Earth and Planetary Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-14-2022


Natural processes like mantle convection and plate tectonics dominate Earth’s seismic structure. Recently human activities have increasingly influenced the deformation of the shallow crust. In this dissertation, passive source seismology was used to constrain seismic discontinuities in the mantle transition zone and seismogenic structures in induced earthquake settings. Using a novel sampling method and uniform processing approach, I found the 410-km discontinuity is thermally and compositionally variable. Using a machine- learning approach, I found the three main zones of seismicity in the Raton Basin consist of short faults or fault segments with variable orientations. The zone that hosted a Mw 5.3 earthquake in 2011 became seismically quiescent by 2016, whereas the two other zones remain active. Furthermore, the Mw 5.3 earthquake appears to have been a composite rupture which is rarely observed for moderate magnitude earthquakes. This dissertation places constraints on mantle seismic structure and seismogenic structures in the crust.

Degree Name

Earth and Planetary Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Brandon Schmandt

Second Committee Member

Susan Bilek

Third Committee Member

Mousumi Roy

Fourth Committee Member

Jin Zhang




induced seismicity, mantle transition zone, seismology, earthquakes, 410 km discontinuity, Raton Basin

Document Type