seismology Archives - State of the Planet

lynn sykes portrait

Renowned Seismologist Lynn Sykes Receives Honorary Doctorate from Columbia University

Sykes helped to establish plate tectonic theory in the 1960s. He is professor emeritus at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

by |April 6, 2018
R/V Langseth ship passing under Golden Gate bridge

Lamont-Doherty Receives Donation of Marine Seismic Technology Upgrades

A generous donation from leading geoscience firm CGG Inc. will advance the research capacities of the Langseth research ship.

by |March 16, 2018
seismograph could record hurricane intensity

Seismic Sensors Record Hurricane Intensity, Study Finds

New line of information could help predict the storms’ future strength under climate change.

by |January 8, 2018

Ear to the Ground, Listening for Nuclear Blasts

Seismologist Lynn Sykes has been working for more than 50 years to halt the testing of nuclear bombs. In his forthcoming book, Silencing the Bomb: One Scientist’s Quest to Halt Nuclear Testing, Sykes provides an insider’s look at the science behind detecting explosions, and international efforts to establish a series of treaties.

by |November 27, 2017
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

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

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

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