The nature of the mantle underlying prospective hydrocarbon basins during their critical history is poorly known. This mantle can affect the basin dynamically and thermally. Knowing these effects through Earth history would be invaluable for assessing basin prospectivity. Mantle geodynamic modelling has advanced dramatically over the past decade such that the outputs are starting to become of interest in assessing the palaeo-environments of frontier regions. We focus on outlining the elements of the basic mantle circulation modelling (MCM) method, including the input plate motion histories, the equations solved, and the boundary and initial conditions. The method can predict dynamic topography and mantle flow back to the Jurassic. We introduce an extension of the method to allow tracing of the flow of magmatic source regions. This could be realised in the data from geochemical signatures of magmatic outputs over time. We also introduce how MCM can be used to test plate motion histories by comparing present day predictions with seismic tomography.


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