REMOTE SENSING and GEODESY GROUP
Faculty: Christelle Wauthier
This group focuses on the study of natural hazards by means of remote-sensing and geophysical techniques.
One of the goals is to define how the "volcano factory" works in diverse geodynamic settings. The sub-surface dynamics of volcanic systems can be characterized using geodetic data such as GPS and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), a geodesy remote-sensing method that maps surface deformation, and then model the sub-surface sources inducing the identified deformation. Models range from simple analytical approaches to more advanced and complex numerical models able to take into account topography, source interactions, mechanical heterogeneities etc. The volume of magma stored or transported can then be estimated and give insights on future eruption behavior and size. There are strong feedbacks between tectonic and magmatic processes. By studying the interactions between those processes, it is possible to solve for their causality and, even more broadly, better understands what triggers magma intrusions, volcano-tectonic earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. A thorough study and modeling of ground deformation, together with a stress analysis, can provide clues on most likely magma transport pathways and storage areas. This research has deep societal impacts given that the geophysical signals recorded can be used to assess and mitigate volcanic and seismic hazards.
More information: https://www.geosc.psu.edu/directory/christelle-wauthier
PLANETARY SEDIMENTOLOGY LAB
Faculty: Benjamin T. Cardenas
Members of the Planetary Sedimentology Lab use the sedimentary records of Earth, Mars, and other rocky planets and moons to understand how these planetary surfaces have evolved through deep time.
We inform our satellite and rover-based interpretations of planetary surfaces with Earth-analog field sedimentology, the study of modern sedimentary systems, numerical experiments, and the interpretation of 3D seismic volumes.
Lab website, https://sites.psu.edu/planetarysedlab
COASTAL GEOMORPHOLOGY LAB
Faculty: Anastasia Piliouras
The Coastal Geomorphology group focuses on understanding coastal, river, and icy surface processes and the responses of these landscapes to a changing climate. We use lab experiments, field work, numerical modeling, and remote sensing to investigate the processes and interactions that shape landscapes. Our remote sensing work utilizes both optical imagery and synthetic aperture radar to characterize landscape morphology and quantify change occurring over monthly, seasonal, annual, and decadal timescales.
Lab website: https://anastasiapiliouras.com/