  • Wu, S., Yang, Y., Xu, X., Afonso, J.C., Zhang, A. (2023), A Fossil Oceanic Lithosphere Preserved in the Middle of a Continent, Geology,

  • Sellars, J., Ball, P., Gould, K., Afonso, J.C. (2023) Mapping the 450 oC isotherm: Exploring the potential of deep, superhot, geothermal in Canada. Reservoir, 4, 50,  16-20. PDF

  • Tauzin, B., Waszek, L., Ballmer, M., Afonso, J.C., Bodin, T. (2022), Basaltic reservoirs in the Earth's mantle transition zone. PNAS, 119, 48,

  • Afonso, J. C., Ben-Mansour, W., O'Reilly, S., Griffin, W., Salajeghegh, F., Foley, S., Begg, G., Selway, K., Macdonald, A., Jenuszczak, N., Fomin, I., Nyblade, A. (2022), Thermochemical structure and evolution of cratonic lithosphere in Central and South Africa, Nature Geoscience, 15, 405–410 (2022). (also in

  • Waszek, L., Tauzin, B., Schmerr, N., Ballmer, M., Afonso, J.C. (2021), A poorly mixed mantle and its thermal state inferred from seismic waves, Nature Geoscience,

  • Zhang, A., Guo, Z., Afonso, J.C., Handley, H., Dai, H., Yang., Y., Chen, Y. (2021), Lithosphere-asthenosphere interactions beneath Northeast China and the origin of intraplate volcanism, Geology, doi:

  • Oliveira, B., Afonso, J.C., Kloecking, M. (2021) Melting conditions and mantle source composition from probabilistic joint inversion of major and rare earth element concentrations, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 315, (also in EarthArxiv).

  • Manassero, M.C., Afonso, J.C., Zyserman, F., Zlotnik, S., Fomin, I. (2021) A Reduced Order Approach for Probabilistic Inversions of 3D Magnetotelluric Data II: Joint inversion of MT and surface wave data, JGR, 126, e2021JB021962. (also in EarthArxiv)

  • Yang, X., Li, Y., Afonso, J.C., Yingjie, Y., Zhang, A. (2021) Thermochemical State of the Upper Mantle beneath South China from Multi-observable Probabilistic Inversion, JGR, 126, e2020JB021114.

  • Fullea J., Negredo, A., Charco, M., Palomeras, I., Villaseñor, A., Afonso, J.C. (2021) The topography of the Iberian Peninsula from integrated geophysical-petrological multi-data inversion, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 314,

  • Dai, H., Oliveira, B., Zheng, J., Griffi, W.L., Afonso, J.C., Xiong, Q., O'Reilly, S.Y. (2021) Melting dynamics of Late Cretaceous lamprophyres in central Asia suggest a mechanism to explain many continental intraplate basaltic suite magmatic provinces, J. Geophys. Res.

  • M.G. Pamato, D. Novella, D.E. Jacob, B. Oliveira, D.G. Pearson, S. Greene, J.C. Afonso, M. Favero, T. Stachel, M. Alvaro, F. Nestola (2021) Protogenetic sulphide inclusions in diamonds can still yield a diamond formation age, Geology, doi:

  • Oliveira, B. Griffin, L.,Gain, S., Saunders, M., Shaw, J., Toledo, V., Afonso, J.C., O’Reilly, S.Y. (2021). Ti3+ in corundum: Tracer of crystal growth in a highly reduced magma, Scientific Reports, 11, 2439,

bottom of page