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Adjunct Associate Research Scientist
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Marine Geology and Geophysics


Research Areas

Mid-Ocean Ridges and Rifting

Studying how mid-ocean ridge systems form and evolve is important for understanding plate tectonics, as well as for understanding the interplay between the formation of oceanic crust and hydrothermal vent systems. I am interested in using geophysical techniques to study the mid-ocean ridge systems. I am involved in studies using seafloor gravity, compliance, and sea bottom water pressure measurements. Seafloor gravity measurements can help constrain subsurface density anomalies. Compliance is the measure of how the seafloor moves in response to ocean waves, a quantity that is directly related to the shear modulus of the rock. Therefore this technique is good at detecting thin layers of melt material, which have low shear strength. Another technique I use for these studies is seafloor geodesy. To do this, sea bottom water pressure measurements are used as a proxy for seafloor height. Changes in seafloor height can be caused by subsurface movement of magma, eruptions, or tectonics.

Geologic Storage of CO2

Increasing amounts of anthropogenic CO2 are being produced each year, contributing to global warming. I’ve been involved in the Sleipner Project, the world’s first large scale environmental storage effort. Sleipner is a natural gas field in the North Sea where excess CO2 is being separated from the produced natural gas and injected into a saline aquifer about 1000 m below the seafloor at a rate of about 1 Mton per year. I have been involved in combining the results of 4-D seismic surveys and time-lapse gravity surveys to constrain the density of the in situ CO2.

Crustal Deformation Studies

Studies involving deformation of the Earth’s crust are important in determining properties of the crust and mantle. An example is monsoonal flooding in Bangladesh, which causes annual fluctuation in the height of the crust.
Mid-Ocean Ridges and Rifting


List of degrees from highest to lowest:
Ph.D. Geophysics
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD
M.S. Physics
Texas A&M University
B.A. Physics/Art
Hendrix College
Honors & Awards: 
Best paper in "Geophysics" 2003

Lamont Projects:

Referenced in the Following News Items:

Selected Publications:

Constraints on the in situ density of CO2 within the Utsira formation from time-lapse seafloor gravity measurements Nooner, S. L.; Eiken, O.; Hermanrud, C.; Sasagawa, G. S.; Stenvold, T.; Zumberge, M. A. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control Volume: 1 p.: 198-214 (2007)
Vertical deformation monitoring at Axial Seamount since its 1998 eruption using deep-sea pressure sensors Chadwick, W. W.; Nooner, S. L.; Zumberge, M. A.; Embley, R. W.; Fox, C. G. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research Feb 1 Volume: 150 Issue: 1-3 p.: 313-327 (2006) DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2005.07.006
Structure of oceanic core complexes: Constraints from seafloor gravity measurements made at the Atlantis Massif Nooner, S. L.; Sasagawa, G. S.; Blackman, D. K.; Zumberge, M. A. Geophysical Research Letters Apr 30 Volume: 30 Issue: 8 p.: - (2003) Doi 10.1029/2003gl017126
An optical fiber infrasound sensor: A new lower limit on atmospheric pressure noise between 1 and 10 Hz Zumberge, M. A.; Berger, J.; Hedlin, M. A. H.; Husmann, E.; Nooner, S.; Hilt, R.; Widmer-Schnidrig, R. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America May Volume: 113 Issue: 5 p.: 2474-2479 (2003) Doi 10.1121/1.1566978