Science Seminars

Earth’s Electromagnetic Oceans: Tsunamis and Tides

Speaker: Neesha Schnepf (LASP)
Date: Thursday, Mar 31, 2022
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Zoom

Seminar Abstract:

More than 70% of Earth’s surface is ocean covered. In the past, this was seen as a challenge for geophysicists dependent on on-land observatories. But now, largely thanks to an enduring era of reliable low Earth orbit satellite magnetometer data, this challenge has become a boon: 70% of Earth’s surface is covered by a moving, electrically conductive fluid that creates detectable electromagnetic signals which can then be used to study the solid Earth, the oceans themselves, and natural hazards such as tsunamis.

This presentation will have two parts: Firstly, a discussion on the magnetic signals created by tsunamis and observed at ground magnetometer stations, including that of the January 15, 2022 tsunami caused by the volcanic eruption near Tonga. Secondly, an overview of Earth’s marine electromagnetic tides and how such data—from both ground-based and satellite-based sources—may be used to constrain Earth’s interior or monitor oceanic climate change.