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8th September 2014 – DIAS Geophysics Scholar wins AGU Graduate Research Award

Andrew Schaeffer A. Schaeffer (r) with his PhD advisor S. Lebedev

Andrew Schaeffer of the Geophysics Section (School of Cosmic Physics) is the Inaugural Winner of the Graduate Research Award, presented by the Study of the Earth’s Deep Interior Focus Group (SEDI), American Geophysical Union, 2014.

The Award includes a cash prize, an announcement in Eos, Transactions AGU, and recognition at the SEDI reception on 16 December at the 2014 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco. The Award recognises Andrew’s outstanding achievements during his PhD research at DIAS. Working with Prof. S. Lebedev, he assembled an unprecedentedly large seismic waveform dataset and computed a global, shear-wave speed tomographic model of the Earth’s upper mantle with significantly improved resolution, compared to previous models. In a series of papers, he presented his tomography (the new state of the art in the field) and some important inferences from it, including the global heterogeneity and dispersion properties of the Earth, fine-scale structure of North America’s lithosphere, and the age-dependent depth of the lithosphere-asthenosphere mechanical boundary beneath the oceans. Tomography by Schaeffer and Lebedev has also been the subject of one of the authors’ interview with NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai, Japan Broadcasting Corporation) in June, 2014, for a documentary on the nature and causes of earthquakes.