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Seismic Imaging

Suzn van der Lee installing seismic equipmentSuzan van der Lee uses the shapes and arrival times of the various seismic waves that make up a seismogram to create images of the Earth's upper mantle.  These images provide major clues to the spatially varying thermal and compositional conditions within the upper mantle, which are causes and consequences of mantle convection and lithospheric deformation. She collects the seismograms during field experiments (see picture) in locations that are particularly suitable for answering specific questions about the upper mantle, e.g., "How thick is the lithosphere?" The techniques used by Van der Lee for the creation of these images include state-of-the-art computer tomography.

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