The NSF FRES program funded a multi-institutional effort to enhance
physics-based models for megathrust hazard and use computational
geoscience for alternative pathways for entry into a more diverse
geoscience community. Check out the MTMOD web
page, and read more in
Porritt, R., Becker, T.W., Boschi, L., and Auer, L.: Multi-scale, radially anisotropic
shear wave imaging of the mantle underneath the contiguous United
States through joint inversion of USArray and global
datasets. Geophys. J. Int., 265, 1730-1746, 2021.
Koppers, A., Becker, T.W., Jackson, M., Konrad, K., Müller,
R.D., Romanowicz, B., Steinberger, B. and Whittaker, J.:
The role of mantle plumes in deep earth and surface processes.
Nature Rev. Earth & Environ., 2, 382-401, 2021.
We are always looking for motivated students with a keen interest
and solid background in the Earth sciences, physics, engineering, or
computer science. Please take a look at some of our recent publications to
give you an idea of current projects, but I like to work with students who think and work
independently and challenge and extend my expertise and
Please consider applying for our program should you be interested
in pursuing a PhD in my research group, and see the
JSG pages for admission
procedures. The (important) Fellowship deadline is December 1 each
If you think this could be a match, please do reach out by email.
Older news items
20 years of linking seismic topography and mantle convection
Lapo Boschi, Steve Grand and I chat about the last 20 years of
linking seismic tomography and
global mantle dynamics as well interdisciplinary collaboration from our perspective, sponsored by the
Modeling Collaboratory for Subduction RCN.
AGU Union Session and Eos piece celebrating
Humboldt's 250th birthday anniversary (12/2019)
A team of G3 editors chaired a fantastic Union session
on Two Hundred Fifty Years of Alexander von Humboldt:
Humboldtian Systems Science in the 21st Century at the
2019 AGU Fall meeting.
You can still view the amazing talks on this
Faccenna, C., Glisovic, P., Forte, A., Becker, T. W.,
Garzanti, E., Sembroni, A. and Gvirtzman, C.: Role of dynamic
topography in sustaining the Nile River over 30 million years.
Nat. Geosc., 12, 1012-1017, 2019.
Presentation on Topography in the Mediterranean mobile
Keynote at the TopoEurope meeting in Barcelona, September 2014,
summarizing some of the findings from:
Faccenna, C., Becker, T. W., Miller, M. S., Serpelloni, E.,
Willett, S. D.: Isostasy, dynamic topography, and the elevation of the
Apennines of Italy. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 407, 163-174,
Miller, M. S. and Becker, T. W.: Reactivated lithospheric-scale
discontinuities localize dynamic uplift of the Moroccan Atlas
Mountains. Geology, 42, 35-38,
Faccenna, C., Becker, T. W., Auer, L., Billi, A., Boschi, L.,
Brun, J.-P., Capitanio, F. A., Funiciello, F., Horvath, F., Jolivet,
L., Piromallo, C., Royden, L., Rossetti, F., and Serpelloni, E.:
Mantle dynamics in the Mediterranean.
Rev. Geophys., 52, doi:10.1002/2013RG000444, 283--332, 2014.
G-Cubed 2010 impact factor up to 3.4, now ranking 10th
out of all Geochemistry/Geophysics journals (06/2011)
As of the 2011 ISI report, AGU's
Geophysics, Geosystems (G3) impact factor went up to
3.368 for 2010, from 2.626 in 2009. G3 is now ranked #10, up from
#13, out of 77 Geochemistry and Geophysics journals.
Thomas wins a Best Student Presentation Award at
SSA 2011 (05/2011)
USC Geodynamics grad student
Thomas Goebel won a
Best student presentation award, at the Annual Meeting of the
Seismological Society of America, Memphis, TN, in April 2011 on
his poster on
Goebel, T. H. W., Becker, T. W., Schorlemmer, D., Stanchits,
S. Rybacki, E., Dresen.G: Connecting Acoustic Emission Event
Locations, Aftershock Density and b-values before and after
Stick-Slips to Changes in Topography of Rough Fracture Surfaces
during Frictional Sliding Experiments. Meeting of the
Seismological Society of America Abtsract, Memphis TN, 2011.
Goebel, T. H. W., Becker, T. W., Schorlemmer, D., Stanchits, S.,
Sammis, C., Rybacki, E., and Dresen, G.: Identifying fault
heterogeneity through mapping spatial anomalies in acoustic
emission statistics. J. Geophys. Res., 117, B03310,
Small-scale convection study published in Nature
Results on the role of small-scale mantle convection on microplate
motions and dynamic topography in the Mediterranean were published
This project is a long-standing collaboration with Claudio Faccenna of
Roma TRE. See
got a Cool on FARK,
Futurity, Science Daily, LiveScience, PhysOrg, ScienceCodex, Eureka
Science News, Lab Spaces, E Science News, News Blaze, Sify News, ABC
Espana, New Kerala, Science Centric, Thai Indian, News Track India,
One India, Mysterium at Blogosfere.
San Andreas Fault Zone study hits top spot in G-Cubed
A fully contained set of lecture notes and accompanying Matlab
exercises on Numerical Geodynamics are
Becker, T. W. and Kaus, B. J. P.: Numerical Geodynamics. An
introduction to computational methods with focus on solid Earth
applications of continuum mechanics. Lecture notes (162
pages). University of Southern California, Los Angeles,
Updated:: Becker, T. W. and Kaus, B. J. P (2016):
Numerical Modeling of Earth Systems: An introduction to
computational methods with focus on solid Earth applications of
continuum mechanics, University of Southern California, v. 1.2,
USC High performance computing center 5th in US (06/2010)
Michael Kaplan awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
USC Geodyanmics Grad student
Michael Kaplan was awarded
a prestiguous National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
on April 6, 2010. Congrats Mike!
USC undergrad paper hits top spot in G-Cubed downloads
Former USC Earth science undergrad Brad Foley's paper
Foley, B. and Becker, T. W.: Generation of plate-like behavior and
mantle heterogeneity from a spherical, visco-plastic convection
model. Geochem., Geophys., Geosys., 10, Q08001,
USC graduate student Sean Loyd, faculty Frank Corsetti, and myself
were among the authors of a study on Cenozoic heat flux and plate
tectonics that got published in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences. Read the PNAS
paper, or news releases by UPI