Research Interests
back to Carl Tape

Broadly speaking, I am interested in seismic tomography and seismic wave propagation.  In many aspects, these topics go hand-in-hand: by using an accurate representation of seismic wave propagation (the forward problem) in a seismic tomography study (the inverse problem), it should be possible to obtain accurate and well-resolved images of the Earth's interior.  In collaboration with Jeroen Tromp and Qinya Liu, we have implemented an adjoint method into 2D and 3D spectral-element method (SEM) codes.  I have applied this technique in southern California to obtain a significantly improved 3D model of the crust; please follow the links here for details.

Southern California crustal tomography webpage

I am leading similar efforts in Alaska, with the goal of developing a 3D reference model of the crust and upper mantle. This project also involves assessment and improvement of the seismic moment tensor catalog for Alaska.

Geometry of seismic moment tensors and moment tensor space, here.

Multiscale representation of GPS velocity fields and strain-rate fields, here.


Earthquake simulations and other movies on youtube, here.

Observational evidence of earthquake nucleation associated with triggering, here.


Previous projects:
PhD thesis, Caltech, Seismic Tomography of Southern California Using Adjoint Methods, here.
Master's thesis, University of Oxford,
Waves on a Spherical Membrane, here.
Faults and fault rock in the vicinity of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, here.
Tides and tidal sedimentation, here.
Mirages, here (pdf).

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Snapshots of a 3D wavefield simulation for a Mw 4.6 earthquake near Anchorage, Alaska,
showing the strong effetcs of Cook Inlet basin on the seismic wavefield.
A = Anchorage, RV = Redoubt volcano, K = Kenai.
Download movie of the simulation here or play it on youtube here.


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