Doug Wiens uses seismology to study subduction zones and the structure of Antarctica beneath the ice sheet.
Doug Wiens uses seismic waves to image the earth’s interior and to study unusual earthquakes and icequakes. He has deployed seismographs to the ocean bottom in the western Pacific to image how magma is produced beneath island chains and oceanic spreading centers, as well as to study the cause of deep earthquakes. He traveled to Antarctica eight times to deploy autonomous seismographs; his projects were the first to successfully record seismic data while unattended for an entire year. Professor Wiens’ research group uses seismic imaging to help reconstruct the geological history of the Antarctic continent and to determine how temperature variations deep in the earth control the response of the Antarctic land surface to a shrinking ice sheet. This helps to constrain past and present changes in the size of the ice sheet and well as the rate at which the ice sheet will disintegrate in response to future climate change.