Prof. Dr. Hans Thybo


e.mail: h.thybo [at]
phone: +45 9388 2452
researchgate link:


Research interests:

Present research

Evolution and structure of the lithosphere through integrated geophysical-tectonic interpretation and acquisition of new field data. Development of geophysical methodology. Current projects concentrate on causes of uplift in regions of “passive margins”, such as around the North Atlantic Ocean far from plate boundaries, including acquisition and interpretation of new seismological data for providing structural control and development of geodynamic models to explain the uplift. Use of potential field data for derivation of mantle density for understanding topographic change and long-term stability of cratonic lithosphere. Causes of basin subsidence in terms of extensional forces, temperature evolution and magma transport.

Past research and key results

New understanding of the role of magmatism in underplating and at continental rift zones, including derivation of the model for “Magma-compensated Crustal Thinning” ; new model of basin formation based on magmatic intrusion; early identification of Proterozoic collision from seismic reflection and refraction; new model of the upper mantle based on identification of the upper mantle low-velocity zone (Mid-Lithospheric Discontinuity) and pronounced heterogeneity; explanation of the “teleseismic Pn wave” in terms of whispering gallery waves; the first ever reflection seismic image of Core-Mantle Boundary; determination of surface uplift from seismic velocity.


2017-                     President of International Lithosphere Program

2016-                     Professor of Geophysics at University of Oslo

2015-2016            President of European Geosciences Union

1986-2016            Professor of Geophysics at University of Copenhagen

1987                      PhD in Geology, Aarhus University, Denmark

1982                       M.Sc. in Geophysics, Aarhus University

1981                       Studies at Technical University, Delft, The Netherlands

1979                       B.Sc. in Mathematics and Physics, Aarhus University


Academy memberships: Academia Europaea, Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, Danish Academy of Natural Sciences.

Fellowships: Royal Astronomical Society, London and Geological Society of America.

Most important 5 publications:

Thybo, H. and Perchuc, E., 1997. The seismic 8º Discontinuity and Partial Melting in Continental Mantle. Science 275, 1626-1629

Thybo, H., 1997, Geophysical characteristics of the Tornquist Fan area, northwest TESZ: Indication of Late Carboniferous to Early Permian dextral transtension. Geological Magazine 134, 597-606.

Thybo, H. and C.A. Nielsen, 2009, Magma-compensated crustal thinning in continental rift zones. Nature, doi:10.1038/nature07688

Thybo, H. & Artemieva, I. M., 2013, Moho and magmatic underplating in continental lithosphere. Tectonophysics, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2013.1005.1032

Xia, B., H. Thybo, and I.M. Artemieva, 2017. Seismic crustal structure of the North China Craton and surrounding area: Synthesis and analysis. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth, 122(7): 5181-5207