Lindsay Lowe Worthington

Associate Professor

Photo: Lindsay Lowe Worthington
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2010

Related Website/s

Research Area/s:

Geophysics/Seismology,  Tectonics/Structural Geology

Research and Academic Interests:

I’m interested in the structural evolution of the Earth’s crust at a variety of scales. I pursue questions about mountain building, climate and tectonic interactions, and surface processes and landscape evolution in a variety of tectonic settings. My primary research tool is seismology, ranging from high-resolution (<5 m) subsurface imaging in a marine setting to land-based crustal scale refraction seismology. My students and I often blend seismological imaging with stratigraphic and structural interpretation and modeling as well as complementary geophysical modeling using gravity and magnetics.

Examples of recent work include: integration of ocean drilling and seismic reflection data to investigate the role of glacial advance-retreat cycles in modulating fluid flow and deformation in the northeastern Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone; utilizing data from a dense array of ~800 seismometers to image the Socorro Magma Body, the world’s second largest actively inflating magma body; determining velocity structure across the eastern North American margin to investigate the interplay between tectonic extension and magmatism during the early stages of continental rifting.

Prospective Students

I’m looking for adventurous, motivated graduate students for 2020! I have an NSF-funded project for imaging of the Queen Charlotte fault offshore southeast Alaska and western British Columbia. Students will participate in the research cruise aboard the R/V Langseth in the summer of 2020 and will work with scientists from University of Washington, USGS, Canada and Japan. We will collect both active- and passive-source seismic data along the world’s most active strike-slip fault. Email me with inquiries:

Recent Publications:

Pavlis, G.L., Bauer, M.A., Elliott, J.L., Koons, P., Pavlis, T.L., Ruppert, N., Ward, K.M. and Worthington, L.L., 2019. A unified three-dimensional model of the lithospheric structure at the subduction corner in southeast Alaska: Summary results from STEEP. Geosphere. doi:

Worthington, L.L., *Clary, W., Daigle, H., Gulick S.P.S., Montelli, A., 2018, High sedimentation rates and thrust fault modulation: Insights from ocean drilling offshore the St. Elias mountains, southern Alaska, Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett., doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.11.041

 Bilek, S.L., Schmandt, B., Worthington, L.L., Aster, R.C., Finlay, T.S. and Schmidt, J., 2018. The 2015 Sevilleta Socorro magma body mixed‐mode seismic experiment. Seismological Research Letters, 89(5), pp.1916-1922.

Ranasinghe, N.R., Worthington, L.L., Jiang, C., Schmandt, B., Finlay, T.S., Bilek, S.L. and Aster, R.C., 2018. Upper‐Crustal Shear‐Wave Velocity Structure of the South‐Central Rio Grande Rift above the Socorro Magma Body Imaged with Ambient Noise by the Large‐N Sevilleta Seismic Array. Seismological Research Letters, 89(5), pp.1708-1719.