Daniel E. Portner
Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow

Daniel Evan Portner

Research Interests

Subduction zones, slab behavior, seismic imaging, magmatic systems, mantle dynamics, plate tectonics, and material recycling


B.S., Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014
Ph.D., Geophysics, University of Arizona, 2019

Contact & Links


My research interests are centered on the structure and behavior of subducting slabs within the mantle and what that information can tell us about mantle dynamics, plate tectonics, and magmatic processes. Primarily, I investigate subduction zones using seismic imaging techniques to provide a three-dimensional picture of the mantle and/or crust in subduction zones. With these pictures, I can begin to answer a variety of questions about the role that subducting slabs play in global earth processes such as mantle convection, material recycling, orogenesis, earthquake generation, volcanic production, and plate tectonics. Through my Ph.D. I applied the teleseismic tomography technique to the South American and Eastern Mediterranean subduction systems to characterize different scales of variability within subduction zones. I am also involved in studies within other disciplines, such as analog modeling, shear wave splitting analysis, and geology in order to better understand the relationship between subducting slabs, mantle dynamics, and plate tectonics.

While at Carnegie, I am working on developing new techniques for imaging crustal magmatic systems using limited seismic datasets. These techniques will help to characterize the magmatic architecture at a diverse collection of volcanoes where such imaging would otherwise be inaccessible. Using these new tools, I hope to investigate a number of questions about magmatic processes, arc variability, and the relationship between slab dynamics and arc production.