Prof. Dr. Hans Thybo

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

ORCID: 0000-0002-3945-8065
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.

Short biography

2017-                     President of International Lithosphere Program

2016-2021            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.

5 important publications:

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

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

Thybo, H., Youssof, M., Artemieva, I.M., 2019. Southern Africa crustal anisotropy reveals coupled crust-mantle evolution for over 2 billion years. Nature Communications 10 10.1038/s41467-019-13267-2.

Wang, G., Thybo, H., Artemieva, I.M., 2021. No mafic layer in 80 km thick Tibetan crust. Nature Communications 12, 1069 10.1038/s41467-021-21420-z.

Link to CV

Link to Publication list