Mailing address: PO Box 208109, New Haven CT 06520-8109
Street address: 210 Whitney Ave, New Haven CT 06511
My primary scientific interests lie in the areas of observational seismology and mantle dynamics, with a focus on subduction dynamics and processes. My research program focuses on the delineation, characterization, and interpretation of seismic anisotropy in the Earth’s mantle, with the goal of resolving major unsolved problems related to the dynamics of subducting slabs from the surface to the core-mantle boundary. In particular, my research group uses seismic observations and geodynamic models to understand the pattern of upper mantle flow in subduction systems, both in the mantle wedge above subducting slabs and in the sub-slab mantle. Results from this work bear on fundamental aspects of subduction geodynamics, such as the subduction zone water cycle, the generation and transport of melt, the mechanical coupling between slabs and the ambient mantle, and slab morphology and evolution. I also investigate seismic anisotropy and its relationship to subduction processes in the deep mantle, which represents a frontier area in solid earth geophysics. This research encompasses investigations of anisotropy in the mid-mantle (transition zone and uppermost lower mantle) and in the D” region at the base of the mantle. I am also interested in how subduction processes affect the structure, evolution, and deformation of continental lithosphere, both in regions of present-day tectonic activity (such as the Pacific Northwest and western South America) and in regions that have been affected by subduction in the past (such as eastern North America). My research encompasses a substantial field component, which involves the deployment of broadband seismometers in temporary experiments to facilitate the investigation of specific regional problems. Recent and ongoing field investigations include a study of the dynamic origin of the Peruvian flat slab and and a project aimed at understanding the topographic evolution, lithospheric structure, and mantle dynamics beneath the mid-Atlantic Appalachians.