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College of Arts and Sciences

John E. Ebel

earth and environmental sciences

John Ebel

John E. Ebel, Professor; Department Chair
Ph.D. California Institute of Technology (1981)
A.B. Harvard University (1975)

Boston College Office: 617-552-3399
Weston Observatory Office: 617-552-8319
Email: john.ebel@bc.edu

Personal website 

Interests

Earthquake Seismology, Exploration Seismology, Theoretical Seismology


Courses

EESC1132 (Fall 2014)
EESC5582 (Fall 2014)
EESC4455 (Spring 2015)
EESC5583 (Spring 2015)


Current Graduate Students and Projects

Yahya Abushaheen – Quantitative Analysis of High Resolution Chirp Sub-Bottom Profiler Data in the Arabian Gulf Shallow Marine Sediments

Oluwaseyi Bolarinwa – Spatiotemporal Relationships between Earthquakes of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Atlantic Continental Margins

Joshua Bonner – Temporal Changes in Rayleigh Wave Velocity Associated with Several Earthquakes in the Western United States Determined from Ambient Noise Correlation

Oluwaseun Fadugba – Detection of Induced Seismicity Due to Oil and Gas Extraction in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, USA

Stephen Hilfiker – High resolution fault plane solution for the 23 August 2011 Mineral, Virginia, earthquake aftershock sequence

Jake Martin – Geophysical and Geological Analysis of Fault Activity and Feature: Seismic History of Obion River area, New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), Eastern Tennessee, USA

Vanessa Napoli – Relative Locations of Earthquakes Along the Northeast U.S. Atlantic Passive Margin and Source Parameter Comparison to the 1929 Grand Banks Earthquake



M.S. Alumni and Projects

John Schuh
Resolving Variations in Tectonostratigraphic Terrane Structure of New England using River Function. (2014)

Justin Hertzog
The Upper Mantle Seismic Structure Beneath Northeastern North America. (2013)

Justin Starr
A Geophysical and Field Survey in Central New Hampshire to Search for the Source Region of the Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake of 1638. (2013)

Sara Dougherty
Development of a 3-D upper crustal velocity model of the Goldstream Valley, central Alaska. (2008)

Jia Yan
Using waveform inversion to determine local earthquake source parameters in northeastern United States. (2006)

Lieyuan Zhu
Seismic signal identification based on wavelet transforms and SNR spectral patterns. (2005)

James Britton
Microzonation of the Boston area (Massachusetts). (2003)

Anastasia Macherides
The development of a moment-magnitude based earthquake catalog for the northeastern United States. (2002)

Kristine Kummer
Microtremor measurements to obtain resonant frequencies and ground shaking amplification for soil sites in Boston, MA. (1998)

Chun Zhu
Crustal thickness across the Grenville Province and Northern Appalachians in New England and adjacent areas. (1996)

Qiuchun Feng
Determination of rupture duration and stress drop for earthquakes in New England. (1994)

Christopher Kulig
Shallow seismicity of arc-continent collision in Papua New Guinea. (1992)

Hong Zhu
Tomographic inversion for the seismic velocity structure beneath northern New England using data from seismic refraction experiments. (1991)

Xiaomin Zhao
Radiation pattern of crustal phases of New England earthquakes. (1990)

Christopher Center
NY-NEX rayleigh wave signal and noise analysis at a seismic array. (1989)

Charles Doll, Jr.
The crustal seismic structure beneath New England Seismic Network Station WES in Weston, Massachusetts determined from modeling short-period teleseismic p-waveforms. (1988)

Vivian Hussey
A three-component seismic refraction survey in northwestern Arizona. (1989)

Richard Spielmann
Investigation of attenuation vs. physical rock properties from borehole data. (1989)

Charles Taylor
Seismicity patterns precursory to circum-Pacific earthquakes. (1988)

Antoinette Campanella
Multipathing of rayleigh waves into northeastern United States. (1986)

Paul Fisk
A detailed gravity survey of the Clinton-Newbury & Wekepeke Faults in the Clinton, Massachusetts Area. (1985)

Eduardo Espinosa
The quaternary history of the Unare Shelf South of Cariaco Trench, Venezuela. (1984)

Michael Nutting
Synthetic seismograms for crustal models in New England. (1984)

Dennis Place
Array measurements for the lower mantle. (1982)

Michael Welch
A shear wave velocity interpretation of the continental crust under New England. (1982)

Robert Monahan
A study of p-wave travel time residuals in New England. (1981)

Peter Raice
Discrimination between local earthquakes and quarry blasts in New England using a O/S ground motion ratio. (1981)

Deborah Varano
The use of synthetic seismograms to study the propagation of crustal seismic waves in New England. (1981)


Recent Interviews

  • August 25, 2014: Interview with the National Fox News Channel about magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Napa, CA.
  • August 24, 2014: Interview with Fox 25 News about the magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Napa, CA.
  • March 26, 2014: Interview with NECN about a magnitude 5.8 earthquake near Mineral, VA that was felt across the East Coast.
  • March 14, 2014: Interview with Bangor Daily News on the small earthquake near Millinocket, ME.
  • March 4, 2014: Interview with the Washington Post on research released at the American Physical Society’s March Meeting about earthquake lights, or lightning-like discharges that precede earthquakes.
  • February 12, 2014: Interviews about the magnitude 1.9 New Bedford area earthquake with:
    • WPRO- Providence Radio
    • WGBH Radio
    • Boston Globe
  • February 11, 2014: Interviews about the magnitude 1.9 New Bedford area earthquake with:
    • NECN
    • WBZ-TV 4
    • WCVB-TV 5
    • WFCT-Ch 25
    • Providence Journal
  • February 7, 2014: Interview with WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, about Moodus noises.
  • January 28, 2014: Interview with Fox Boston confirming a magnitude 2.3 earthquake near Woodsville, NH.
  • January 9, 2014: Interviewed about earthquake in Cuba with:
    • NECN—Live at Noon
    • Associated Press
    • Boston Globe
    • Boston Herald
    • WBZ Radio
    • WPRI—Providence
    • WBUR News, Boston’s NPR station
    • WCVB-TV 5 (TV interview)
    • WBSM—New Bedford
    • Cape Cod News Center
    • Fox 25, (info only)
    • WBZ-TV 4 (info only)
    • Fox WTVK-TV, Ft. Myers/Naples area (info only)
  • January 10, 2014: Interviewed with WPRO Radio, Providence about earthquake in Cuba.
  • January 3, 2014: Interviewed with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s As It Happens on NPR radio about cryoseisms following their occurrence in Southern Ontario.
  • April 17-22, 2013: Interviews about the possibilities of a tsunami affecting the coast of the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada with the following:
    • Globe and Mail, Canada
    • My EnviroGuy Blog, Neptune, NJ
    • Washington DC
    • New York, NY
  • May 17, 2013: Interviews about the magnitude 5 earthquake near Ottawa, Ontario with the following:
    • WCVB-TV 5, Boston, MA
    • NECN, Boston, MA
    • WBZ-TV 4, Boston, MA
    • News10-WHEC, Rochester, NY
    • Democrat & Chronicle Newspaper, Rochester, NY
  • July 16, 2013: Interview with Fox News about volcanic eruption prediction.
  • July 2013: Interview about earthquake hazard in New England with Nautilus.
  • August 2013: Energy and Environment Climate Wire interview.
  • October 10, 2013: Interview about a magnitude 2.5 earthquake in New Hampshire with the following:
    • WHDH-TV 7, Boston, MA
    • WFCT-Ch 25, Boston, MA
    • WCVB-TV 5, Boston, MA
    • WMUR-TV 9, Manchester, NH
  • October 14, 2013: Interview in New York, NY with Fox News Channel about the dangers of old buildings in Los Angeles, CA that are not earthquake resistant.

Selected Publications

  • Ebel, J.E. (2013), Reply to “Comment on ‘A New Analysis of the Magnitude of the February 1663 Earthquake at Charlevoix, Quebec’ by John E. Ebel” by Alan Ruffman, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 103, 5, p. 2897.
  • Ebel, John E., A. Macherides Moulis, D. Smith, and M. Hagerty, The 2006-2007 Earthquake Sequence at Bar Harbor, Maine, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 79, No. 3, 457-478.
  • Ebel, John E., Daniel W. Chambers, Alan L. Kafka, and Jenny A. Baglivo, Non-Poissonian Earquake Clustering and the Hidden Markov Model as Bases for Earthquake Forecasting in California, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 78, No. 1, p. 47-55, January/February 2007.
  • Kafka, Alan L., Ebel, John E. “Exaggerated Claims About Earthquake Predictions: “Amazing Success” or “Remarkably Unremarkable”?”, EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, accepted for publication, November 2006.
  • Kafka, Alan L., Ebel, John E., Barnett, G.M., Macherides-Moulis, A., Campbell, Leslie, Gordon, Steve, “Classroom Seismographs and the Challenge of Encouraging a Culture of Scientific Inquiry in K-12 Schools”, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 77, No. 6, p. 734-738, November/December 2006.
  • Ebel, J.E. “An Earthquake Detection, Identification and Location System for the Northeastern U.S. based on the Wavelet Transform”, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 77, No. 2, p. 214, March/April 2006.
  • Ebel, J.E. “An Earthquake detection, identification, and location system for the northeastern U.S. Based on the wavelet transform”, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 151st Meeting, Vol. 119, No. 5, Pt. 2 of 2, P. 3308, May 2006.
  • Ebel, J.E., Chambers, Daniel W., Kafka, Alan L., Baglivo, Jenny A., “Short-Term Non-poissonian Temporal Clustering of Magnitude 4+ Earthquakes in California and Western Nevada,” The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 151st Meeting, Vol. 119, No. 5, Pt. 2 of 2, P. 3306, May 2006.
  • Ebel, John, E., Kafka, Alan L., (2006), Temporal Variations in the M>=4 Seismicity of California and Western Nevada, EOS Trans. AGU, 87(52), Fall Meet. Suppl. Abstract S13A-0210.
  • Ebel, John E., Smith, D., “Mapping Predicted MMI for Earthquakes in the Northeast U.S. Using an Automated GIS”, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 77, No. 1, p.100, January/February 2006.
  • Hagerty, M.T., Ebel, John E., “The New England Seismic Network (NESN)”, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 77, No. 1, p. 99-100, January/February 2006.
  • Niemi, N., Ebel, John, E., (2006), Coincidence of Temporal Changes in Earthquake Clustering and Geodetic Velocity in the Basin and Range, Western United States, EOS Trans. AGU, 87(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract G34A-03.
  • Tuttle, M.P., Moseley, C., Witkowski, A., Daniszewska, G., Efros, J., Ebel, J., “Evidence for a Tsunami Along the Northern New England Cost ~2,000 Years Ago”, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 77, No. 1, p. 108, January/February 2006.
  • Ebel, J.E., Chambers, Daniel W., Kafka, Alan L., Baglivo, Jenny A., “Short-Term Non-Poissonian Temporal Clustering of Magnitude 4+ Earthquakes in California and Western Nevada,” The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 151st Meeting, Vol. 119, No. 5, Pt. 2 of 2, P. 3306, May 2006.
  • Ebel, J.E. “The Cape Ann, Massachusetts Earthquake of 1755: A 250th Anniversary Perspective” Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 77, No. 1, pp. 74-86, January/February 2006.
  • Urzua, A. and Ebel, J.E. WEBSHAKE: An Internet Tool to Perform Frequency Domain Level Ground Amplification Studies, Seismological Research Letters, 76, 117, 2005.
  • Kafka, A., Barnett, M., Bellegrade, H., Ebel, J.E., Gruber, M., Macherides-Moulis, A., Pfitzner, A. and Smith, D., The Boston College Educational Seismology Project: Inviting Students into the World of Science Research, Seismological Research Letters, 76, 123, 2005.
  • Ebel, J.E., The Effect of Long-Period Energy on Expected Ground Motions of Future Earthquakes in Boston, Massachusetts, Seismological Research Letters, 76, 118, 2005.
  • Ebel, J.E., Urzua, A., and Britton, J., The Effect of Local Surficial Geology on the Ground Motions of Future Earthquakes in Boston, Massachusetts: A Comparison with Seismic Codes, October 2004, 57th Canadian Geotechnical Conference, GEOQUEBEC, Session 6C, pp. 10-16.
  • Ebel, J.E. and Kafka, A.L., Evaluating Short-Term Probability Forecasts of M4+ Earthquakes in California and Western Nevada Since 2001, Eos Trans. AGU, 85 (47), Fall Meet. Suppl. Abstract S21B-0279, 2004.
  • Kafka, A.L., Barnett, M., Ebel, J.E., Bellegarde, H. and Campbell, L., The 2004 Parkfield, CA Earthquake: A Teachable Moment for Understanding of Earthquake Processes, Probability, and Earthquake Prediction, Eos Trans. AGU, 85, (47), 2004.
  • Zhu, L. and J.E. Ebel, Automated Seismic Signal Identification Algorithm for the New England Seismic Network Based on a Seismic Signal/Noise Ratio (SNR) Spectral Model, Seismological Research Letters, 75, 450, 2004.
  • Ebel, J.E., Update on a Wavelet-Based Event Detector and Identifier at Weston Observatory,    
  • Ebel, J.E., Spatial Variation of Short-term M 4+ Earthquake Clusters in Central and Northern California and Western Nevada, Seismological Research Letters, 75, 250, 2004.
  • Ebel, J.E. and M.P. Tuttle, The Seismic Hazard from Major Earthquakes in the Central and Eastern United States, 2004 Abstracts with Programs, 39th Annual Meeting, Northeastern Section, Geological Society of America, 36, 148, 2004.
  • Ebel, J.E., The Seismic Hazard from Major Earthquakes in the Central and Eastern United States, Oklahoma Geology Notes, v. 64, nos. 1-4, 2004.
  • Ebel, J.E. and D. J. Wald, (2003), Bayesian Estimations of Peak Ground Acceleration and 5 % Damped Spectral Acceleration from Modified Mercalli Intensity Data, Earthquake Spectra, to appear in the August 2003 issue.
  • Ebel, J.E. and Kafka, A.L., (2002), A Non-Poissonian Element in the Seismicity of the Northeastern United States, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 92, No. 5, pp. 1-, May 2002.
  • Ebel, J.E. and Kafka, A.L., (2002), Nonrandom Clustering of M4+ Seismicity in Northern and Central California, (abstract) EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 2002 Fall Meeting, Vol. 83(47).
  • Ebel, J.E. and M. Tuttle, (2002), Earthquakes in the Eastern Great Lakes Basin from a Regional Perspective, Tectonophysics, Vol. 353, (2002) pp. 17-30.
  • Ebel, J.E., (2002), Watching the Weather Using a Seismograph, published in the Eduquakes column, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 73, No. 6, pp. 930-932, November/December 2002.
  • Ebel, J.E., (2002), Seismologists Must Begin Forecasting Earthquakes, submitted as an Opinion to Seismological Research Letters, 2002.
  • Hayles, K.E., Ebel, J.E. and A. Urzua, (2001), Microtremor Measurements to Obtain Resonant Frequencies and Ground Shaking Amplification for Soil Sites in Boston, MA, Civil Engineering Practice, Vol. 16, No. 2, Fall/Winter 2001.
  • Ebel, J.E. and Hart, K., (2001), Observational Evidence for Amplification of Earthquake Ground Motions in Boston and Vicinity, Civil Engineering Practice, Vol. 16, No. 2, Fall/Winter 2001.
  • Ebel, J.E., Bonjer, K. and Oncescu, M., (2000), Paleoseismicity: Seismicity Evidence for Past Large Earthquakes. Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 71, No. 2, pp. 283-294, March/April 2000.
  • Ebel, J.E., (2000), A Reanalysis of the 1727 Earthquake at Newbury, Massachusetts, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 71, No. 3, pp. 364-374, May/June 2000.
  • Gendron, P., Ebel, J.E. and D. Manolakis, (2000), Rapid Joint Detection and Classification with Wavelet Bases via Bayes Theorem, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 90, No. 3, pp. 764-774, June 2000.
  • Ebel, J.E. and A. Kafka, (August 1999), A Monte Carlo Approach to Seismic Hazard Analysis in Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America Vol. 89, No. 4, p. 1.
  • Ebel, J.E., (1999), Earthquakes in New England in The Cape Naturalist, reprinted in the 25th Anniversary Issue.
  • Ebel, J.E., Bonjer and Oncescu, (1998), Paleoseismicity:  Seismicity Evidence for Past Large Earthquakes, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 69, No. 2, March/April 1998.
  • Kummer, K. and J. E. Ebel, (1998), Microtremor Measurements to Obtain Resonant Frequencies and Ground Shaking Amplification for Soil Sites in Boston, MA, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 69, No. 1, January/February 1998.
  • Ebel, J.E., Bonjer and Oncescu, (1998), Paleoseismicity:  Seismicity Evidence for Past Large Earthquakes, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 69, No. 1, January/February 1998.
  • Ebel, J.E. and Spotila, J.A., (1998), Modern Earthquake Activity and the Norumbega Fault, Special Volume on the Norumbega Fault, (abstracts with programs) The Geological Society of America, 33rd Annual Meeting, Northeastern Section, Portland, ME.
  • Ebel, J.E. Lazarewicz, A.R. and Kafka, A.L., (1997), Investigating Seismotectonics in the Eastern U.S. Using a Geographic Information System, Fall Meeting of American Geophysical Union, (abstracts with programs), Vol. 78, No. 46, November 18, 1997, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Report NUREG/CR-6573.
  • Ebel, J.E., (1996), The Seventeenth Century Seismicity of Northeastern North America, Seismological Research Letters67, No. 3, pp. 51-68.
  • Feng, Q. and Ebel, J.E., (1996), Determination of Rupture Duration and Stress Drop for Earthquakes in New England, Seismological Research Letters, 67, No. 1, pp. 38-51.
  • Kozak, J. and Ebel, J.E., (1996), Macroseismic Information from Historic Pictorial Sources, Pure and Applied Geophysics, 146, pp. 103-111.
  • Ebel, J.E., (1994), The MLg Magnitude Scale: A Proposal for its Use for Northeastern North America, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 65, pp. 159-166.
  • Klotz, L.H. and Ebel, J.E., (1994), Earthquakes in the Eastern U.S.: How Vunerable are We? Evaluation Risks and Mitigating Losses: New Opportunities and New Challenges, Proceedings of the First Annual Congress on Natural Disaster Loss Reduction, Insurance Institute for Property Loss Reduction, pp. 43-49.
  • Zhu, H. and Ebel, J.E., (1994), Tomographic Inversion for the Seismic Velocity Structure Beneath Northern New England Using Seismic Refraction Data, Journal Geophysical Research, 99, pp. 15:223-15:357.
  • Doll, W.E., Rea, C.D., Ebel, J.E., Craven, S.J., and Cipar, J.J., (1992), Analysis of Shallow Microearthquakes in the South Sebec Seismic Zone, Maine, 1989-1990, Seismological Research Letters, 63, pp 557-566.
  • Zhao, X. and Ebel, J.E., (1991), Radiation Pattern of Crustal Phases of New England Earthquakes, Geophysical Journal International, 106, pp. 647-655.
  • Ebel, J.E. and Kafka, A.L., (1991), Earthquake Activity in the Northeastern United States, Neotectonics of North America, Slemmons, D.B., Engdahl, E.R., Zoback, M.D. and Blackwell, D.D., The Geological Society of America, Decade Map, Vol. 1, pp. 277-290.
  • Ebel, J.E., and Bonjer, K.P., (1990), Moment Tensor Inversion of Small Earthquakes in Southwestern Germany for the Fault Plane Solution, Geophysical Journal International, Vol. 101, pp. 133-146.
  • Ebel, J.E., and K.P. Bonjer, (1989), Moment Tensor Inversion of Small Earthquakes in Southwestern Germany for Fault Plane Solutions, Geophysical Journal International, Vol. 101, p. 133-146.
  • Ebel, J.E., (1989), A Comparison of the 1981, 1982, 1986 and 1987-1988 Microearthquake Swarms at Moodus, Connecticut, Seismological Research Letters, 60, pp. 177-183.
  • Ebel, J.E., (1989), The Effect of Crustal Scattering on Observed High-Frequency Earthquake Seismograms, Geophysical Journal International, 98, pp. 329-341.
  • Ebel, J.E., and B.R. Bouck (1988). Spatial and Temporal Variations of Earthquake Focal Mechanisms in New England and Adjacent Areas, Seismological Research Letters, vol. 59, p. 183-187.

Recent Book Reviews

Sieh, Kerry and LeVay, Simon, (1998), The Earth in Turmoil: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Their Impact on Humankind. Chapter 11 features John E. Ebel, Director of Weston Observatory; Boston College; Jesuits and Science, WH Freeman, NY.