Questions tagged [geophysics]

Geophysics is a subject of natural science concerned with the physical processes and physical properties of the Earth and its surrounding space environment.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does part of the P-wave convert into a S-wave with an increase of incidence angle?

With the increase of incidence angle, a portion of a P-wave converts into a S-wave, how does this behaviour occur?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How do we convert the seismic trace wavelet to zero phase which is in mixed phase?

As we know the mixed phase data would not give the "real TWTT" through the medium. We need a zero-phase wavelet that can directly correspond to the time taken to travel in a given media. So my ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why can Thomsen's parameter $\epsilon$ be negative in VTI media?

I just got several well log curves, some of which are Thomsen's parameters. They are a result of interpretation of Sonic Scanner tool measurements (Schlumberger). Negative epsilon values appear quite ...
8
votes
1answer
123 views

Magma resultant from group 1 and group 2 elements?

I was recently speaking with a geology professor over lunch at a university who has a theory that I've never heard before. His postulation was quite compelling and I was hoping to do a little digging ...
2
votes
1answer
833 views

Why is phase rotation needed to produce the colored inversion operator?

In seismic analysis, why is a –90 degree phase rotation required on the amplitude spectrum to produce the colored inversion operator?
8
votes
1answer
505 views

What is a Geophysical Model Function (GMF)?

I have heard the term mentioned many times in seminars, and in papers on remote sensing. What does it mean? References would be helpful if available.
11
votes
2answers
272 views

Change in earth mass since the time of the dinosaurs

Is there a significant difference in the mass of the Earth between now and the time of the dinosaurs (250 - 75 million years ago)? I was just wondering if the force of gravity on dinosaurs would have ...
8
votes
1answer
291 views

What causes the entrainment of atmospheric gases towards a volcanic ash/tephra plume?

I understand that volcanic ash plumes can only rise to great heights (e.g. 50km) with the help of some other processes, as the velocity of the material ejected isn't great enough to send it high into ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

When will the Final Ice Age happen?

As the Sun's luminosity slowly rises, the Earth's surface temperature will climb. Will Earth ever be too warm to have any more glacial periods? If so, when will that be? Edit: The existing answer ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Distance to epicenter vs distance to focus

I am not really a "budding seismologist." I am a chemistry/physics teacher teaching an Earth science class (low academic level) in a small-town high school. (My college coursework in earth sciences = ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Why Vp/Vs and not Vs/Vp?

The relation between shear wave velocity (Vs) and pressure wave velocity (Vp) is often expressed as Vp/Vs. Wouldn't the opposite be more logic? Vs/Vp would never lead to division with zero and the ...
11
votes
1answer
107 views

Why is there a bend in the Lomonosov Ridge?

Why is there a bend in the Lomonosov Ridge? This is a supplementary question to that asked by Sabre Tooth in What is the tectonic explanation for parallel ridges in the Arctic ocean
15
votes
1answer
310 views

What is this strange feature on Mars in Valles Marineris

While I was browsing Mars on Google Earth, I stumbled upon an interesting feature on one of the slopes of Valles Marineris. The feature seems unique in the sense that I couldn't find any similar ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Calculating the displacement of a fault

In the calculation of scalar moment magnitude of an earthquake we have the formula $$M_0=\mu AD$$ where: $\mu$ is the shear modulus of the rocks involved in the earthquake (in Pa) $A$ is the area ...
5
votes
1answer
388 views

What is the tectonic explanation for parallel ridges in the Arctic Ocean?

Looking at a map of the underwater features of the Arctic Ocean reveals three roughly parallel ridges, separated by basins (see image below): Image source The three ridges, as labelled are the Alpha ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

What would be the first thing which will render the Earth uninhabitable?

There are quite a few things which can make an otherwise habitable planet uninhabitable, and some of these will eventually happen, sooner or later: engulfed by its star when it becomes a red giant ...
9
votes
1answer
724 views

How isotropic is the Earth's inner core boundary?

Often, in texts (particularly for schools etc) depict a smooth spherical isotropic boundary between the inner and outer core, as shown in the image from this USGS public education page: The inner ...
12
votes
1answer
106 views

What geophysical knowledge have we learned by the construction of IceCube?

The IceCube is a particle detector at the South Pole that records neutrino interactions. It has lead to many fascinating new discoveries in the field of astrophysics (e.g., 1, 2) and it was awarded "...
8
votes
1answer
521 views

What is the long term impact of large scale removal of material from subterraneal caches on the structural integrity of the soil?

For example, sinkholes can be human induced: New sinkholes have been correlated to land-use practices, especially from groundwater pumping and from construction and development practices. ...
12
votes
4answers
944 views

What do the derivative or the integral of amplitude of a seismogram mean?

I'm doing a project in which I'm analyzing earthquake seismogram waves. I used a program to graph the exact amplitudes and how they changed over the course of a single earthquake. For the project I ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Can impact events cause widespread volcanic activity on the other side of the planet?

The currently accepted theory for P-T mass extinction is environmental change triggered by the Siberian Traps volcanic activity. A paper(1) suggests that the Siberian Traps were caused by a hotspot ...
12
votes
1answer
751 views

What are the non-anthropogenic causes of The Netherlands' low elevation?

A large area of The Netherlands is below sea level. There are two non-anthropogenic reasons that I can think of: Compaction of delta sediments that lie below the country, A side effect of the ...
9
votes
1answer
641 views

What tectonic structures delineate the split between the Australian and Indian tectonic plates?

Growing up, when looking in textbooks and other references about plate tectonics, there was always the Indo-Australian (or Indian-Australian) plate, such as shown below: Image source: The Geologic ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What tectonic structures exist on the Eurasian - North American plate boundary in eastern Siberia?

It is reasonably well known that the North American tectonic plate includes a portion of eastern Siberia. What is often typical in plate tectonic maps is that the actual plate boundary is often drawn ...
10
votes
0answers
103 views

Where did the energy released due to gravitational binding energy of the Earth go? [closed]

The gravitational binding energy of the Earth is $2×10^{32} J $, so the same amount of energy must have been released during the Earth's history. According to this and this, the current internal ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

What fraction of dry land is below sea level?

Someone just asked me if it would be practical to counter the rise of sea level by pumping water into storage on land. It struck me that if there is enough land below sea level, this would require ...
9
votes
2answers
11k views

Why is the lithostatic pressure gradient 1 psi/ft? How is it derived from density?

Why is the geostatic (or is it the lithostatic?) gradient 1 psi/ft? How is that derived from g/cc? Thanks.
14
votes
1answer
177 views

How are Richter magnitudes of past earthquakes estimated?

In reading about historical major earthquakes, in particular, the Great Shaanxi Earthquake that killed approximately 830,000 people in July, 1556, there is a claim made about the approximate Richter ...
-6
votes
1answer
192 views

Is angular momentum preserved in a gastropod fossil?

In the Northern hemisphere the rotation of the Earth determines a counter-clockwise spin on matter. Weather, ocean currents all are related in that spin. I wonder if my snail fossils preserve the ...
6
votes
1answer
395 views

Is the Cameroon Line still an active rift zone?

The Cameroon Line is described by the Oregon State University's Volcano World webpage What is known about the volcanoes of Cameroon? as a a chain of volcanoes extending from Annobon Island in the ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Does the climate have any effect on plate tectonics?

After reading the question and answer Is there any correlation between La Niña/El Niño and seismic activity?, I am wondering if there is any evidence (case studies) to suggest that longer term ...
8
votes
1answer
276 views

Laboratory simulation of the Earth's magnetic field

I remember reading an article where a scientist was able to make a spinning iron tube with liquid nickel inside and it created a magnetic field, providing a laboratory-scale simulation of the ...
12
votes
1answer
200 views

Why does seismic activity shed light on the inner core rigidity?

Reading Introduction to Geology (MIT 2005) and Wikipedia's article on Earth's inner core, it is specified that: Earth was discovered to have a solid inner core distinct from its liquid outer ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Has an entire plate ever subducted?

We know that plates can subduct, causing one plate to be pushed into the core by another. As the plates move, the subduction continues, pushing one plate under the other. If this process continues, ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

At what point does plate tectonics stop?

As the core and mantle of the earth cools, it will reach a point where new crust cannot be produced. How can this point be calculated? If we can, has anyone done such calculations? Thanks!
12
votes
1answer
1k views

converting SU file to ASCII format in seismic unix using OpenSeaSeis

I have tried to convert a Seismic SU file to ASCII format in seismic unix using openseaseis module named "sutoascii". I have already tested the SU file by opening it in SeaView Seismic Viewer and ...
8
votes
3answers
356 views

How do archaeologists address time dilation when analyzing carbon dating results?

It is a proven fact that the gravitational force exerted upon an object directly affects that objects experience of time; the greater the gravity, the slower time passes, and visa versa. While the ...
16
votes
2answers
595 views

Why are minerals found in “large” quantities and not scattered throughout the earth as individual atoms?

Heavier elements are created in stars. After stars die they scatter these heavier elements throughout the universe. These elements eventually gather to form planets. But why do we find "chunks" of ...
40
votes
2answers
5k views

Farthest point from the center of the Earth

At first glance, this seems like such a simple question of "What's the highest point on Earth". However, I also know that the Earth isn't perfectly round. So that "highest point" may be in a ...
5
votes
1answer
568 views

Is there evidence to delineate where a southern extension of the East African Rift 'plate boundary' is developing?

The East African Rift system is described by James Wood and Alex Guth of Michigan Technological University in the Geology.com web-article East Africa's Great Rift Valley: A Complex Rift System as ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

Would it be wise to monitor real time human activity to anticipate earthquakes?

Documented strange behaviors of animals before an earthquake could invite us to believe that some of them anticipate tectonic activity. We also know that human complex organization makes it difficult ...
13
votes
1answer
686 views

Successful Earthquake predictions

Have there been any instances where seismologists have successfully predicted the occurrence of earthquakes? If so, then why has the number of scientists working on this area has declined (as ...
12
votes
2answers
952 views

Temporal Resolution of Seismic data

Radius of the Fresnel zone is given by $$Rf=(v/2)(t_0/f_\mathrm{dom})^{1/2}$$ where $v$: velocity of layer $t_0$: two way travel time $f_\mathrm{dom}$ :dominant frequency in the spectrum This shows ...
12
votes
1answer
340 views

How much silicon is in the Earth's core, and how did it get there?

With some informal conversation with a peer of mine, he had suggested that there is evidence (which he couldn't find,but had remembered reading) that there was Silicon in the Earth's core. I referred ...
19
votes
2answers
347 views

To what accuracy and precision do we know the volume of the Earth?

Satellites such as GOCE and GRACE measure the geoid with unprecedented accuracy. Altimeters can determine local surface elevation with millimetre-precision. This makes me wonder: to what precision ...
10
votes
1answer
101 views

What properties must a rocky body possess in order to exhibit the magnetic dynamo?

The magnetic field of the Earth is produced by the magnetic dynamo. What conditions must a rocky body possess in order to exhibit the dynamo? Clearly, the planet's interior must not be too cold. ...
8
votes
3answers
651 views

What is the total Earth's interior energy budget?

What is the total Earth's interior energy budget? What is the heat flux per m2 that warms the Earth surface because of the Earthy's internal heat. How much of that heat is replenished from the ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it known what determines the rate with which plate tectonics occur?

When investigating the rate of the move of the Hawaii hotspot, from information provided here on Stack Exchange Earth Science, I cannot find a determination of cause for the rate, that does not point ...
10
votes
1answer
998 views

What geological mechanisms result in the great depth of the Mariana Trench?

According to the Mariana Trench Oceanography page is at a maximum depth of is 11,033 meters (36,201 feet) The 'Challenger Deep' being the name of the deepest point. I understand that it is a ...
11
votes
1answer
333 views

How accurately can explosions be triangulated from the IRIS seismogram data?

There's a bunch of armed conflicts going on right now. What are the lower boundaries on accuracy of triangulating and timing man-made events from the IRIS datasets (accessible, for instance, with the ...