Teach the Earth > Geophysics > Interpreting and Teaching with Tomograms > Overview

Workshop Overview

What does the inside of our planet look like? Because light does not travel through solid rock, we will never know the answer to this question. However, the images from seismic tomography have given us deep and profound insights into the structure, composition, and dynamically driven motions of the crust, mantle, and inner core. These images, traditionally "red and blue," map out the anomalous structure of the solid Earth and form the basis of our hypotheses as to the workings of our planet. All of the images created from seismic tomography, the "tomograms," share in common their representation of large numbers of seismic signals. However, the similarity ends there. Many different kinds of seismic data are used, such as body waves, surface waves, normal modes, and ambient seismic noise. Seismic travel times are usually used, but seismic amplitudes are also used. Scales of resolution also vary, ranging from shallow near-surface images to whole mantle tomograms. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together seismologists who work regularly with seismic tomography with geoscientists and geoeducators who would like to incorporate more seismology into their classes, research, and advising. Topics that will be addressed include: The different kinds of seismic tomography; resolution of tomograms; interpreting tomograms (in terms of temperature, composition, mineral phases, partial melt, water content, mineral grain size, etc.); tomographic inversions; different data types used; sensitivity kernels for wave paths; using tomograms to identify dynamic structures; crustal imaging and industry tomography; etc.

Presenters will likely include:

The format of the first four sessions will be a series of whole-group presentations and demonstrations using the Elluminate teleconferencing software. We will also provide listservs and closed, web-based workspaces to help individuals and small groups to work on the development and review of instructional activities related to seismic tomography.

Workshop Goals

The goals of this workshop are to:


The workshop will take place in 6 2-hour sessions throughout April and May of 2013. The online sessions will be 12 to 2 pm on April 3, 10, 17, and 24 and May 22 and 29. Presentations will be recorded in the case that participants cannot attend the workshop on a particular date. The first four online sessions will include presentations and demonstrations from a series of invited speakers who are experts in the areas of seismic tomography. The final two sessions will provide the workshop participants opportunities to present and share their own ideas and approaches and to review and design teaching activities around selected seismic tomography topics.

Who Should Attend?


Participants are expected to:


Workshop Registration Fee: $95 (NAGT Members receive a discounted rate of $50. Learn more about becoming a member.)

For More Information

For more information, please contact Michael Wysession (michael@mantle.wustl.edu) or John McDaris (jmcdaris@carleton.edu).

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