Diana Roman works with a Quick Deploy Box (QDB) at a research site in Iceland

Illuminating the inner workings of our planet

Through fieldwork, monitoring, and advanced computation, our scientists have been global leaders in uncovering the secrets of Earth's dynamic interior for more than a century. 

At the Earth & Planets Laboratory, we study the internal structure and dynamics of our planet and the physical processes that give rise to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. By collecting data around the world, we study a wide variety of problems on many spatial and temporal scales. Studies range from mantle convection and subduction-zone dynamics to the formation and evolution of Earth’s magnetic field. 

Our Top Questions

Equipment destined for Hélène Le Mével's year-long study to measure volcanic activity on Villarrica volcano in Chile.

Tools of the Trade

We have deployed seismic networks in the western United States, Chile, Peru, Hawai'i, Italy, and Nicaragua. We are also actively involved in the development of cutting-edge next-generation instrumentation for observational geophysical research like gravimetry and quick-deploy seismometers.  Computational geodynamics utilizes high-performance computing systems both on campus and the Carnegie Memex cluster.