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.

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Finding out actual dip and dip direction of refractor

We have two traveltive curves for first arrivals (direct and refracted) from a dipping refractor in the forward and reverse directions along a profile line. my question is: Is there a logical way (non-...
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Effects of Centrifugal Force on Gravity Vectors?

I've been asked this question twice now from our favourite science denying community, and I don't know how to parse it. I can do centrifugal force and gravity given mass, but have never tried to even ...
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Why is the pond in my backyard not frozen when it is -15 °C (5 °F) outside?

I am in O'Fallon, Missouri and today it is -15 °C (5 °F) outside. I was taught water freezes at 0 °C (32 °F). I could understand if it was exactly 0 °C (32 °F) that the water might not be turning to ...
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Is earthquake prediction possible?

After the Tohoku and East Coast quakes, I skimmed over several books discussing the validity of earthquake prediction as a discipline, yet found no significant breakthroughs. What should change in our ...
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What is the largest hurricane possible?

With Earth getting hotter and hurricanes also getting larger I wonder; Is there a limit on how big a hurricane can physically get?
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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.
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Can a rock have a Vp of less than 1000 m/s and need blasting to excavate?

I have run a 60 m refraction seismic line on a mountain summit. The environment was noisy (wind would be the principal agent) and quite difficult to pick first arrivals. It resulted in 800 m/s. A ...
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1answer
43 views

where are the poles of rotation of the tectonic plates located?

Euler's "fixed point" theorem ... can be stated as: The most general displacement of a rigid body over the surface of a sphere can be regarded as a rotation about a suitable axis which passes ...
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Why do we consider hydrostatic pressure and lithostatic pressure separately?

In petroleum geology, why do we consider hydrostatic pressure and lithostatic pressure separately? Surely the pressure at any point, whether fluid or rock, at depth is simply equal the weight of all ...
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How can I calculate the sensitivity of a seismometer?

I would like to know if a specific seismometer can measure 1 micron/sec velocity. I have a few specs from the datasheet but I'm not a seismologist and am trying to figure out how to relate the specs ...
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Is there a time difference between two points at the same longitude but at different latitudes?

Assume we have two cities A and B both at the same longitude (say $45^{0}$ E) but at different latitudes say $8^{0}$N and $90^{0}$ N. Can we get a time difference between these two cities. I raised ...
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Utah rock pattern identification - looks like small craters

This formation was found in the Capital Reef area of Southern Utah (38.2970546, -111.2979319). There wasn't just one, but several of these small crater formations all over the area. All of them had ...
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Relationship Between Ratio of Atmospheric Gases and Ocean Gases

A version of this question was posted in Chemistry SE and Worldbuilding SE but I've been told it wasn't appropriate to either SE. I was told to give this SE a chance. If you think it doesn't belong on ...
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Zoeppritz equations derivation

I have been long looking for the derivations and step by step explanation of Zoeppritz matrix but either internet is full of final versions or I can’t find it...I would be very thankful if anyone can ...
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Why is Earth's inner core made of an iron-nickel alloy?

This question has puzzled me for a while. I know that earth's mantle is made of different minerals, metals and rocks etc. and that has always made complete sense to me. But why is the inner core made ...
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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 ...
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Why is the temperature between the earth core and surface not distributed linearly?

So I read somewhere that the inner core temperature of Earth might be as high as 7000 °C. Depending on the composition of the different layers towards the surface, the temperature should decline ...
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Wave train 200 m/s meaning

I ran a 60 m line intended for surficial seismic refraction. Energization with hammer. 12 (10 hz vertical 5 m spaced) geophones and 5 shots (15 m spaced). Record length 0.5 s. Thanks to a borehole ...
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140 views

Why Earth's outer core does not dissolve into the mantle?

It is well accepted that the outer core is made out of liquid iron and nickel, and as everything else it should tend to reach chemical equilibrium with its surrounding. In particular, I would expect ...
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Is there any possible future for high energy geophysics? If so how it is going to revolutionize our knowledge about Earth's interior?

How practice is to map/image the subsurface of the earth using the high energy particles like neutrinos? https://www.geosci-instrum-method-data-syst.net/special_issue2.html
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Where on Earth is the magnetic field intensity stronger?

Are there places on Earth that have a strong magnetic field other than the magnetic north and south poles? Can living where (rare) earth magnetic ore is abundant provide a mini-magnetoshere?
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Transmitter receiver coil separation for Electromagnetic Terrain Conductivity Measurement

Why increasing transmitter-receiver coil separation in EM survey (EM31, also here) increases depth of penetration? Suppose there is a horizontal flat conductive layer underneath a flat resistive ...
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2answers
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Time standard for IERS Bulletin A

IERS Bulletin A and Bulletin B contains Earth orientation parameters. These include the time difference between UT1 and UTC and pole position. The values for these parameters are listed once per day, ...
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Does subduction of continental crust happen at continental-continental convergent boundaries?

What exactly happens at a continental-continental (cc) convergent boundary? I read myself through the web for the last few days and what I came up with is that such a boundary will start as an oceanic-...
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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 ...
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Is the Yellowstone National Park unique for its geysers?

The Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is unique for its large number of "thermal occurrences, of which there are some 30 geysers. This, in turn, appears to be the result of the presence of large ...
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How did the Ural mountains form?

A nice picture for "how mountains formed" on Earth is due to the motion of tectonic plates. As the plates crash together, mountains may get "pushed upwards". However, a quick look at a map of the ...
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How does multiple layer seismic reflection work? How do we distinguish arrivals from different layers and their velocities?

Whenever we are investigating multiple layer interfaces in a seismic reflection survey the root-mean-squared velocity is often employed to deduce travel time to a certain n-th layer and also to deduce ...
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2answers
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Travel Times for Seismic Wave Types - Why reflected t-x plot curves

I do not understand how the reflected wave in a seismic survey has a steepening slope (slows down) Please bear with me as I lay out my thoughts because I feel like I can grasp all of this except this ...
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1answer
59 views

If the accuracy of measurement of the earth's volume is not known, how can scientists assert that the earth is not expanding?

Volcanic eruptions, undersea earthquakes, fissures in the crust, meteoroid accumulation could all be seen as empirical evidence of expansion of the earth. Sink holes and other phenomena could be ...
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If all the world's ice were to melt, would this shift the earth's centre of gravity with consequential effects on sea levels?

This question on Maths SE asked how we might calculate the effect on sea level if all the world's ice (ie including the whole Antarctic ice sheet) were to melt. I posted an answer containing ...
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Near-Surface Investigations: FWI vs. MASW

MASW is a common processing method for civil/geotechnical and even for oil/gas exploration (usually weathering static corrections) applications. In my experience, it seems to work well for most ...
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Barotropic vorticity equation

I came across the barotropic vorticity equation (below) in Sakamoto (2002) and I cannot figure it out. The notation is not clear to me. How can it be derived from the Navier-Stokes equation? $$ \beta\...
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Is the epicenter always directly above the hypocenter?

All the graphics I've seen showing epicenters with a hypocenter (labeled focus in the graph below) appear to show that epicenters are always directly above their related hypocenters. Is this correct?
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How to correct PSMSL data for GIA?

I have a PSMSL RLR (revised local reference) sea level dataset with records from various tide gauges. Can anyone explain how to correct them for GIA (glacial isostatic adjustment) using the ICE-5G ...
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Can extratropical cyclones force global cooling?

We are living in a historical period of global warming since about 20,000 years ago. This global warming period is one of about ten in human history. Those periods may very well be forced to start by ...
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Is Iceland an example of a hot-spot overlying a mantle plume?

Iceland has been cited as the location of a hot-spot overlying a mantle plume (similar to that of the Hawaii chain in the Pacific), though for some time this model has been challenged (see Gillian ...
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What are the causes of the supercontinent cycle?

Throughout geologic history, Earth's continents have broken apart and come together to form supercontinents multiple times, in a somewhat regular period, known as the supercontinent cycle. The length ...
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How long until Earth's core solidifies?

How much longer does Earth have until the core turns solid? Does global warming change these estimates at all?
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How did tectonic plates originally come to form?

Plate tectonics is a theory which describes Earth's lithosphere as being composed of distinct plates which are able to move atop of the underlying asthenosphere. At plate boundaries, this movement ...
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Did the impact event that caused the Chicxulub-Crater definitively and single-handedly cause the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction?

Opinions abound on the web. What is the state of the current science regarding this theory and what is the best evidence? Is the theory gaining or losing traction? If it's losing what's the best of ...
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What are the physical upper bounds on the magnitude of an earthquake?

Given what we know about the physical mechanisms underlying earthquakes, what do the theoretical upper bounds on the magnitude of an earthquake look like? What physical phenomena impose those upper ...
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Will the Earth ever stop rotating?

It is well known that the Earth's rotation is slowing down and that millions of years ago there was a point in time where there was only a mere 20 hours in a day on Earth. My question is in two parts....
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Why does sea level correspond to boundary between oceanic and continental crust?

Is it a coincidence? the first is determined by the amount of water on the Earth and the second comes from evolution of tectonic plates. Still, oceans seem to fill exactly the oceanic crust.
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What causes intra-plate faults, such as the New Madrid fault?

There's been news (some recently) about the New Madrid fault and other active intra-plate faults. For those living in the midwest of the United States, it's been a bit of a shock to learn they have ...
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1answer
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Why are oceanic plates denser than continental plates?

In the theory of tectonic plates, at a convergent boundary between a continental plate and an oceanic plate, the denser plate usually subducts underneath the less dense plate. It is well known that ...
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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 ...
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How does one measure what causes earthquakes?

I know that they occur when energy that was previously stored is released in seismic waves. But how is the energy stored in the earth in the first place, and what can trigger the release of such ...
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Rossby radius as horizontal scale

In the introduction of "Geographical and monthly variability of the first baroclinic Rossby radius of deformation in the South China Sea", the authors states: In both theoretical and observational ...
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Is fracking likely to produce earthquakes?

Post Christchurch-2011 earthquake, there was much concern that fracking in the surrounding areas might lead to further quakes, as was rumoured to have happened elsewhere in the world. Is there ...