Geophysics & Geodynamics


Investigating the interior dynamics of our planet.

An eruption at Stromboli Volcano, Italy. (Alan Linde, Earth & Planets Laboratory)

Our Research

We study the internal structure and dynamics of the Earth and the physical processes that give rise to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. By collecting geophysical data in the field throughout the world, we study a wide variety of problems on many spatial and temporal scales. Studies range from mantle convection and subduction-zone dynamics to the formation and evolution of Earth’s magnetic field.

Research Staff

Peter Driscoll - Evolution of Earth’s core and magnetic field; magnetic polarity reversals; inner core structure; core-mantle coupling; tectonic-volatile cycling; tidal dissipation and orbital migration; planetary interiors, dynamos, and aeronomy; exoplanets 

Hélène Le Mével - Volcano deformation; Geodetic data analysis (GPS, InSAR); Volcanic unrest; Gravimetry; Numerical modeling of magmatic processes.

Diana Roman - Source processes of volcanic earthquakes; volcano-fault interaction; structure and dynamics of magma transport and storage systems; volcano monitoring and eruption forecasting 

Peter E. van Keken - Thermal and chemical evolution of the Earth; causes and consequences of plate tectonics; finite element modeling of mantle convection, subduction zone dynamics and mantle plumes; integration of geodynamics with seismology, geochemistry and mineral physics; parallel computing; scientific visualization

Lara S. Wagner - Broadband seismology; field seismology; seismic tomography; seismic anisotropy; scattered wave imaging; tectonics of convergent margins; evolution of continents and the effects of tectonic inheritance

Technical Staff

Steven Golden - Field Seismologist

Brian Schleigh - Electronic Design Engineer

Cian Wilson - Computational Scientist

Postdoctoral Fellows and Associates

Daniel Portner - Ph.D., Geophysics, University of Arizona (2019)

Nathan Sime - Ph.D., Mathematics, The University of Nottingham (2015)

Tara Shreve Ph.D., Geophysics,Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, (2020)

Yan Zhan - Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2020)

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Tools of the Trade

We have deployed seismic networks in the western United States, Chile, Peru, Hawai'i, Italy, and Nicaragua. We are also actively involved in the development of cutting-edge next-generation instrumentation for observational geophysical research like gravimetry and quick-deploy seismometers.  Computational geodynamics utilizes high-performance computing systems both on campus and the Carnegie Memex cluster.


Our instrumentation >>