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The ground beneath our feet seems still, yet, this is an illusion. Abundant seismic data, new mathematical analyses, and powerful supercomputers are yielding a detailed look beneath the ground, into Earth’s mantle. Earth’s tectonic plates migrate across the surface at an average rate of 2 to 4 centimeters a year. Having a visual image adds an entire new dimension to seismic understanding.
Jeroen Tromp, the Blair Professor of Geology and professor of geosciences and applied and computational mathematics, is part of a group to receive 50 million processor hours to start a new project called "Global Adjoint Tomography."
When it comes to the Earth’s interior, researchers have only “scratched the surface.” What goes on beneath our feet has serious catastrophic potential. Earthquakes, volcanoes, and other general geological maladies begin beneath the surface. To better understand our planet and better prepare for tomorrow’s calamities, researchers need a more detailed picture of our Earth’s anatomy, specifically the mantle. “The outer part [of the Earth] is the exciting part,” said Jeroen Tromp.
Published on the Princeton University Facebook account this morning was Prof. Jeroen Tromp's statement on yesterday's Virginia earthquake. Appearing along side the statement was a Global ShakeMovie documenting the earthquake and an array of comments coming in from all facets of Facebook life.