Distinguished Lectureship - Speakers

Dr. Frederik Simons

Professor
Department of Geosciences,
Princeton University,
Princeton, New Jersey

Through the Ocean to the Mantle: Under the Seas with a Fleet of Floating Seismic Robots

Curriculum Vitae

Frederik Simons is a geophysicist at Princeton University. Usually from the safety of his office, he analyzes data from digital global seismic networks to study the physical properties of the interior of the solid Earth, and from gravity satellite missions to weigh the ice sheets melting off its surface. To help increase seismic station coverage around the globe, he has been leaving his comfort zone by prototyping floating earthquake recorders in the oceans, and is now promoting the next big push in earth observation through the international initiative "EarthScope-Oceans". Simons joined the Princeton faculty in 2006. He is also an Associated Faculty member in the Program in Applied & Computational Mathematics and serves on the Executive Committee of the Program in Archaeology. Between 2010 and 2013, Simons was the Dusenbury University Preceptor of Geological & Geophysical Sciences. Previously, he was a Lecturer at University College London, a Princeton Council of Science & Technology Beck Fellow and a Department of Geosciences Hess Post-doctoral Fellow. Simons received a Ph.D. in Geophysics from M.I.T. and his M.Sc. in Geology from the KU Leuven in Belgium, of which he is a native. 

In the last few decades, seismologists have mapped the Earth's interior (crust, mantle, and core) in ever increasing detail. Natural earthquakes, the sources of energy used to probe the Earth's inside via seismic computerized tomography, occur mostly on tectonic plate boundaries. Seismometers, the receivers of earthquake wave motion, are located mostly on dry land. Such fundamentally inadequate 'source-receiver' coverage leaves large volumes inside the Earth entirely unexplored. Here be dragons! Placing seismic stations on the ocean bottom is among the solutions practiced successfully today. But there are exciting alternatives. Enter MERMAID: a fully autonomous marine instrument that travels deep below the ocean surface, recording seismic activity (and marine environmental data), and then reporting it by surfacing for satellite data transmission. This presentation will discuss a century of Earth imaging, a decade of instrument design and development, and the challenging – and wet – places that our scientific journey has taken us.

Date Venue
Jan 30, 2018 6:30 PM Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, Texas
Apr 17, 2018 7:00 PM Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Empirical Theater, Portland, Oregon
Oct 17, 2018 7:00 PM Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, Colorado
Nov 13, 2018 6:30 PM American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York
Nov 30, 2018 7:00 PM Southwestern Oregon Community College, Coos Bay, Oregon