My research is focused on understanding the generation and evolution of young oceanic lithosphere along this planet's mid-ocean ridge spreading centers. Over the last several years, I have been working on problems related to the growth and evolution of extensional fault populations in this environment. Largely, my work has made use of sidescan sonar and bathymetric data to map the distribution of faults at various scales. Through a combination of observational and model-based studies, I continue to evaluate the influence of factors such as spreading rate and magma budget on fault growth and evolution.
To elucidate seismotectonic processes and their impacts on the ridge system, I also have been using arrays of moored hydrophones to detect and locate shallow submarine seismicity. This method takes advantage of the efficiency of oceanic sound propagation to improve event location accuracy and detection thresholds in remote ocean areas. My ongoing work is focused on improving our ability to discriminate volcanic and tectonic earthquake activity and evaluate the dynamic and static stress interactions between earthquakes in mid-ocean ridge settings.
In addition to recording shallow under water earthquakes, hydrophones can detect a variety of other signals, including whale vocalizations, ice sheet movements and explosions. As I continue to passively 'listen' to the oceans, I have become increasingly interested in these aspects of the data. Such interests have lead to a new and exciting group of collaborations