Seismology, the science of understanding elastic vibrations beneath the surface, is a considerably young discipline. However, it has already contributed to a wide range of research topics such as deciphering the deep Earth’s and Sun’s interior, natural hazard assessment and earthquake physics. Seismic methods also play a pivotal role in nuclear monitoring, hydrocarbon exploration and various forensic tasks.
Digital high-precision instruments and sophisticated computer models nowadays allow us to detect and understand ground vibrations at scales from microcracks to planets, thereby facilitating a seismic shift in the breadth of applications. In this talk, I will present examples of this fascinating multi-disciplinary diversification such as using seismometers to hunt for extraterrestrial life, detecting remote landslides and glacier dynamics, unraveling vibration noise to infer ocean waves and hurricanes, listening to seismicity and earthquake waves, elephants’ use of seismic communication, simulating waves on supercomputers and conceding our human imprint to assessing our experiment Earth.
Tarje Nissen-Meyer is Associate Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth Sciences, and a Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Oxford. He is also an adjunct scientist at Lamont-Doherty Observatory, Columbia University, New York. His research encompasses computational seismology from global to local scales. He is the main author of the axisymmetric spectral-element method AxiSEM which is used by a number of groups around the world. Having moved from ETH Zurich in Sept 2013, he continues to supervise PhD students there, and collaborates with many other groups abroad.