Seismic Tomography 2024

Andreas Fichtner, Brian L.N. Kennett, Victor C. Tsai, Clifford H. Thurber, Arthur J. Rodgers, Carl Tape, Nicholas Rawlinson, Roger D. Borcherdt, Sergei Lebedev, Keith Priestley, Christina Morency, Ebru Bozdağ, Jeroen Tromp, Jeroen Ritsema, Barbara Romanowicz, Qinya Liu, Eva Golos, Fan Chi Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Seismic tomography is the most abundant source of information about the internal structure of the Earth at scales ranging from a few meters to thousands of kilometers. It constrains the properties of active volcanoes, earthquake fault zones, deep reservoirs and storage sites, glaciers and ice sheets, or the entire globe. It contributes to outstanding societal problems related to natural hazards, resource exploration, underground storage, and many more. The recent advances in seismic tomography are being translated to nondestructive testing, medical ultrasound, and helioseismology. Nearly 50 yr after its first successful applications, this article offers a snapshot of modern seismic tomography. Focused on major challenges and particularly promising research directions, it is intended to guide both Earth science professionals and early-career scientists. The individual contributions by the coauthors provide diverse perspectives on topics that may at first seem disconnected but are closely tied together by a few coherent threads: multiparameter inversion for properties related to dynamic processes, data quality, and geographic coverage, uncertainty quantification that is useful for geologic interpretation, new formulations of tomographic inverse problems that address concrete geologic questions more directly, and the presentation and quantitative comparison of tomographic models. It remains to be seen which of these problems will be considered solved, solved to some extent, or practically unsolvable over the next decade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1185-1213
Number of pages29
JournalBulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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