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Department of Earth Sciences


About the Deep Earth Seismology group

Led by Dr Sanne Cottaar, the Deep Earth Seismology group comprises PhD students and research associates from different countries and backgrounds. Some of the team studied Earth Sciences or Geology at university, while others read Physics or Geophysics. Together, the group (known as the Deep Earth Explorers) explores the structure and dynamics of Earth's mantle and core using seismic waves from earthquakes.

Seismic wave travel times are dependent on the density structure of the material that they travel through, therefore earthquake waves can be used to create images of Earth's internal structure. The group visualises complicated deep Earth structures that are not fully understood to work out the roles of these structures in the Earth system as a whole.

A schematic showing the propagation of an earthquake seismic wave through the Earth, highlighting the wave path between epicentre and seismometer.

Stay up-to-date with the Deep Earth Explorers

Visit the Deep Earth Seismology group website to:

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest news and developments from the group.
  • Discover the Deep Earth Explorers' Online Exhibit—working with the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, the group has created an interactive exhibit to showcase the many mysteries of the deep Earth.
  • Explore the group's research in more detail—from the mantle structures that they are interrogating, to the methods that they use to image the deep Earth.

Meet the Deep Earth Explorers

Partners and Project Funding


Sedgwick_museum_logo Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences


nerc_logo Natural Environment Research Council
European Research Council logo European Research Council