Songqiao “Shawn” Wei

Arts & Sciences: Earth and Planetary Sciences, PhD

Endowed Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Michigan State University

Shawn is a seismologist with broad interests in Earth’s mantle structures, particularly those associated with subduction zones. His recent work includes imaging seismic structures of the Tonga and Alaska subduction zones, intermediate-depth seismicity, and the mantle transition zone. One of his major interests in methodology is seismic attenuation. Meanwhile, he uses various seismic/geophysical techniques to study mantle discontinuities, subduction zones, and melt/volatiles in the mantle. Shawn also likes to collect fresh data from temporary seismic deployment (fun fieldwork!), and work on global datasets.

Shawn is the recipient of a $501,597 National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award to conduct a series of seismic attenuation studies on regional and global scales. These systematic investigations will potentially advance the understanding of seismic interpretation, upper-mantle dynamics, and material recycling in the Earth’s interior.

“Because we have only one measurement, which is the speed, we have a lot of unknowns, like temperature, and rock composition, or the existence of fluids, so the interpretation is always non-unique.” said Wei. “That’s a big problem for the entire Solid Earth field.”

Read the press release on Shawn’s NSF Award.

Learn more about Shawn’s research on his website.