Antarctic Seismology

Antarctic seismic stations Antarctic seismic stations

In Antarctica, a thick ice-layer that covers the vast majority of the continent presents significant challenges in geophysical studies at multiple scales, from the ice cover itself, to the crust and mantle beneath it, down to very deep Earth structures, such as the inner core. At the same time, the logistical conditions and harsh weather conditions serve as a natural laboratory in preparation for future space missions with seismological components, especially to icy planets.

The recent over-ice seismic deployments in Antarctica provide datasets that enable exciting opportunities for seismological research on the continent. Due to the presence of ice cover, innovative data processing methods will be the key to unlock the full potential of valuable datasets. Correlation methods of earthquake coda and ambient noise, especially autocorrelation methods that involve data from a single component only, stand out as a promising tool to explore this icy world.

This project involves further improvement or innovative development in passive seismology methods adapted for challenging icy conditions. Potential aims of this research project are: 1) to obtain fine-scale structures of physical parameters of ice layers, such as the inner interfaces, anisotropic features, ice shelves, and temporal changes in these parameters; 2) to put constraints on Earth structures beneath the ice cover, including the crustal and mantle structures; 3) to explore the use of polar datasets (including our upcoming deployments) in studies of deep Earth structures such as the Earth’s lowermost mantle and the inner and outer cores.

Nature of Project(s): Computational and numerical

Essential Background: PHYS 3070 (Physics of the Earth)

General Background: The project involves significant component of computer work processing digital seismic data. Therefore, a decent background in scientific computing and programming (C/C++, Fortran, Python, etc.) would be preferred.