Big Data in Seismology

The discipline of seismology is based on observations of ground motion that are inherently undersampled in space and time. Our basic understanding of earthquake processes and our ability to resolve 3D Earth structure are fundamentally limited by data volume. Today, Big Data Seismology is an emergent revolution involving the use of large, data-dense inquiries that is providing new opportunities to make fundamental advances in these areas. This course reviews recent scientific advances enabled by Big Data Seismology through the context of three major drivers: the development of new data-dense sensor systems, improvements in computing, and the development of new types of techniques and algorithms. We will explore some of the unique challenges and opportunities that Big Data Seismology presents, drawing on parallels from other fields facing similar issues. Finally, recent scientific findings enabled by dense seismic datasets will be explored, and we will assess the opportunities for significant advances made possible with Big Data Seismology.

See my recent review paper inspired by the course:  https://doi.org/10.1029/2021RG000769


Forensic Seismology and Acoustics

Forensic seismology and acoustics (or seismoacoustics) uses the measurements of waves – in the solid Earth, oceans, and atmosphere – in order to understand the sources that caused them. The term ‘forensics’ implies a legal application that can be true of forensic seismoacoustics, particularly in the context of international treaties. In this class, I use the term ‘forensic’ more broadly (and loosely) to refer to the application of seismology and acoustics to infer characteristics of the sources that caused them. The course focuses on human-caused sources, but the same principles we discuss in this course apply to understanding natural geophysical sources (e.g., earthquakes, volcanoes, bolides, etc.). In the course we explore a range of applications through four guiding questions: ‘What is a source?’, ‘How does propagation modify signals?’, ‘What is our data, and how do we use it?’, and ‘How does science work with policy?’.


Earth Systems

This course is a broad introduction to Earth Science that explores physical, chemical, and biologic processes across a wide-range of spatial and temporal scales, and how these interact to create the Earth System. The course content covers the formation of Earth, Earth materials, the Geological timescale, plate tectonics, surficial processes, climate, and the impact of human civilization on the Earth System.