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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

Geophysics and Seismology

Research includes the collection, analysis, and interpretation of seismic, geodetic, electrical, magnetic and gravity data. 

Funded research projects include: large-scale lithospheric studies using active and passive seismic, GPS geodesy, and potential field data; petroleum exploration projects using 3-D industrial seismic data; studies of reservoir-induced seismicity; earthquake and environmental hazards analysis and seismic research contribution to monitoring the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. USC has one of the most active seismological field programs in the country. Projects spanning the globe focus on: lithospheric process investigations using active and passive seismological studies; processes of intraplate and induced seismicity; seismological problems of South Carolina; and seismological issues in monitoring and verifying a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. USC hosts the South Carolina Seismic Network and has an active program in monitoring the state and studying prehistoric seismicity and paleoliquefaction features in the southeast.


Geophysics & Seismology Faculty


James Kellogg

Director of the Andean Geophysical Laboratory, at the University of South Carolina, and is Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of South American Earth Sciences. My research interests include geodetic, gravity and tectonic studies of active margins and the Andean orogenic belt where I haveworked for the last 30 years.


Camelia C. Knapp

Application of active source seismology to the structure, composition, and physical properties of the Earth's crust and upper mantle; seismic wave propagation and imaging; petroleum exploration; environmental geophysics; CO2 sequestration (CCS); hydrogeophysics; physical properties of petroleum related marine gas hydrates; Geographic Information Systems.


James H. Knapp

Analysis of the structural and geodynamic evolution of the continental lithosphere through integration of seismic reflection and refraction data, structural analysis, and geologic data. Application of geological and geophysical analysis to exploration and production of hydrocarbons. 


Thomas Owens

The collection and analysis of seismological data in order to better understand the structure and evolution of the continental lithosphere; K-12 Science Education, in particular the use of seismological data, especially real-time data, to help get students interested in science


Scott White

Most of the Earth's surface is hidden underwater, from the deep seafloor to wetland environments.  Revealing the patterns and processes in these marine environments is the overarching theme of Scott's research group in marine geology and geophysics.