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Mantle convection and me: modelling methods are important

The closing of the Rheic Ocean 280 million years ago brought together the ancient landmasses of Laurussia and Gondwana to form the supercontinent Pangea. This supercontinent then remained as one landmass for around 100 million years, the effects of which are not well understood. The sub-African mantle (the previous site of Pangea) has evidence of warmer temperatures than its surroundings. Many geodynamic studies have shown that this anomalous heat is the result of continental material inhibiting heat flow from the surface (and thus insulating the mantle). However, several processes unfold during the supercontinent cycle, more than one of which might result in an elevation in sub-continental mantle temperatures. In this presentation, I investigate how different modelling methods can change the influence of continental insulation effect. The evolution of mantle dynamics is examined after continental accretion at subduction zones (e.g. the formation of Pangea) for a variety of levels of convective vigour.