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Seismic Robots: Through the Oceans to the Mantle

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Images of seismic readings superimposed on an ocean background

In the last few decades, seismologists have mapped the Earth’s interior in ever- increasing detail. Placing seismic stations on the bottom of the oceans is just one way to detect earthquake wave motion, but researchers are developing exciting new alternatives. Geophysicist Frederik J. Simons discusses the challenging places his scientific journeys have taken him and how autonomous floating robots are being used to record seismic activity deep below the surface.



About the Presenter

Headshot of Frederick Simons

Frederik Simons is a geophysicist at Princeton University. Usually from the safety of his office, he analyzes data from digital global seismic networks to study the physical properties of the interior of the solid Earth, and from gravity satellite missions to weigh the ice sheets melting off its surface. To help increase seismic station coverage around the globe, he has been leaving his comfort zone by prototyping floating earthquake recorders in the oceans and is now promoting the next big push in earth observation through the international initiative "EarthScope-Oceans".

Simons joined the Princeton faculty in 2006. He is also an Associated Faculty member in the Program in Applied & Computational Mathematics and serves on the Executive Committee of the Program in Archaeology. Between 2010 and 2013, Simons was the Dusenbury University Preceptor of Geological & Geophysical Sciences. Previously, he was a Lecturer at University College London, a Princeton Council of Science & Technology Beck Fellow and a Department of Geosciences Hess Post-doctoral Fellow. Simons received a Ph.D. in Geophysics from M.I.T. and his M.Sc. in Geology from the KU Leuven in Belgium, of which he is a native. 

The Annual IRIS/SSA Lecture Series is presented in collaboration with the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology and the Seismological Society of America.