Lara S. Wagner

Associate Professor
Seismology and Tectonics
Department of Geological Sciences
UNC Chapel Hill

BA (1996) Columbia College, Columbia University
PhD (2005) University of Arizona

324 Mitchell Hall
919 966 4714
919 966 4519
My research uses seismology to better understand plate tectonic processes: in particular, how mountains are formed and how continents grow. Records of ground motion can tell us a great deal about rocks beneath the earth’s surface that are too deep to be investigated using any other means. Because many of the tectonically interesting areas of the world are not well studied seismically, my research often takes me into the field to deploy broadband seismometers that stay on location and record ground motion continuously, typically for two years or more. These data allow us to capture an image of the top several hundred kilometers beneath the study area in much the same way that a CAT scan captures an image of a knee. I am actively involved, not only in collecting more data from previously unstudied and understudied regions, but also in developing and improving imaging algorithms to help develop sharper and more accurate pictures of the structures that are responsible for forming the landscapes we see at the surface.