Seismology and Tectonics
Natural Source Seismology
Much of my research is focused on using earthquakes and other natural seismic sources within the Earth to understand broad tectonic problems. I am particularly interested in crustal and upper mantle structure, how subduction zones behave, how fluids impact deformation and volcanism, and how orogens evolve thermally. My work is primarily focused on the North and South American Cordilleras but has also extended to the eastern US and studying cratonization in southern Africa.
Ground and Surface Water
In the semi-arid southwestern US, understanding ground and surface water systems is imperative for effectively managing this resource. As part of my research I work with the USGS to understand groundwater systems in northern Arizona, as well as sediment transport and distribution within the Grand Canyon reach of the Colorado River. This work involves electromagnetic techniques to measure water table depths and shallow seismic (CHIRP) to quantify sediment storage in the Grand Canyon. Recently I have been working with colleagues and students at NAU to study groundwater basins in southern Arizona and using seismic data to monitor debris flows associated with wildfire. For information on our Museum Fire Monitoring efforts click here.
I use shallow geophysical techniques including hammer seismic, magnetics, resisitivity, and electromagnetics to understand structures in the shallow subsurface. Much of this work is within active volcanic fields where we apply these methodologies to understand the eruptive behaviors of monogenetic volcanoes. This work is used to optimize geophysical studies for studying other planetary bodies, and for teaching a field course in Mexico.
-Constraining the thermal and hydration state of the lithosphere beneath the Colorado Plateau
-Analyzing the role of water in flat-slab subduction systems
-Constraining the geometry and evolution of groundwater basins in southern Arizona using seismic and gravity data
-Optimizing geophysical studies for manned and unmanned exploration of planetary bodies
-Seismic monitoring debris flows associated with the Museum Fire in Flagstaff, Arizona
-Using electromagnetic techniques to characterize regional groundwater
-Using CHIRP and shallow seismics to estimate sediment storage in the Grand Canyon