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Departments & Programs



Waucobi Seismic Study 2015

In June 2015, seismic data was acquired over the Waucobi Lake Beds near Big Pine, CA to address competing models for the uplift of the Sierra Nevada and extension of the westernmost Basin and Range.

The sedimentary record in Owens Valley can provide constraints on the
timing and mechanism of the most recent uplift of the Sierra Nevada. 
Studies conducted on the Waucobi Lake Beds (De Masi, 2011) show that the
exposed lacustrine section near Big Pine, CA represent a transtensional
basin of late Pliocene age.  The 100 meters of exposed lacustrine
deposits have been dated to from 2.65-2.1 Ma, and are unconformably
overlain by a fanglomerate, containing a tuff dated 1.08 Ma.  This
interval of lacustrine deposition is contemporaneous with dessication
events in several surrounding paleo-lakes, indicating that the capture
of freshwater in the basin was controlled by tectonics rather than by

The increased tectonic activity that opened up the
Waucobi embayment was likely contemporaneous with the most recent uplift
of the Sierra Nevada.  However, the depth to basement and the total
thickness of the Waucobi Lake Beds is unknown.  The age of the oldest
lacustrine sediments in Waucobi can address competing models for the
uplift of the Sierra Nevada Batholith and the timing of extension of the
westernmost Basin and Range. To determine the depth to basement, issue
we conducted an active source seismic study near Duchess Canyon. 


See attached ppt for more information.

Santa Catalina Island Terraces/Tectonics Low Energy Survey (SCITTLES)

In June 2014, ultra high-resolution seismic data were collected in southern California to investigate Quaternary tectonic deformation using submerged marine terraces surrounding several Channel Islands. 

Broadband Salton Seismic Imaging Project (bb-SSIP)

In January 2011, students and faculty from Stanford University deployed a network of 40 seismometers across southernmost California from the Pacific Ocean to the Colorado River. These seismometers recorded earthquakes from around the world for a period of 2 years. The data collected over that two year period will be used to construct an image of the deep structure beneath the region, learning about the location of faults, the distribution of magma, and the thickness of the crust in the area. This will allow us to understand more about the tectonic plate boundary, and how that affects earthquakes and volcanism.

Passive Seismic Imaging of the Ruby Mountains Core Complex

This project will use high-resolution passive seismic data of the Ruby Mountains metamorphic core complex to better understand the processes that occurred during its formation.

SINOPROBE in western Tibet: the Karakoram Fault

We have partnered with SinoProbe, the Chinese national scientific program led by CAGS to study the lithosphere to collect and interpret near-vertical and wide-angle seismic profiles across the Karakoram Fault. In complementary geochemical studies we are working with CAGS and NGRI to sample thermal springs for mantle-sourced helium (3He), and analyzing these samples at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. 

INDEPTH (International Deep Profiling of Tibet and the Himalaya)

Project INDEPTH (International Deep Profiling of Tibet and the Himalaya) is a multidisciplinary geophysical and geological investigation of the Himalayas and Tibet. Field projects associated with INDEPTH I, II, and III took place between 1992-2000 and covered Southern to Central Tibet. INDEPTH IV’s field season began in May/June 2007 with the acquisition of an active source seismic profile in NE Tibet.

HIMPROBE (a lithospheric geotransect across the Indian NW Himalaya)

HIMPROBE is an Indian national project, active since 2000, to create a
NW-Himalayan geotransect from the Sub-Himalaya to the Karakoram Range.

Northwest Basin-&-Range Province and transition to High Lava Plains

Stanford acquired a crustal-scale wide-angle profile across NW Nevada, an innovative but experimental crustal-scale 3D, 3C deployment across Steens Mountain-Alvord Desert, and high-resolution rflection and potential-field data across the Warner Mountains-Surprise Valley.

EAGLE (Ethiopia-Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment)

US-EAGLE (Ethiopia-Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment) is the US component of the international EAGLE program to investigate modification of lithospheric structure during continental breakup.

Ultra-low frequency electromagnetic monitoring of the San Andreas Fault

The Stanford ultra-low frequency electromagnetic (ULFEM) Monitoring
Project is recording naturally varying electromagnetic signals adjacent
to active earthquake faults, in an attempt to establish whether there is
any variation in these signals before or after earthquakes.