seismology

seismodome visualization ripples

Seismodome Demonstrates the Awe-Inspiring Intensity of Earthquakes

During a show at the Hayden Planetarium, seismologist Ben Holtzman explains how he turns earthquake data into captivating sounds and visualizations.

by |October 30, 2017
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, two jets streaked through the clear blue sky over lower Manhattan into the towers of the World Trade Center. This photo was taken near the site on the morning of Aug. 11, 2016. At right, the new Freedom Tower. (Kevin Krajick)

A Morning That Shook the World: The Seismology of 9/11

Seismologist Won-Young Kim heard the first reports of the World Trade Center attacks in his car as he drove to Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, on the west bank of the Hudson River 21 miles north of the attacks. Soon, he was inundated by calls from government officials and reporters. In the initial chaos, it was unclear exactly what had hit, and when; had the seismographs picked up anything?

by |September 6, 2016
A side view of the June 28, 2016, Glacier Bay landslide. Photo: Paul Swanstrom/Mountain Flying Service.

Massive Landslide Detected in Glacier Bay’s Fragile Mountains

A 4,000-foot-high mountainside collapsed in Glacier Bay National Park this week in a massive landslide that spread debris for miles across the glacier below. Scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are studying it to improve understanding of landslide risks.

by |July 2, 2016
Christopher Scholz

Top Seismology Award Goes to Pioneer in Rock Mechanics: Christopher Scholz

For his pioneering work in rock mechanics and his skill at communicating earthquake science, Scholz is being honored on April 20 by the Seismological Society of America with its top award, the Harry Fielding Reid Medal.

by |April 20, 2016
A F-35C stealth fighter, similar to one linked to sonic booms off New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Its top speed is said to be 1,200 miles per hour. (Lockheed Martin)

The Earth Shook, but It Wasn’t an Earthquake

Last Thursday, thousands of people on the Eastern Seaboard felt the earth tremble. Seismologists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory quickly concluded it was not an earthquake, but a military exercise.

by |February 4, 2016
A 200 million ton landslide on Oct. 17 local time in Icy Bay, Alaska, landed on the toe of Tyndall Glacier and in the water of Taan Fiord. It was detected by seismologists on the other side of the country. NASA Image

Detecting Landslides from a Few Seismic Wiggles

Over the last six years, seismologists Göran Ekström and Colin Stark have been perfecting a technique for picking out the seismic signature of large landslides. They just discovered North America’s largest known landslide in many years – 200 million tons of sliding rock in Alaska.

by |December 18, 2015
Subduction zone mechanics

Ancient Faults & Water Are Sparking Earthquakes Off Alaska

Ancient faults that formed in the ocean floor millions of years ago are feeding earthquakes today along stretches of the Alaska Peninsula, and likely elsewhere, a new study suggests.

by |November 16, 2015
Crew aboard the R/V Marcus G. Langseth deploy hydrophone streamers for seismic mapping of the sea floor. Courtesy of Greg Mountain.

Mapping Land Claimed by Sea Level Rise

Understanding how coastal areas changed as the ocean rose in the past could help communities protect themselves from storm surge flooding in the future as the oceans warm and sea levels rise.

by |August 19, 2015
SeismoDome

Sounds of Seismology

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientist Ben Holtzman grew up discovering science through interactive exhibits in San Francisco’s Exploratorium and now provides a similar experience for others. Holtzman designs immersive shows that allow people to experience what earthquakes and seismic waves look and sound like as they move through and around the Earth. On Monday, November 17th at the American Museum of Natural History Hayden Planetarium, Holtzman and his collaborators will present one of these shows, the second installment of SeismoDome: Sights and Sounds of Global Seismology.

by |November 17, 2014
The Livingstone Mountains and Lake Malawi (Nyasa)

Seismic Stomp

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory graduate student Natalie Accardo recently returned from Tanzania and Malawi, where she installed seismic instruments in both countries alongside Lamont seismologists Donna Shillington and Jim Gaherty. Natalie produced this video, which shows the scientists and their Tanzanian colleagues conducting a “stomp test” at one of their sites in the Tanzanian village of Manda.

by |August 12, 2014