Science and Program Highlights - Member Highlight Archive

2021 Jul 12th

Weird Earthquake Reveals Hidden Mechanism

A recent study by California State University-Bakersfield and Penn State University researchers again raises the idea that the Shumagin Gap may be able to host a great earthquake. Continue Reading

2021 Jun 8th

Is Earth’s Core Lopsided? Strange Goings-on in our Planet’s Interior

Seismologists at the University of California, Berkeley have discovered that Earth’s solid-iron inner core is growing faster on one side than the other, and it has been ever since it started to freeze out from molten iron more than half a billion years ago. Continue Reading

2021 Mar 17th

Scientists Plumb the Depths of the World’s Tallest Geyser

University of Utah researchers developed an image of the subsurface below Yellowstone's Steamboat Geyser to learn more about its plumbing structure and what controls a geyser from erupting regularly, like Old Faithful, versus irregularly, like Steamboat. Continue Reading

2021 Feb 4th

Former Piece of Pacific Ocean Floor Imaged Deep Beneath China

An international team, including a seismologist from Rice University, published a study that offers new evidence about what happens to water-rich oceanic tectonic plates as they are drawn through Earth’s mantle beneath continents. Continue Reading

2020 Dec 11th

Undersea Earthquakes Shake Up Climate Science

Researchers at Caltech have discovered that seismic rumblings on the seafloor can provide another tool for monitoring the temperature of ocean waters. Continue Reading

2020 Oct 26th

Scientists Detect Unexpected Widespread Structures Near Earth’s Core

University of Maryland geophysicists analyzed thousands of recordings of seismic waves to identify echoes from the boundary between Earth’s molten core and the solid mantle layer above it.  Continue Reading

2020 Jul 9th

Researchers Develop New Explanation for Destructive Earthquake Vibrations

Brown University researchers propose that rocks colliding inside a fault zone as an earthquake happens are the main generators of high-frequency vibrations. Continue Reading

2020 May 19th

Peeking at the Plumbing of One of the Aleutian’s Most Active Volcanoes

A new approach to analyzing earthquake data revealed an impressive level of detail in the deep plumbing system underlying Alaska’s Cleveland volcano. Continue Reading

2020 Jan 27th

Early seismic waves hold the clue to the power of the main temblor

A team of researchers at Harvard University used data products and created numerical models to predict an earthquake’s final magnitude 10 to 15 seconds faster than today’s best algorithms. Continue Reading

2019 Sep 5th

‘Suture Zone’ to Blame for Mysterious 2014 Earthquake Felt Across Florida

University of South Florida seismologists have uncovered the unexpected source of a magnitude 5.1 earthquake that occurred in 2014 along the northern coast of Cuba. Continue Reading

2019 Aug 1st

Aftershocks of 1959 Earthquake Rocked Yellowstone in 2017-2018

A swarm of more than 3,000 small earthquakes that occurred between June 2017 and March 2018 in the Maple Creek area of Yellowstone National Park are, at least in part, aftershocks of the 1959 quake. Continue Reading

2019 Jul 3rd

Indonesia’s Devastating 2018 Earthquake was a Rare ‘Supershear’

According to UCLA researchers, a study using high-resolution observations of the seismic waves caused by the temblor, along with satellite radar and optical images, found that the earthquake propagated unusually fast. Continue Reading

2019 Jun 3rd

Scientists Identify Almost 2 Million Previously “Hidden” Earthquakes

Using powerful computers and a technique called template matching, scientists at Caltech have identified millions of previously unidentified tiny earthquakes. A closer look at seismic data from 2008–2017 expands Southern California's earthquake catalog by a factor of 10. Continue Reading

2019 May 1st

Massive 1994 Bolivian Earthquake Reveals Mountains 660 Kilometers Below our Feet

Princeton geophysicists, in collaboration with colleagues in China, used data from an enormous earthquake in Bolivia to find mountains and other topography on the base of the transition zone that separates the upper and lower mantle. Continue Reading

2019 Mar 28th

Injection Wells Can Induce Earthquakes Miles Away from the Well

A study by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz finds that injecting fluid into sedimentary rock can produce bigger, more distant earthquakes than injecting into the underlying basement rock. Continue Reading

2019 Mar 1st

Seismic Study Reveals Huge Amount of Water Dragged into Earth’s Interior

Slow-motion collisions of tectonic plates under the ocean drag about three times more water down into the deep Earth than previously estimated, according to a first-of-its-kind seismic study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis. Continue Reading

2019 Jan 22nd

Tiny Northwest Quakes Tied to Deep-Crust Structure

Rice University researchers found a strong correlation exists between tremor density and underthrusting sediments at the Cascadia margin off the Pacific Northwest’s coast. Fluids that are released from the downgoing slab are concentrated in these sediments and lead to very slow seismic velocities in the region. Continue Reading

2018 Oct 24th

Antarctic Ice Shelf ‘Sings’

According to research led by Colorado State University, winds blowing across snow dunes on Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf cause the massive ice slab’s surface to vibrate, producing a near-constant set of seismic tones that could potentially be used to monitor changes in the ice shelf. Continue Reading

2018 Sep 12th

Yellowstone Super-Volcano Eruptions were Produced by Gigantic Ancient Oceanic Plate

Scientists have long thought that Yellowstone Caldera is powered by heat from the Earth’s core. New research by Virginia Tech seismologist Ying Zhou suggests that Yellowstone volcanoes were produced by a gigantic ancient oceanic plate that dove under the Western United States about 30 million years ago. Continue Reading

2018 Jul 25th

Seismometer Readings Could Offer Debris Flow Early Warning

Researchers at Caltech investigate whether seismometers in the field could be used to provide an early warning of an incoming debris flow to residents in mudslide-prone areas. Continue Reading

2018 Jun 4th

Scientists Find Pre-Earthquake Activity in Central Alaska

Researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute found evidence for accelerating activity before a 2016 earthquake in a laterally moving fault zone in central Alaska. The activity included a phenomenon known as very low-frequency earthquakes. Continue Reading