Seth Stein

Seth Stein

Wm. Deering Professor
Email: seth at
Location: Tech F498/F499

Ph.D. Geophysics, California Institute of Technology
M.S. Geophysics, California Institute of Technology
B.S. Earth and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Website


My research focuses on investigating plate boundary processes and deformation within the lithosphere using a range of techniques including space-based geodesy, seismology, and marine geophysics. These include ongoing or past studies of the New Madrid seismic zone, the 2001 Bhuj earthquake in India, the 2004 Sumatra earthquake, earthquake recurrence and hazards, and the Andes. Some studies, focusing on the thermal evolution of oceanic lithosphere, are cooperative projects with my wife Carol, who is on the faculty at the University of Illinois, Chicago. We try to do science, teach, advise students, and survive as the working parents of a teenage daughter, which is a bit hectic at times.


EARTH-102: Lake Michigan and the Chicago River
EARTH-107: Our Dynamic Planet
EARTH-202: Earth's Interior
EARTH-324: Earthquakes and Tectonics
EARTH-326: Data analysis for the earth & planetary sciences
EARTH-438: Forming a habitable planet

Selected Publications

Stein, S. and J. Freymueller (eds), Plate Boundary Zones, American Geophysical Union, 2002.

Stein, S. and M. Wysession, Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes, and Earth Structure, Blackwell Publishing, 2003.

Pinter, N., G. Grenerczy, J. Weber, S. Stein, and D. Medak (eds), The Adria Microplate: GPS Geodesy, Tectonics and Hazards, Nato Science Series, Springer, 2005.

S. Stein and S. Mazzotti (eds), Continental Intraplate Earthquakes: Science, Hazard, and Policy Issues, Geological Society of America Special Paper 425, 2007.

Stein, S., Disaster Deferred: How New Science is Changing our View of Earthquake Hazards in the Midwest, Columbia University Press, 2010

Research Interests

  • Plate tectonics
  • seismology
  • space geodesy
October 1, 2012