Helen Janiszewski
Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow

Helen Janiszewski

Research Interests

Seismic imaging of the Earth's crust and mantle; subduction zones; relationships between seismic structure and tectonic processes; amphibious seismic technique development


B.S., Geological Sciences and Physics, Rutgers University (2012) M.A., Seismology, Columbia University (2014) M.Phil., Seismology, Columbia University (2016) Ph.D., Seismology, Columbia University (2017)

Contact & Links

  • (202) 478-8841
  • hjaniszewski@carnegiescience.edu
  • Earth and Planets Laboratory
    Carnegie Institution for Science
    5241 Broad Branch Road, NW
    Washington, DC 20015-1305
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Website


Janiszewski seismic data
An onshore-offshore profile of receiver functions extending across the Cascadia locked zone imaging the plate interface structure in central Washington, USA.

Helen Janiszewski's research uses the seismic structure of the Earth's crust and mantle, particularly in subduction zones, to better understand the underlying tectonic processes. She focuses on using receiver functions, active source reflections, and surface wave tomography to image the Moho, the subducting plate interface, magmatic structures beneath volcanoes, and broader lithospheric structure. Her previous work includes seismic imaging of the Cascadia subduction zone to characterize the evolution of an oceanic plate from a ridge to subduction including along strike heterogeneity, with a more detailed focus on the structure of the plate interface within the locked region that is capable of up to a M 9.0 earthquake. She is also involved in technique improvement and development for seismic data, with particular application to broadband amphibious (onshore/offshore) deployments.

At DTM she is interested in addressing the following questions: (1) What are the scales of heterogeneity in the seismic structure of a plate interface in a subduction zone, and how do they influence variations in seismogenic behavior? (2) How can we use seismic results to constrain the thermal and compositional state of an oceanic plate outboard of the trench to develop more realistic geodynamic models of subduction, and what do those imply for mantle flow within the wedge and below the subducting plate? (3) What are the technical challenges in using seismic data to study subduction zones, and how can we address them?