Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Solid Earth Sciences

Solid Earth Sciences


The solid earth sciences division connects experts in geophysics, geochemistry, geomorphology, natural hazards, and related fields, in order to bring novel, interdisciplinary scientific approaches to bear on understanding the solid earth system.

Active research areas in the Solid Earth Sciences division of CIRES include studies of earthquake and other geologic hazards, sea level change, mountain building, plate tectonics, and landscape and crustal evolution. Seismic hazards research in CIRES includes studies of tectonic and induced earthquakes and involves deployments of seismometers and GPS instruments in the field, and analysis of InSAR and other remote sensing data in the lab. The seismological studies extend offshore with ocean bottom seismic experiments, and seafloor pressure measurements are used to study tsunamis and oceanographic processes. Geodesy methods including GPS, InSAR, satellite gravity, and satellite altimetry are widely applied by CIRES researchers to measure deformation of the Earth’s surface for studies related to sea level change, earthquake and volcano hazards, and mountain building processes. The CIRES SES group has significant expertise in studies of the origins of mountain ranges, landscape, and continental evolution, bringing in tools from isotope geochemistry, seismology, geophysics, geomorphology, and geodynamics. CIRES researchers affiliated with the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI, formerly NGDC) provide services and products for geophysical data including bathymetry and global relief, geomagnetic data and models, marine geology and geophysics, and space weather, and conduct basic and applied research in these fields.


Associate Director, Solid Earth Sciences
Dr. Anne F. Sheehan, Email
Phone: 303-492-4597