BORN: July 12, 1953; Middletown, Connecticut
B.S. (Earth and Planetary Sciences), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1975
M.S. (Geophysics), California Institute of Technology, 1977
Ph.D. (Geophysics), California Institute of Technology, 1978
Post-Doctoral Research Affiliate in Geophysics, Stanford University, 1978-1979
Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences, Northwestern University, 1979-1983
Associate Professor of Geological Sciences, Northwestern University, 1983-1987
Professor of Geological Sciences, Northwestern University, 1987-
Chairman, Department of Geological Sciences, Northwestern University, 1989-1992
Visiting Senior Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 1993-1994
Scientific Director, University NAVSTAR Consortium, 1998-2000
RESEARCH INTERESTS: Plate tectonics, seismology, and space geodesy
Presidential Scholar, 1971
National Merit Scholar, 1971
Phi Beta Kappa, 1975
Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellow, 1975-1978
Northwestern Undergraduate Student Government Teaching Honor Roll, 1984, 1987
Faculty coauthor, paper awarded Outstanding Student Paper Award, Geodesy section,
winter 1986 AGU meeting
Faculty coauthor, paper awarded Outstanding Student Paper Award, Tectonophysics section,
spring 1987 AGU meeting
Faculty coauthor, paper awarded Outstanding Student Paper Award, Geodesy section,
spring 1995 AGU meeting
Faculty coauthor, paper awarded Outstanding Student Paper Award, Geodesy section,
winter 1997 AGU meeting
James B. Macelwane Medal, American Geophysical Union, 1989
Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 1989
Fellow, Geological Society of America, 1999
Institute for Scientific Information Highly Cited Researchers list, 2002
Distinguished Lecturer, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology/Seismological Society of America, 2005-6
George P. Woollard Award, Geological Society of America, 2009
Stephan Mueller Medal, European Geosciences Union, 2010
Foreign Member, Academy of Europe, 2010
Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, 2013
Member, Ocean Margin Drilling Caribbean Regional Synthesis Group, 1981-1982
Seismology Program Chair, AGU Fall Annual meeting, 1984-1985
Northwestern University representative, Incorporated Research Institutions for
Seismology, 1984-1990; member, Executive Committee, 1986-1988;
Chair, nominations committee, 1990
Northwestern University representative, University NAVSTAR Consortium, 1985-
UNESCO Lecturer, International Institute of Seismology and
Earthquake Engineering, Japan, 1985
Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research, 1986
Associate Editor, Geophysical Research Letters, 1986
Member, NASA GPS Geodetic Systems Working Group, 1986-1988
Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research, 1986-1989
Member, NSF Proposal Review Panel: Global Positioning System, 1988
Sub-panel chair, NSF workshop: Continental dynamics research in the 1990s, 1991
Seismology section representative, Macelwane Medal committee, American Geophysical Union, 1990-1992
Member, NASA Dynamics of the Solid Earth program panel, 1991
Organizing committee member and session chairman, AGU Chapman conference on
time dependent positioning and monitoring of crustal motion, 1991
Invitee, National Academy of Sciences Symposium on Frontiers of Science, 1992
Chair, Fellows nomination committee, Seismology Section, American Geophysical Union, 1992
Chair, Bucher Medal committee, American Geophysical Union, 1996-1998
Member, Steering Committee, NSF Plate Boundary Observatory Initiative, 1999-2000
Member, University Relations Committee, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, 1999
Organizing committee member, UNAVCO conference on volcanic geodesy, 1999
Chair, Excellence in Geophysical Education Award committee, American Geophysical Union, 2000-2001
Member, NASA Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission Science Team, 1999-2002
Member, governing board, WEGENER European space geodesy consortium, 2000-2003
Member, External Scientific Advisory Board, Netherlands Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth Science
Organizing committee member, NSF MARGINS Theoretical Institute on the Seismogenic Zone, 2003
External Review Committee, Purdue University Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, 2003
Organizing committee member, NATO Advanced Research Workshop on tectonics and seismic hazards for the Adria Microplate, 2004
Member, Fellows nomination committee, Geodesy Section, American Geophysical Union, 2004-
Member, NSF Earthscope Facility review panel, 2005
Member, External Review Committee, University of California at Riverside, Department of Geological Sciences, 2006
Member, NSF Earthscope Operations and Maintenance review panel, 2007
Member, European Science Foundation TOPO-Europe review panel, 2007
Member, NSF Earth Sciences Instrumentation Program Visiting Committee, 2007
Member, German Science Foundation South Atlantic review panel, 2008-
Member, External Review Committee, University of Miami School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, 2008
Consultant, Field Museum of Natural History "Nature Unleashed" disasters exhibit, 2008
Crough Lecturer, Purdue University Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, 2010
Member, European Geosciences Union Stephan Mueller Medal committee, 2010-
Member, Organizing Committee, Consortium for Mathematics in the Geosciences, 2011-
Member, European Geosciences Union Arthur Holmes Medal committee, 2011-
Member, European Research Commission Synergy program review panel, 2012-
Member, Global Earthquake Model / USGS Powell Working Group on Maximum Magnitude and Earthquake Recurrence, 2012-
Member, Group on Earth Observations Geohazards Community of Practice, 2011-
Chair, External Review Committee, University of Kentucky Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 2013
Pringle, M., W. Sager, W. Sliter, and S. Stein (eds), The Mesozoic Pacific, American Geophysical Union, 1993. Ordering information
Stein, S. and J. Freymueller (eds), Plate Boundary Zones, American Geophysical Union, 2002. Ordering information
Stein, S. and M. Wysession, Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes, and Earth Structure, Blackwell Publishing, 2003. Ordering information
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. Ordering information
S. Stein and S. Mazzotti (eds), Continental Intraplate Earthquakes: Science, Hazard, and Policy Issues, Geological Society of America Special Paper 425, 2007. Ordering information
Stein, S., Disaster Deferred: How New Science is Changing our View of Earthquake Hazards in the Midwest, Columbia University Press, 2010. Ordering information
Dainty, A., S. Stein and N. Toksoz, Variation in the number of meteoroid impacts on the moon with lunar phase, Geophys. Res. Lett., 2, 273-276, 1975.
Dainty, A., N. Toksoz and S. Stein, Reply to comments on `Variation ...', Geophys. Res. Lett., 3, 405-406, 1976.
Dainty, A., N. Toksoz and S. Stein, Seismic investigation of the lunar interior, Proc. Lunar Sci. Conf., 7, 3057-3075, 1976.
Geller, R. and S. Stein, Split free oscillation amplitudes for the 1960 Chilean and 1964 Alaskan earthquakes, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 67, 651-660, 1977.
Stein, S., H. Melosh and J. Minster, Ridge migration and asymmetric seafloor spreading, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 36, 51-62, 1977.
Stein, S. and R. Geller, Amplitudes of the earth's split normal modes, J. Phys. Earth, 25, 117-142, 1977. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and R. Geller, Time domain observation and synthesis of split spheroidal and torsional free oscillations of the 1960 Chilean earthquake: preliminary results, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 68, 325-332, 1978. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and E. Okal, Seismicity and tectonics of the Ninetyeast Ridge area: evidence for internal deformation of the Indian plate, J. Geophys. Res., 83, 2233-2246, 1978. For pdf click here
Geller, R. and S. Stein, Normal modes of a laterally heterogeneous body: a one dimensional example, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 68, 103-116, 1978. For pdf click here
Miller, W., R. Geller and S. Stein, Use of a bubble tiltmeter as a horizontal seismometer, Geophys. J., 54, 661-668, 1978.
Stein, S., A model for the relation between spreading rate and oblique spreading, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 39, 313-318, 1978.
Stein, S., An earthquake swarm on the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge and its tectonic implications, Geophys. J., 55, 577-588, 1978.
Stein, S. and R. Geller, Attenuation measurements of split normal modes for the 1960 Chilean and 1964 Alaskan earthquakes, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 68, 1595-1612, 1978.
Stein, S., Intraplate seismicity on bathymetric features: the 1968 Emperor Trough earthquake, J. Geophys. Res., 84, 4763-4768, 1979.
Stein, S., N. Sleep, R. Geller, S. Wang and G. Kroeger, Earthquakes along the passive margin of eastern Canada, Geophys. Res. Lett., 5, 537-540, 1979. For pdf click here
Wang, S.-C., R. Geller, S. Stein and B. Taylor, Intraplate thrust faulting earthquakes in the South China Sea, J. Geophys. Res., 84, 5267-5631, 1979.
Geller, R. and S. Stein, Time domain attenuation measurements for fundamental spheroidal modes (0S6-0S28) for the 1977 Indonesian earthquake, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 69, 1671-1691, 1979. For pdf click here
Sleep, N., S. Stein, R. Geller and R. Gordon, Comment on ``The use of the minimum dissipation principle in tectonophysics," Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 45, 218-220, 1979.
Stein, S. and G. Kroeger, Estimating earthquake source parameters from seismological data, in Nemat-Nassar (ed), Solid Earth Geophysics and Geotechnology, AMD 42, 61-71, Am. Soc. Mech. Eng., New York, NY, 1980.
Sleep, N., R. Geller and S. Stein, A constraint on the earth's lateral heterogeneity from the scattering of spheroidal mode Q-1 measurements, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 71, 183-198, 1981.
Stein, S. and J. Nunn, Analysis of split normal modes for the 1977 Indonesian earthquake, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 71, 1031-1047, 1981. For pdf click here
Stein, S., J. Mills and R. Geller, Data space inversion of fundamental spheroidal mode attenuation measurements, in Stacey et al. (eds), Anelasticity in the Earth, Geodynamics Series 4, 39-53, AGU, Washington, 1982.
Stein, S., D. Wiens and K. Fujita, The 1966 Kremasta Reservoir earthquake sequence, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 59, 49-60, 1982.
Stein, S., J. Engeln, D. Wiens, K. Fujita and R. Speed, Subduction seismicity and tectonics in the Lesser Antilles arc, J. Geophys. Res., 87, 8642-8664, 1982. For pdf click here
Wiens, D. and S. Stein, Age dependence of oceanic intraplate seismicity and implications for lithospheric evolution, J. Geophys. Res., 88, 6455-6468, 1983. For pdf click here
Stein, S., J. Engeln, D. Wiens, R. Speed and K. Fujita, Slow subduction of old lithosphere in the Lesser Antilles, Tectonophysics, 99, 139-148, 1983.
Engeln, J. and S. Stein, Tectonics of the Easter Plate, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 68, 259-270, 1984. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and R. Gordon, Statistical tests of additional plate boundaries from plate motion inversions, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 69, 400-412, 1984. For pdf click here
Wiens, D. and S. Stein, Intraplate seismicity and stresses in young oceanic lithosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 89, 11442-11464, 1984.
Wiens, D. and S. Stein, Implications of oceanic intraplate seismicity for plate rheology, stresses and driving forces, Tectonophysics, 116, 143-162, 1985. For pdf click here
Wiens, D., C. Demets, R. Gordon, S. Stein, D. Argus, J. Engeln, P. Lundgren, D. Quible, C. Stein, S. Weinstein and D. F. Woods, A diffuse plate boundary model for central Indian Ocean tectonics, Geophys. Res. Lett., 12, 429-423, 1985. For pdf click here
Stein, S., D. Wiens, J. Engeln and K. Fujita, Comment on ``Subduction of aseismic ridges beneath the Caribbean plate" by W. McCann and L. Sykes, J. Geophys. Res., 91, 784-786, 1986.
Engeln, J., D. Wiens and S. Stein, Mechanisms and depths of Atlantic transform fault earthquakes, J. Geophys. Res., 91, 548-578, 1986.
Stein, S. and E. Okal, Seismological studies of the deformation of the oceanic lithosphere, in Anderson, A. and A. Cazenzve (eds), Space Geodesy and Geodynamics, Academic Press, London, 1986.
Anderson-Fontana, S., J. Engeln, P. Lundgren, R. Larson and S. Stein, Tectonics and evolution of the Juan Fernandez microplate at the Pacific - Antarctic - Nazca triple junction, J. Geophys. Res., 91, 2005-2018, 1986.
Stein, S. and D. A. Wiens, Depth determination for shallow teleseismic earthquakes: methods and results, Rev. Geophys., 24, 806-832, 1986.
Stein, S., J. Engeln, C. Demets, R. Gordon, D. Woods, D. Argus, P. Lundgren, C. Stein, and D. Wiens, The Nazca-South America convergence rate and the recurrence of the great 1960 Chilean earthquake, Geophys. Res. Lett., 13, 713-716, 1986. For pdf click here
Wiens, D., S. Stein, C. Demets, R. Gordon and C. Stein, Plate tectonic models for Indian Ocean ``intraplate" deformation, Tectonophysics, 132, 37-48, 1986.
Stein, S., S. Cloetingh, D. Wiens and R. Wortel, Why does near ridge extensional seismicity occur primarily in the Indian Ocean?, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 82, 107-113, 1987. For pdf click here
Schlanger, S. O. and S. Stein, Charles Darwin and Captain Moresby on the sudden drowning of the Great Chagos Bank: A 19th century discovery of the seismicity of `aseismic' ridges and the `intraplate' tectonics of the Indian Ocean, EOS, 68, 140-141, 1987.
Okal, E. A. and S. Stein, The 1942 Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge earthquake: the largest known transform event, Geophys. Res. Lett., 14, 147-150, 1987.
Gordon, R., S. Stein, C. DeMets, D. Argus, and D. Woods, Statistical tests for closure of plate motion circuits, Geophys. Res. Lett., 14, 587-590, 1987. For pdf click here
Shudofsky, G., S. Cloetingh, S. Stein, and R. Wortel, Unusually deep earthquakes in East Africa: constraints on the thermo-mechanical structure of a continental rift system, Geophys. Res. Lett., 14, 741-744, 1987.
DeMets, C., R. Gordon, S. Stein, and D. Argus, A revised estimate of Pacific-North America motion and implications for western North America plate boundary zone tectonics, Geophys. Res. Lett., 14, 911-914, 1987.
Stein, S., E. Okal and D. Wiens, Application of modern techniques to analysis of historical earthquakes, in: Historical Seismograms and Earthquakes of the World, edited by W.H.K. Lee, H. Meyers and K. Shimazaki, 85-104, Academic Press, London, 1987.
Anderson-Fontana, S., J. F. Engeln, P. Lundgren, R. L. Larson, and S. Stein, Tectonics of the Nazca-Antarctica plate boundary, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 86, 46-56, 1987.
Stein, S., C. DeMets, R. G. Gordon, J. Brodholt, J. F. Engeln, D. A. Wiens, D. Argus, P. Lundgren, C. Stein, and D. F. Woods, A test of alternative Caribbean plate relative motion models, J. Geophys. Res., 93, 3041-3050, 1988.
Engeln, J., S. Stein, J. Werner and R. Gordon, Microplate and shear zone models for oceanic spreading center reorganizations, J. Geophys. Res., 93, 2839-2856, 1988. For pdf click here
Brodholt, J., and S. Stein, Rheological control on the distribution of Wadati-Benioff seismicity, Geophys. Res. Lett., 15, 1081- 1077, 1988. For pdf click here
Lundgren, P. R., E. A. Okal, and S. Stein, Body wave deconvolution for variable source parameters; application to the December 6, 1987 Kuriles earthquake, Geophys. J., 94, 171-180, 1988.
Acton, G., S. Stein, and J. Engeln, Formation of curved seafloor fabric by changes in rift propagation velocity and spreading rate: application to the 95.5°W Galapagos propagator, J. Geophys. Res., 93, 11845-11861, 1988. For pdf click here
Helffrich, G., S. Stein, and B. J. Wood, Implications for subduction zone thermal structure and mineralogy for seismic wave reflections and conversions at the downgoing slab/mantle interface, J. Geophys. Res., 94, 753-763, 1989.
Stein, S., S. Cloetingh, N. Sleep and R. Wortel, Passive margin earthquakes, stresses, and rheology, in S. Gregerson and P. Basham (eds) Earthquakes at North Atlantic Passive Margins, 231-259, Kluwer, 1989. For pdf click here
Argus, D. F., R. G. Gordon, C. DeMets, and S. Stein, Closure of the Africa-North America-Eurasia plate circuit and tectonics of the Gloria fault, J. Geophys. Res., 94, 5585-5602, 1989.
Stoddard, P. R., and S. Stein, A kinematic model of zero-offset and very-long-offset transforms, Mar. Geophys. Res., 3-4, 181-190, 1989. For pdf click here
Spakman, W., S. Stein, R. van der Hilst, and R. Wortel, Resolution experiments for NW Pacific subduction zone tomography, Geophys. Res. Lett., 16, 1097-1100, 1989. For pdf click here
DeMets, C., R. G. Gordon, D. F. Argus, and S. Stein, Current plate motions, Geophys. J., 101, 425-478, 1990. For pdf click here
DeMets, C. and S. Stein, A present-day kinematic model for the Rivera plate and tectonics of Southwestern Mexico, J. Geophys. Res., 95, 21931-21948, 1990. For pdf click here
Shoberg, T., S. Stein and J. Karsten, Constraints on rift propagation history at the Cobb Offset, Juan de Fuca ridge, from numerical modeling of tectonic fabric, Tectonophysics, 197, 295-308, 1991. For pdf click here
Acton, G., S. Stein, and J. Engeln, Block rotation and continental extension in Afar: a comparison to oceanic microplate systems, Tectonics, 10, 501-526, 1991. 587-590, 1987. For pdf click here
D. Naar, F. Martinez, R. Hey, T. Reed IV, and S. Stein, Pito Rift: how a large-offset rift propagates, Mar. Geophys. Res., 13, 287-310, 1991.
Stein, S. and A. Pelayo, Seismological constraints on stress in the oceanic lithosphere, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A., 337, 53-72, 1991. For pdf click here
Stein, S., Seismic gaps and grizzly bears, Nature, 356, 387-388, 1992.
Gordon, R. G. and S. Stein, Global tectonics and space geodesy, Science, 256, 333-342, 1992.
Stein, C. and S. Stein, A model for the global variation in oceanic depth and heat flow with lithospheric age, Nature, 359, 123-128, 1992. For pdf click here
Shoberg, T., C. Stein, and S. Stein, Constraints on lithospheric thermal structure for the Indian Ocean basin from depth and heat flow data, Geophys. Res. Lett., 20, 1095-1098, 1993.
Stein, C. and S. Stein, Constraints on Pacific midplate swells from global depth-age and heat flow-age models, in Pringle, M., W. Sager, W. Sliter, and S. Stein (eds), The Mesozoic Pacific, Geophysical Monograph 76, 53-76, American Geophysical Union, 1993. For pdf click here
Seno, T., S. Stein, and A. Gripp, A model for the motion of the Phillipine Sea Plate consistent with NUVEL-1 and geological data, J. Geophys. Res, 98, 17941-17948, 1993. For pdf click here
Stein, S., Space geodesy and plate motions, Contributions of Space Geodesy to Geodynamics, American Geophysical Union Geodynamics Series 23, 5-20, 1993. For pdf click here
Helffrich, G. and S. Stein, Study of the structure of the slab/mantle interface using reflected and converted seismic waves, Geophys. J. Int., 115, 14-40, 1993.
Stein, C. and S. Stein, Constraints on hydrothermal flux through the oceanic lithosphere from global heat flow, J. Geophys. Res, 99, 3081-3095, 1994. For pdf click here
Shoberg, T., and S. Stein, Investigation of spreading center evolution by joint inversion of seafloor lineation and magnetic data, Earth Planet Sci. Lett., 122 195-206, 1994. For pdf click here
Pelayo, A., S. Stein, and C. Stein, Estimation of oceanic hydrothermal heat flux from the depths of midocean ridge seismicity and magma chambers and heat flow data, Geophys. Res. Lett., 21, 713-716, 1994. For pdf click here
Stein, C. and S. Stein, Comparison of plate and asthenospheric flow models for the evolution of oceanic lithosphere, Geophys. Res. Lett., 21, 709-712, 1994. For pdf click here
DeMets, C., R. G. Gordon, D. F. Argus, and S. Stein, Effect of recent revisions to the geomagnetic reversal time scale on estimates of current plate motion, Geophys. Res. Lett., 21, 2191-2194, 1994. For pdf click here
Stein, C. and S. Stein, Modeling heat flow and hydrothermal circulation in young crust, Ridge Events, 6, 1, 9-11, 1995.
Stein, C., S. Stein, and A. Pelayo, Heat flow and hydrothermal circulation, in: Physical, chemical, biological and geological interactions within hydrothermal systems, AGU Mono., edited by Humphris, S., L. Mullineaux, R. Zierenberg and R. Thomson, Am. Geophys. Un., Washington, D.C., 425-445, 1995. For pdf click here
Stein, S., Deep earthquakes: a fault too big?, Science, 268, 49-50, 1995.
Richardson, P., S. Stein, C. Stein, and M. Zuber, Geoid data and the thermal structure of oceanic lithosphere, Geophys. Res. Lett., 22, 1913-1916, 1995. For pdf click here
Seno, T., T. Sarkuri, and S. Stein, Can the Okhotsk plate be discriminated from the North American plate?, J. Geophys. Res., 101, 11305-11316, 1996. For pdf click here
Kirby, S., S. Stein, D. Rubie, and E. Okal, Deep earthquakes and metastable phase changes in subducting oceanic lithosphere, Rev. Geophys., 34, 261-306, 1996. For pdf click here
Stein, S., and C. Stein, Thermo-mechanical evolution of oceanic lithosphere: implications for the subduction process and deep earthquakes, in: Subduction: Top to Bottom, Geophysical Monograph 96 edited by G. Bebout, D. School, and S. Kirby, Am. Geophys. Un., Washington, D.C., 1-17, 1996. For pdf click here
Stein, S., Launching an environmental science major: experience at Northwestern, GSA Today, 38-39, March, 1996. For pdf click here
Dixon, T. H., A. Mao, and S. Stein, How rigid is the stable interior of the North American plate?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 23, 3035-3038, 1996. For pdf click here
Stein, S., and C. Stein, Ocean depths and the Lake Wobegone Effect, Science, 275, 1613-1614, 1997. For html click here
Leffler, L., A. Mao, T. Dixon, S. Stein, and M. Ellis, Constraints on the present-day shortening rate across the Central Eastern Andes from GPS measurements, Geophys. Res. Lett., 24, 1031-1034, 1997.
Stein, S., Hot-spotting in the Pacific, Nature, 387, 345-346, 1997.
Stein, C., and S. Stein, Estimation of lateral hydrothermal flow distance from spatial variations in oceanic heat flow, Geophys. Res. Lett., 24, 2323-2326, 1997. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and J. DeLaughter, Upgrading a beginning geophysics course: taking a "small-is-beautiful" approach, EOS, 78, 521-532, 1997.
Norabuena, E., L. Leffler-Griffin, A. Mao, T. Dixon, S. Stein, I. S. Sacks, L. Ocala and M. Ellis, Space geodetic observations of Nazca-South America convergence along the Central Andes, Science, 279, 358-362, 1998. For pdf click here
Weber, J., S. Stein, and J. Engeln, Estimation of intraplate strain accumulation in the New Madrid Seismic Zone from repeat GPS surveys Tectonics, 17, 250-266, 1998.
Stein, S. and T. Dixon, Looking for bears: space geodesy for earthquake studies, Seis. Res. Lett., 69, 377-379, 1998.
DeLaughter, J., S. Stein, C. Stein, and K. Bain, Preconceptions about earth science among students in an introductory course, EOS, 79, 429, 1998. For pdf click here
Silver, P., Y. Bock, D. Agnew, T. Henyey, A. Linde, T. McEvilly, J.-B. Minster, B. Romanowicz, I. Sacks, R. Smith, S. Solomon, and S. Stein, A plate boundary observatory, IRIS Newsletter, 16, 2, 3-7, 1998.
Marton, F., C. Bina, S. Stein, and D. Rubie, Effects of slab mineralogy on subduction rates, Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 119-122, 1999.
Newman, A., S. Stein, J. Weber, J. Engeln, A. Mao, and T. Dixon, Slow deformation and low seismic hazard at the New Madrid seismic zone, Science, 284, 619-621, 1999. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and D. Rubie, Deep earthquakes in real slabs, Science, 286 909-910, 1999. For html click here
Norabuena, E., T. Dixon, S. Stein, and C. Harrison, Decelerating Nazca-South America convergence and Nazca-Pacific spreading, Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 3405-3408, 1999. For pdf click here
DeLaughter, J., S. Stein, and C. Stein, Extraction of the lithospheric aging signal from satellite geoid data, Earth. Planet Sci. Lett., 174, 173-181, 1999. For pdf click here
Stein, S., M. Hamburger, C. Meertens, T. Dixon, and S. Owen, UNAVCO Conference discusses advances in volcano geodesy, EOS, 81, 121-126, 2000. For pdf click here
Klosko, E., J. DeLaughter, and S. Stein, Technology in introductory geophysics: the high-low mix, Computers and Geosciences, 26, 693-698, 2000. For html click here
Ware, R., D. Fulker, S. Stein, D. Anderson, S. Avery, R. Clark, K. Droegemier, J. Kuettner, J. Minster, and S. Sorooshian, SUOMINET: A real-time national GPS network for atmospheric research and education, Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., 81, 677-694, 2000.
Liu, M., Y. Yang, S. Stein, Y. Zhu, J. Engeln, Crustal shortening in the Andes: Why do GPS rates differ from geological rates? Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, 3005-3008, 2000. For pdf (B&W only) click here
A. Newman, J. Schneider, S. Stein, and A. Mendez, Uncertainties in seismic hazard maps for the New Madrid Seismic Zone and implications for seismic hazard communication, Seis. Res. Lett., 72, 653-667, 2001. For pdf click here
Bina, C., S. Stein, F. Marton, and E. VanArk, Implications of slab mineralogy for subduction dynamics, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 127, 51-66, 2001.
Ware, R., D. Fulker, S. Stein, D. Anderson, S. Avery, R. Clark, K. Droegemier, J. Kuettner, J. Minster, and S. Sorooshian, Real-time national GPS networks for atmospheric sensing, J. Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 63, 1315-1330, 2001.Stein, S. and E. Klosko, Earthquake mechanisms and plate tectonics, in W. Lee, H. Kanamori, and P. Jennings (eds.) Handbook of Earthquake and Engineering Seismology , 2002.
Hindle, D., J. Kley, E. Klosko, S. Stein, T. Dixon, and E. Norabuena, Consistency of geologic and geodetic displacements during Andean orogenesis, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29(7), 10.1029/2001GL013757, , 2002. For pdf click here
Stein, S., G. Sella, and E. Okal, The January 26, 2001 Bhuj earthquake and the diffuse western boundary of the Indian plate, in Plate Boundary Zones, edited by S. Stein and J. Freymueller, Geodynamics Series 30, AGU, Washington, D. C., 243-254, 2002. For pdf click here
Klosko, E. R., S. Stein, D. Hindle, T. Dixon, and E. Norabuena, Comparison of geodetic, geologic, and seismological observations in the Nazca-South American plate boundary zone, in Plate Boundary Zones, edited by S. Stein and J. Freymueller, Geodynamics Series 30, AGU, Washington, D. C., 123-134, 2002. For pdf click here
Liu, M., Y. Yang, S. Stein, and E. Klosko, Crustal shortening and extension in the Andes from a viscoelastic model, in Plate Boundary Zones, edited by S. Stein and J. Freymueller, Geodynamics Series 30, AGU, Washington, D. C., 325-340, 2002. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and G. Sella, Plate boundary zones: concept and approaches, in Plate Boundary Zones, edited by S. Stein and J. Freymueller, Geodynamics Series 30, AGU, Washington, D. C., 1-26, 2002. For pdf click here
Stein, C. and S. Stein, Mantle plumes: heat flow near Iceland Astronomy and Geophysics, 44, 8-10, 2003. For pdf click here
Stein, S., J. Tomasello, and A. Newman, Should Memphis Build for California's Earthquakes? EOS, 84, 177,184-185, 2003. For pdf click here, for discussion click here
Yang, Y., M. Liu and S. Stein, A 3-D geodynamic model of lateral crustal flow during Andean mountain building, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(21), 10.1029/2001GL018308, , 2003. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and A. Newman, Characteristic and uncharacteristic earthquakes as possible artifacts: applications to the New Madrid and Wabash seismic zones, Seis. Res. Lett., 75, 173-187, 2004. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and G. Sella, Pleistocene change from convergence to extension in the Apennines as a consequence of Adria microplate motion, in The Adria Microplate: GPS Geodesy, Tectonics and Hazards, Nato Science Series, 21-34, edited by Pinter, N., G. Grenerczy, J. Weber, S. Stein, and D. Medak, Springer, 2005. For pdf click here
Stein, S., No free lunch, Seis. Res. Lett., 75, 555-556, 2004. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and E. Okal, Size and speed of the Sumatra earthquake, Nature, 434, 581-582, 2005. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and E. Okal, Sumatra earthquake - what happened and why The Earth Scientist, 21, 6-11, 2005. For pdf click here
Park, J., T.-R. A. Song, J. Tromp, E. Okal, S. Stein, et al., Earth's free oscillations excited by the 26 December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, Science, 308, 1139-1144, 2005. For pdf click here
Stein, S., A. Friedrich, and A. Newman, Dependence of possible characteristic earthquakes on spatial sampling: illustration for the Wasatch seismic zone, Utah, Seis. Res. Lett., 76, 432-436, 2005. For pdf click here
DeLaughter, J., C. A. Stein, and S. Stein, Hotspots: a view from the swells, in Foulger, G. R., J. Natland, D. C. Presnall, and D. L. Anderson (eds.), Plates, plumes, and paradigms, Geol. Soc. Am. Sp. Paper 388, 257-278, doi: 10.1130/2005.2388(16), 2005. For pdf click here
Tectonic implications of the GPS velocity field in the northern Adriatic region, Grenerczy, G., G. Sella, S. Stein, and A. Kenyeres, Geopys. Res. Lett., 32, doi10.1029/2005GL022947, 2005. For pdf click here
Calais, E.,G. Mattioli, C. DeMets, J.-M.Nocquet, S. Stein, A. Newman, and P. Rydelek, Tectonic strain in plate interiors? Nature 438, doi: 10.1038/nature04428, 2005. For pdf click here
Lopez, A., S. Stein, T. Dixon, G. Sella, E. Calais, P. Jansma, J. Weber, and P. LaFemina, Is there a Northern Lesser Antilles Forearc block?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L07313, doi:10.1029/2005GL025293, 2006. For pdf click here
Stein, S., Limitations of a young science, Seis. Res. Lett., 77, 351-353, 2006. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and E. Okal, Ultralong period seismic study of the December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and implications for regional tectonics and the subduction process, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 97, S279-S295, 2007. For pdf click here
Blewitt, G., C. Kreemer, W. Hammond, H. Plag, S. Stein, and E. Okal, Rapid determination of earthquake magnitude by GPS for tsunami warning systems, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L11309, doi:10.1029/2006GL026145, 2006. For pdf click here
Dye, S. and S. Stein, Exploring Earth's composition and energetics with geoneutrinos, EOS, 87, 253-260, 2006. For pdf click here
Stein, S. Education, outreach, and marketing, EOS, 88, 39-40, 2007. For pdf click here
Stein, S. New Madrid GPS: much ado about nothing?, EOS, 88, 58-60, 2007. For pdf click here
Sella, G., S. Stein, T. Dixon, M. Craymer, T. James, S. Mazzotti and R. Dokka, Observations of glacial isostatic adjustment in stable North America with GPS, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L02306, doi:10.1029/2006GL027081, 2007. For pdf click here
Stein, S., Approaches to continental intraplate earthquake issues, in Continental Intraplate Earthquakes, Special Paper 425, 1-16, S. Stein and S. Mazzotti, eds., GSA, Boulder, CO, 2007. For pdf click here
Swafford, L. and S. Stein, Limitations of the short earthquake record for seismicity and seismic hazard studies, in Continental Intraplate Earthquakes, Special Paper 425, 49-58, S. Stein and S. Mazzotti, eds., GSA, Boulder, CO, 2007. For pdf click here
McKenna, J., S. Stein, and C. Stein, Is the New Madrid Seismic Zone hotter and weaker than its surroundings? in Continental Intraplate Earthquakes, Special Paper 425, 167-175, S. Stein and S. Mazzotti, eds., GSA, Boulder, CO, 2007. For pdf click here
Okal, E. and S. Stein, S., Observations of ultralong period normal modes from the December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, Phys.Earth. Planet Int., 175 53-62, 2009. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and J. Hebden, Time-dependent seismic hazard maps for the New Madrid seismic zone and Charleston, South Carolina areas, Seis. Res. Lett., 80, 12-20, 2009. For pdf click here
Schramm, K. and S. Stein, Apparent slow oceanic transform earthquakes due to source mechanism bias, Seis. Res. Lett., 80, 102-107, 2009. For pdf click here
Li, Q., M. Liu and S. Stein, Spatial-temporal complexity of continental intraplate seismicity: insights from geodynamic modeling and implications for seismic hazard estimation, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 99, 52-60, 2009. For pdf click here
Blewitt, G., W. C. Hammond, C. Kreemer, H.-P. Plag, S. Stein, and E. Okal, GPS for real-time earthquake source determination and tsunami warning systems, J. Geod., 83, S335-343, 2009. For pdf click here
Calais, E. and S. Stein,
Time-variable deformation in the New Madrid seismic zone,
Science, 5920, 1442, 2009.
For pdf click here
For supplemental material (pdf) click here
Stein, S., M. Liu, E. Calais, and Q. Li, Midcontinent earthquakes as a complex system, Seis. Res. Lett., 80, 551-553, 2009. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and M. Liu, Long aftershock sequences within continents and implications for earthquake hazard assessment, Nature, 462, 87-89, 2009. For pdf click here
Calais, E., A. Freed, R. Van Arsdale, and S. Stein, Triggering of New Madrid seismicity by late Pleistocene erosion, Nature, 466, 608-611, 2010. For pdf click here
Merino, M., S. Stein, M. Liu, and E. Okal, Comparison of seismicity rates in the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones, Seis. Res. Lett., 81, 951-954, 2010. For pdf click here
Ebeling, C., and S. Stein, Seismological identification and characterization of a large hurricane, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 101, 2011. For pdf click here
Chang, S.-J., M. Merino, S. Van der Lee, S. Stein, and C. Stein,
Mantle flow beneath Arabia offset from the opening Red Sea,
Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L04301, doi:10.1029/2010GL045852,
For pdf click here
For supplemental material (pdf) click here
Liu, M., S. Stein, and H. Wang, 2000 years of migrating earthquakes in North China: How earthquakes in mid-continents differ from those at plate boundaries, Lithosphere, 3, doi: 10.1130/L129, 2011. For pdf click here
Hubenthal, M., Stein, S. and J. Taber, A big squeeze: examining and modeling the causes of intraplate earthquakes in the earth science classroom, The Earth Scientist, 27, 33-39, 2011. For pdf click here
Stein, S., S. van der Lee, D. Jurdy, C. Stein, D. Wiens, M. Wysession, J. Revenaugh, A. Frederiksen, F. Darbyshire, T. Bollmann, J. Lodewyk, E. Wolin, M. Merino, and K. Tekverk, Learning from failure: the SPREE Mid-Continent Rift Experiment, GSA Today, 21, 9, pp 5-7, September 2011. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and E. Okal, The size of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake needn't have been a surprise, EOS, 92, 227-228, 2011. For pdf click here
Stein, S., R. Geller, and M. Liu, Bad assumptions or bad luck: why earthquake hazard maps need objective testing, Seis. Res. Lett., 82, 623-626, 2011. For pdf click here
Wolin, E., S. Stein, F. Pazzaglia, A. Meltzer, A. Kafka, and C. Berti, Mineral, Virginia, earthquake illustrates seismicity of a passive-aggressive margin, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L02305, doi:10.1029/2011GL050310, 2012. For pdf click here
Stein, S., R. Geller, and M. Liu, Why earthquake hazard maps often fail and what to do about it, Tectonophysics, 562-563, 1-25, 2012 For pdf click here
Stein, J.L. and S. Stein, Rebuilding Tohoku: a joint geophysical and economic framework for hazard mitigation GSA Today, 22(9) 2012. For pdf click here
Stein, S. and R.J. Geller, Communicating uncertainties in natural hazard forecasts, EOS, 93, 361-362, 2012. For pdf click here
Stein, J.L. and S. Stein, Gray Swans: comparison of natural and financial hazard assessment and mitigation, Natural Hazards, doi 10.1007/s11069-012-0388-x, 2012. For pdf click here
Stein, J.L. and S. Stein, Formulating Natural Hazard Policies Under Uncertainty, SIAM News, 45/10, 6-7, 2012. Click here for pdf.
Stein, J.L. and S. Stein, Formulating Natural Hazard Policies Under Uncertainty, SIAM/ASA J. on Uncertainty Quantification, 1, 42-50, 2013. Click here for pdf.
Stein, S. and J.L. Stein, How good do natural hazard assessments need to be?, GSA Today, 23, no. 4/5, doi: 10.1130/GSATG167GW.1 (April/May), 2013. Click here for pdf
Stein, S. and J.L. Stein, Shallow versus deep uncertainties in natural hazard assessments, EOS, 94, 4, 133-140 (2 April), 2013. Click here for pdf
Stein, S., Fault plane solutions, in C. Seyfert (ed.) Encyclopedia of Structural Geology and Plate Tectonics, 223-228, Van Nostrand, New York, 1988.
Stein, S. and D. F. Woods, Earthquake mechanisms and plate tectonics, in D. James (ed.) Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics, 245-260, Van Nostrand, New York, 1989.
Stein, S. and D. F. Woods, Midocean ridge seismicity, in D. James (ed) Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics, 1050-1054, Van Nostrand, New York, 1989.
Stein, S., The media and the quake that wasn't: reflections on news coverage of the December 1990 Midwest earthquake prediction, Chicago Journalist, October 1991.
Stein, S. and E. Klosko, Earthquake mechanisms and plate tectonics,
Stein, S. and J. Tomasello, When safety costs too much, New York Times, January 10, 2004. For html click here
Stein, S., Understanding earthquake hazard maps, Earth, January 2009. For pdf click here
Review of ``Inside the Earth" by B. Bolt, Am. J. Sci., 283, 192, 1983.
Review of ``The Interior of the Earth," by M.H.P. Bott, J. Geol., 92, 351-352, 1984.
Review of ``Exploration Seismology," by R. Sheriff and L. Geldart, Am. Sci., 72, 627, 1984.
Review of ``Earthquake Fears, Predictions, and Preparations in Mid-America", by John E. Farley, Science, 282, 247 (Oct. 9) 1998.
Review of "The Earth in Turmoil: earthquakes, volcanoes, and their impact on humankind" by K. Sieh and S. LeVay, EOS, 81, 68, 2000.
R/V Moana Wave Sea Marc survey of the Easter Microplate, East Pacific Rise, 1989
GPS survey, Hebgen Lake region, 1991
Principal investigator, GPS survey of strain accumulation in the New Madrid, Missouri seismic zone, 1991-1997
Principal investigator, GPS survey of South America - Nazca plate convergence zone 1994-2002
I have had the good fortune to work with many outstanding graduate students. I have been an advisor to:
D. Wiens; now Professor, Washington University, St. Louis
J. Engeln; now Assistant Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
P. Stoddard; now Associate Professor, Northern Illinois University
G. Acton*; now Research Scientist, University of California, Davis
G. Helffrich; now Professor, University of Bristol (U.K.)
J. Weber*+; now Associate Professor, Grand Valley State University (Michigan)
T. Shoberg+; now Assistant Professor, Pittsburg State University (Kansas)
Andy Newman+; now Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
Fred Marton; now postdoctoral fellow, Bayerisches Geoinstitut (Germany)
Eryn Klosko; now Assistant Professor, Westchester Community College (New York)
Alberto Lopez; now postdoctoral fellow, University of Puerto Rico
Kimberly Schramm; now postdoctoral fellow, New Mexico Institute of Mines and Technology
Laura Swafford; now geophysicist, Chevron
P. Lundgren; now at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
C. DeMets*; now Professor, University of Wisconsin
D. Argus; now at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
J. Brodholt; now Professor, University College, London
Phil Richardson+; now at Chevron Petroleum Technology
Carl Ebeling (Studying hurricanes with seismic noise)Emily Wolin (Passive margin earthquakes)
*Students whose joint paper with me won an AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award
+Awarded the department`s Horace Scott Award for Outstanding
Graduate Research and Potential
My research focuses on investigating plate boundary processes and deformation within the lithosphere, using a variety of techniques. These studies can be divided in three general themes.
Plate motions, boundary processes, and intraplate deformation: An overall theme is studying the geometry of plate boundaries, the motions there, and how these evolve. Many of these studies derive from the development of the NUVEL-1 global plate motion model, a joint project with R. Gordon and a group of graduate students. Once NUVEL-1 became available, we applied it to tectonic settings around the world and extended it to areas not in the original model (Rivera Plate, Phillipine plate, etc..). Space geodetic data (GPS, VLBI, SLR, Doris), earthquake mechanisms, and geological data can then be compared to NUVEL-1 to see how processes over millions of years compare with those over a few years, and explore their implications for the kinematic and dynamic evolution of plate boundaries.
A primary present focus is a collaborative effort with U. Miami, DTM/CIW, U. Missouri, Michigan State, and South American colleagues, studying plate convergence and mountain building in the central Andes by integrating topographic, GPS, seismological, and geologic data with numerical modeling. GPS data show that roughly half of the overall convergence accumulates on the locked plate interface and can be released in future earthquakes. Approximately 10 mm/yr of crustal shortening occurs inland at the sub-Andean foreland fold and thrust belt, indicating that the Andes are continuing to build. This shortening is quite similar to that for the past 10 Ma constructed from structural data. However, geological shortening vectors for 10-25 Ma are similar in direction, but slower, than the 0 - 10 Ma vectors. Hence over the past 25 Ma shortening and uplift migrated eastward and accelerated, leaving the Andean plateau behind, even as the convergence causing the uplift slowed. Numerical modeling is being used to explore how the complex interactions and feedbacks between convergence, shortening, uplift, and erosion cause the variations of topography and shortening along and across the orogen. Funding is now being sought to directly measure the uplift using continuous GPS and integrate the results with paleoelevation data to explore how uplift varies on different time scales, improve constraints on dynamic models of the mountain building process, and learn more about its effect on regional climate. Similar, but smaller scale studies, are looking at the Indian plate's diffuse western boundary with Eurasia, the East African rift, and the Caribbean.
A parallel effort is investigating plate rigidity and intraplate deformation. Former Ph.D. students J. Weber (now at Grand Valley State University), J. Engeln (Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources), A. Newman (Los Alamos) together with colleagues from University of Miami conducted a multi-institutional program using GPS to quantify the rate and distribution of strain accumulation in the New Madrid seismic zone. The GPS data show little, if any, differential motion across the seismic zone, in contrast to previously published results. The geodetic data are consistent with paleoseismic observations and the lack of fault-associated topography if the magnitudes of the 1811-1812 earthquakes were less than assumed. These results, subsequently confirmed by intensity and paleoseismic studies, led to considerable publicity because they showed that the earthquake hazard here has been overestimated. A similar conclusion emerges from detailed analysis of the uncertainties in seismic hazard maps for the area, conducted with colleagues from Impact Forecasting (part of Aon Insurance) and the Australian Geological Survey. An interesting implication is that although proposed building codes for the area call for expensive California-level antiseismic construction, work with structural engineer Joseph Tomasello indicates that less expensive measures make more economic sense.
Oceanic lithosphere and hydrothermal circulation: Another theme is studying aspects of the thermal and mechanical evolution of oceanic lithosphere. One aspect, conducted primarily with students here, has been using seismological, marine magnetic, and seafloor topographic data to study the kinematics of plate boundary changes. We focused on areas where spreading centers split, with one ridge slowing spreading while the other speeds up, forming a rigid microplate. This approach, developed for oceanic spreading centers, was also extended to continental rifting in the Afar triple junction region of East Africa. The model describes the extension history, geometry and timing of rift formation, and paleomagnetic data indicating crustal rotations. It also has interesting implications for the evolution of rifted continental margins and paleo-oceanography. We have recently applied analogous ideas to the January 2001 Bhuj (India) earthquake, which has been interpreted as a continental intraplate earthquake. However, we favor a model in which it reflects motion at the boundary of a microplate breaking off the Indian plate as the India - Arabia - Eurasia triple junction evolves. This model has similarities to aspects of the evolution of the Sierra Nevada block.
A second aspect, conducted with C. Stein (Univ. of Illinois) and graduate students, focuses on variations in seafloor depth and heat flow with age that provide the primary constraints on the thermal structure and evolution of the oceanic lithosphere, the major manifestation of the earth's thermal evolution. The approach is based on a joint inversion of depth and heat flow data that implied that the lithosphere is hotter at depth and thinner than previously assumed, and so fit data from older (>70 Ma) lithosphere previously treated as anomalous significantly better than previous models. These results are confirmed by spatial filtering of satellite geoid data showing a clear but previously unrecognized lithospheric cooling signal. We use the dataset and model to examine a variety of tectonic issues including the relative contributions of thermal and dynamic effects to the uplift at midplate hotspot swells, the nature of the widespread Cretaceous mid-Pacific volcanism, and the age dependence of the temperature structure of downgoing slabs.
This approach is also useful for investigation of the magnitude and age distribution of the hydrothermal water flux through the oceanic lithosphere, one of the primary modes of interaction between the solid earth and the ocean/atmosphere system. An important result was that although heat flow in young lithosphere is highly variable, due to local hydrologic complexities, average heat flow decreases approximately linearly from near the axis to about 20 Myr and then is roughly constant to ~50 Myr. Hence heat flow can be combined with depths of midocean ridge earthquakes and magma chambers to constrain a simple thermal model for young lithosphere including the effects of hydrothermal circulation. We thus have a model against which survey data can be compared, and can be used to describe the global hydrothermal flux. We estimate that about 2/3 of the hydrothermal heat loss occurs by off-ridge and presumably low-temperature flow in crust older than 1 Myr, whose consequences for ocean chemistry differ significantly from those for high-temperature flow. Moreover, we can estimate the distance scale of water flow in young lithosphere and draw inferences about what controls the fraction of heat transferred hydrothermally.
Thermo-mechanics of the subduction process: A third theme involves aspects of the subduction process. After finding that the thermo-mechanical models we used successfully to explain the variations in the depth of oceanic intraplate earthquakes were unsuccessful in explaining the depths of earthquakes within subducting slabs, it seemed likely that deep and shallow earthquakes reflect different failure processes. I have been working with grad students and colleagues from Northwestern, USGS, and Bayreuth (Germany), to explore the hypothesis that deep seismicity results from reconstructive phase transitions in olivine within downgoing slabs. Thermo-kinetic modeling shows that younger and slower subducting slabs (e.g., Aleutian) are hot enough that transformation of olivine to spinel keeps pace with the descent rate and is completed near the equilibrium phase boundaries. At most a small metastable region forms and deep earthquakes do not occur. Older and faster subducting slabs (e.g., Tonga) are colder and kinetic hindrance prevents transformation from keeping pace with the descent rate. Metastable olivine thus persists in wedge-shaped regions well below the equilibrium phase boundary, and deep earthquakes can occur by transformational faulting in the resulting metastable wedges. These predictions are consistent with the variation in earthquake depths between and along subduction zones.
This model has a number of interesting consequences for the subduction process. Heat released by the metastable phase changes raises temperatures within slabs by up to 40-150\(deC in addition to that due to the equilibrium latent heat release, causing slabs to equilibrate more rapidly to the density and velocity of the ambient mantle. This heat facilitates transformation of spinel to the lower mantle mineral assemblage, and thus contributes to the cessation of deep seismicity. The metastable wedge reduces the negative buoyancy of slabs with respect to the surrounding mantle, and thus influences the state of stress in slabs and decreases the driving force for subduction. Because the wedge forms in faster subducting slabs, it may act as a "parachute" and contribute to regulating plate speeds. Present work focuses on expanding on the initial results, focusing on predicting the distribution of mineral phases in slabs and their possible consequences, via a multidisciplinary approach integrating tectonic, laboratory, modeling, and seismological studies.
At the advanced undergraduate/graduate level, I teach seismology and geophysical data processing in alternate years, and plate tectonics some years. These courses form the core of a textbook which has already been used in courses in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and elsewhere. These courses are part of a basic curriculum, rather than introductory training only for students specializing in seismology. They are thus designed to offer a broad view that will also be interesting and accessible to students concentrating in other branches of earth science. Hence, for example, students in the data processing course analyze seismological, magnetic, topographic, and paleoclimate data. I also often teach or co-teach seminars, the most successful of which gave rise to the NUVEL-1 plate motion model. Other seminar topics over the years include Venus tectonics, space geodesy, tectonics and climate, and seismotectonics.
Some years I teach a general distribution course for non-majors, and most years I teach a junior-senior course "Earth's Interior" required of all geology majors. The course is an overview of topics in the structure and evolution of the earth and terrestrial planets. It is also commonly taken as a science distribution requirement course by undergrads in the engineering school. In recent years I and graduate students have been working to upgrade the teaching in these courses via a mix of "high" (World-Wide Web and other computer applications) and "low" (class demonstrations and experiments) educational technology. The results were presented at AGU and NSF meetings, and are the subject of two papers. A related effort, together with Northwestern's Center for Teaching Excellence usedan "earth science literacy test" to see what students know before the course. I also supervise senior honors theses involving research projects. Recent ones include modeling of finite faults in the New Madrid zone, investigation of the flat-lying slab at the Vityaz trench, and (jointly with computer science) development of an interactive interface to global mapping software.
In addition, because I have had the fortune to work with fine Ph.D. students many of whom are now well-regarded young scientists, I have been involved with the ongoing discussion of how to improve graduate education. I was invited to serve on a panel at an AGU meeting discussing career development of junior faculty, and gave an invited paper at another AGU meeting in a session on "Preparing Future Faculty."