My research interests lie in the broad area of seismology and emphasize two geophysical research topics, ambient seismic noise and subduction zone processes. I am particularly interested in deep earthquakes. Here is a word cloud of my publication titles. 

I. Ambient seismic noise

Ambient seismic noise reflects the interactions among Earth’s spheres (e.g., atmosphere-ocean-solid Earth) and makes up the largest portion of most continuous seismic records. This huge dataset, once treated as “noise”, is now providing valuable constraints on Earth’s shallow structure through cross-correlation. In the noise correlation method, receivers are treated as virtual sources to sample receiver-receiver paths. This greatly expands the scope of traditional seismology of earthquake-receiver paths. Seismic noise’s rich information about deep-Earth structure and surface processes responsible for noise generation has just begun to be explored. 

II. Subduction zone earthquakes

Subduction zones provide most of the driving forces of plate tectonics and produce many large earthquakes from very shallow depths to the bottom of the upper mantle. The fundamental questions, “how do great earthquakes rupture,” and “what controls large earthquakes,” remain open. I am interested in approaching these questions by providing a better seismological picture of large earthquake rupture processes and the subduction zone environment in which they occur. 


© Zhongwen Zhan 2015