RESEARCH

Geophysics & Seismology

 

I have earned a Ph.D. in Geophysics at the University of Aberdeen under the supervision of Prof. Nicholas Rawlinson (University of Cambridge) and Prof. Luca De Siena (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz). My topic was "Seismic imaging of the southeast Asia - Australia collision zone".

The collision zone between the Australian continent and south-east Asia has helped to produce one of the finest natural laboratories on Earth for the study of modern plate tectonics. It provides an unprecedented opportunity to understand the genesis of mountain belts, arc development, the formation of marginal basins and the structure and dynamics of subduction zones. It is also one of the most seismogenic regions on the planet, and in recent times has produced a number of destructive earthquakes and associated tsunamis that have resulted in heavy loss of life. The goal of this project is to develop a new generation of 3-D seismic model of the region which incorporates as much seismic data as possible. Advanced seismic tomography methods were developed and applied to bring together a variety of data from local and regional networks in order to build up a clear picture of the subsurface, from the shallow crust to the upper mantle. Frequent large earthquakes in the region provide high-quality body and surface wave data that can be exploited. The new seismic models provide fresh insight into a complex region that is still not well understood. As well as having implications for the structure and tectonic evolution of the region, the models provide important constraints on the dynamics and geometry of subduction zones, which are important to understand for the generation of megathrust earthquakes (e.g. from the Sunda Arc, which produced the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami). Southeast Asia is also experiencing rapid growth in the extraction of natural resources, including minerals and hydrocarbons; a high resolution seismic model of the region sheds new light on marginal basement development and, potentially, the plumbing systems associated with recent mineralisation.

 

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