Geophysics is the interdisciplinary study of the physics of the earth. As part of the CU Geophysical Sciences Program, the Department of Physics offers research opportunities in-house and in collaboration with several laboratories both on and off-campus.
Based in the Department of Physics, the Center for Imaging the Earth's Interior (CIEI) engages in both basic and applied research in geophysics.
The basic research involves the use of modern seismic and satellite-based remote sensing and geodetic techniques to investigate the structure and dynamics of the solid earth and hydrosphere. In addition, state of the art simulations of the dynamics of the deep interior of the earth and planets are performed. Most of the research involves an intimate mixture of data analysis and computer modeling. The primary goals are to learn about the elastic, inelastic, and viscous properties of the earth's solid interior and about time-varying mass-fluxes in the earth's hydrosphere and in the porous solid subsurface.
In addition applied research is performed in the development of seismic methods to aid in nuclear monitoring and in seismic hazard assessment.
As a collaboration between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado Boulder, the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Solid Earth Science Division conducts research on theoretical and observational geodesy and geodynamics, isotope geology, earthquake prediction and other observational seismology, theoretical studies of wave generation and propagation, engineering seismology, and global geology. CIRES offers several seminars on geophysics throughout the school year.