I utilize seismic imaging tools to probe the major tectonic processes shaping Earth’s surface, from continental rifting in east Africa to subduction off of the western US to mantle convection beneath the Pacific basin.  My approach is centered on deploying cutting-edge seismic field equipment to target critical dynamic processes, and I have lead major field investigations on three continents and two of the world’s ocean basins.  In many cases, this approach not only enables a focused look at earthquakes and associated deformation processes, but also provides opportunities for capacity building and outreach in the communities within which I work.

Current Group Members
Graduate Students:
Chris Carchedi (LDEO)
Joshua Russell (LDEO)
Joseph Phillips (NAU)

William Hawley (LDEO)
Emily Hopper (LDEO)

Past group members:
Natalie Accardo (NewGen Strategies)
Po Chen (Univ. Wyoming)
Colleen Dalton (Brown Univ.)
Helen Janiszewski (Univ. Hawaii)
Ge Jin (Colorado School of Mines)
Peiying Patty Lin (National Taiwan Normal Univ)
Danielle Sumy (IRIS Consortium)

Ocean Mantle Dynamics

What is a tectonic plate? And how does it interact with the underlying mantle? These questions are central to understanding the major tectonic processes that shape Earth’s surface. We address these fundamental questions using unique ocean-bottom seismic (OBS) observations from deep in the ocean basins. Our efforts contribute to the grassroots international partnership PacificArray.

Continental Rifting

The processes that drive localized weakening, extension, and subsequent breakup of stable continents are poorly understood. We utilize seismic imaging techniques to investigate the role of temperature and melt in the mantle in rifting in diverse tectonic settings, including east Africa, the western Atlantic margin, western North America, and Papua New Guinea.

Subduction Dynamics

Subduction zones host two of the dominant natural hazards facing society, name megathrust earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. We utilize focused seismic imaging studies to investigate the processes that control both megathrust and volcanic behavior, often exploiting innovative amphibious (onshore-offshore experiments). Current projects focus on the Indo-Burma, Cascadia, and Alaska subduction systems.

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