Houser, Christine


Specially Appointed Assistant Professor

Research Field

Solid Earth geophysics


Web Page

Google Scholar Profile


Research Interests

My research is the collection and analysis of long-period seismic waves that travel through the Earth’s deepest interior to map anomalous regions of the Earth’s mantle. Through my seismology work, I unravel the mysteries of the deep Earth such as the fate of subducting lithosphere and the origin of lower mantle super structures. Through international research collaborations, there are vast amounts of seismic data available from across the globe. It is an exciting time for solid Earth geophysics due to this high quality seismic data as well as continuing advancements in mineral physics, geochemistry, and geodynamics. By combining these disciplines, we are reaching the stage of performing three-dimensional remote structural geology of the Earth’s deep mantle. I am currently developing scenarios to explain observed structures which are either seismically fast or slow relative to the surrounding mantle. These velocity variations reveal chemically and/or thermally distinct rock that may be primordial from the Earth’s early formation or the result of processes that have shaped the Earth since then. The mantle contains the relics of plate tectonics which is the Earth’s unique style of convection that releases heat from the interior through recycling of the crust and mantle lithosphere. I seek to understand how velocity anomalies in the deep mantle can help answer fundamental questions of how our planet has evolved and is currently evolving.