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Friday, December 7, 2012
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Brian Covellone

Oceanography student uses crashing waves to study Earth’s interior

Scientists have long used the speed of seismic waves traveling through the Earth as a means of learning about the geologic structure beneath the Earth’s surface, but the seismic waves they use have typically been generated by earthquakes or man-made explosions.

A University of Rhode Island graduate student is using the tiny seismic waves created by ocean waves crashing on shorelines around the world to learn how an underwater plateau was formed 122 million years ago.

“There are any number of ways to create seismic waves, but most people only think about earthquakes and explosions,” said Brian Covellone, a doctoral student at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. “Using data from ocean waves allows you to sample...

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