Vadim’s Research Links



Vadim plans his next move during the seismic array deployment in Northern Apennines, October, 2004    


For the part of our planet that is beyond direct sampling (which is most of it) seismic waves offer an insight into the present day state of the interior. They can illuminate shapes of objects at depths, reveal changes in the state of the material, and offer clues about its texture.  In my research I use observations of seismic waves to probe the interior structure of the Earth. My studies yield information about the speed of different seismic waves: how it changes with depth, and from place to place; whether these changes are smooth or abrupt; whether there is any dependence on the direction in which seismic waves travel. While the means of my research have to do with elastic wave propagation and time series analysis, the motivation and goals are those of geological history and present-day tectonic activity. On the basis of inferences about seismic wave speed inside the Earth I try to understand what is happening there now, or has happened in the past.


In my studies I use data available from public sources (e.g., IRIS data base ), as well as data I collect myself. Two ongoing projects are described on the left.


In the summer of 2007 a new investigation of Western Tibet deployed a 10-station seismic array across that region. Data are presently being collected, and in the summer of 2008 we will expand the array with 20 more sites. Look here for photos.



I also take part in devising new data analysis tools for seismological studies of earth structure.


RETREAT project  (ongoing)

(a multidisciplinary study of Northern Apennines)

This project aims to understand the processes that lead to synchronous contraction and extension in different parts of actively growing mountain ranges, using Northern Apennines as a test bed.

From the fall of 2003 through the fall of 2006 we have operated an array of seismic observatories that collected data from local and global earthquakes.

These data are used to construct images of the crust and the upper mantle, and to determine such attributes of deep structure as the shape, extent and sharpness of distinct boundaries, and the presence and orientation of coherent textures. These first-order findings will help us understand how material moves at depth, and how this motion translates to the growth and collapse of the mountains on the surface.

Our array was fully deployed just in time for the great Sumatra earthquake of December, 2004. Our array recorded a very special wave, called “quasi-Love phase”, discussed and illustrated here.

A photo-tour of the fieldwork is here

Megathrust Structure of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

This project uses data from USArray (part of the EarthScope project) to investigate the properties of material lining the plate interface beneath Oregon and Washington. Recent analysis suggested presence of serpentinite within the plate contact zone, a finding with significant implications for the earthquake potential in the region.


Software: Microsoft Office

A study of the lithosphere at a xenolith-bearing volcano in Costa Rica (ongoing)

A few years ago rocks derived from beneath the crust (xenoliths) were found in the lavas of a small extinct volcano in Costa Rica. This is the only known locality in Central America. A small seismic array was set up in April of 2005 to collect data that will enable a detailed study of the crust and the upper mantle, with the aim of understanding why mantle material emerged onto the surface here.  Observations continued through the late summer of 2006. Data is presently being analyzed…


On the image to the right Vadim digs for scientific truth, but meets skeptical response from local professionals