Geology and Geological Engineering

Dr. Kevin M. Ward
Observational Seismology - Continental Tectonics
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Dr. Kevin M. Ward

Ph.D. (2016), University of Arizona
Assistant Professor of Geology
Geology and Geological Engineering
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
Rapid City, SD 57701
Office: 304 Mineral Industries Building
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Research synopsis

My research interests broadly cluster around employing observational seismology to understand tectonic, magmatic, and near surface geological processes. The focus of my research has thus far included seismic imaging of the continental crust and uppermost mantle in active orogenic systems where the surface expression of numerous geological processes are vibrantly echoed in the lithospheric and upper mantle structure. The recent explosion of high-quality openly available seismic data, increasing availability of low-cost seismic instrumentation, and advances in imaging techniques have allowed long-outstanding scientific questions, and in some cases, the reevaluation of currently accepted ideas, to be investigated in unprecedented detail.

Research projects in progress

  • Cascadia (2020): Investigating subduction zone segmentation with a 3D high-resolution Vp model NSF Geophysics award, see the projects main website here

  • Seismic imaging of the magmatic and hydrothermal systems beneath Lassen Volcanic National Park using a dense (96) nodal seismometer array (2019)

  • High-resolution receiver function imaging across the Alaskan subduction zone and Denali fault using a dense (400) nodal array (2019) through an NSF RAPID award

  • High-resolution receiver function imaging across the Cascadia subduction zone using a dense (174) nodal array (2017)

  • Magmatic stratification and delineation beneath the Yellowstone caldera using a dense (290) nodal array (2017)

contact: Dept. of Geology and Geological Engineering, 501 E. Saint Joseph St., SDSMT, Rapid City, SD 57701
phone: (605) 394-2461 / email: / Updated: August 6th, 2020