Meet Francesca Siracusa, new PhD student


Francesca Siracusa has recently started as a new PhD student in geodynamics (isostasy and flexure of the lithosphere). Her position is funded by UiT the Arctic University of Norway and is coordinated with the research activities in ARCEx.

I come from Italy. I started loving nature and its phenomena when I was a child, playing in the fields around Rome and admiring the Appennines. Thanks to geology, I could learn their story and look at them with different eyes. But I was always interested in the extremely old rocks I was not used to and I had my opportunity here in Norway.

I got my master degree in Exploration Geology at Sapienza University, with a special focus on sedimentary environments and with a thesis about the geological mapping and structural analysis of the North-Eastern area of the Repparfjord tectonic window in Finnmark. Joining teams from NTNU and NGU I could work for the first time in Northern Norway and explore its amazing geological history.

Now my PhD research is focused on the isostasy and flexure of the lithosphere of the Barents Sea. The investigation of the lithospheric behavior and its response to ice and sediment load, to erosion and thermal conditions in the Barents Sea area will lead to the development of a dynamic model, which will describe how the actual setting was reached, thanks to deformation in time. Different deformation regimes are to be considered and applied to build up our model, looking at the lithosphere as a thin plate floating on top of the mantle and as an object that reacts to the forces involved in the plate dynamics. The challenge for this project is considering every fragment of the story in the final model both from a geological and from a numerical point of view.

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