Snowshoeing in Denali National Park
Hi, I'm Bryant. I study seismology and I live in Alaska.


About Me

I'm a seismologist, which means I spend my days looking at wiggles on a screen. These wiggles correspond to waves bouncing through the Earth or traveling along its surface, generated by things like earthquakes, explosions, surface processes (e.g., oceans, wind, landslides, glaciers), or people.

Seismologists record these wiggles with high-precision instruments called seismometers. Careful analysis of the wiggles can inform us about what caused them (sources), and what they traveled through (structure). I am particularly interested in using seismology to: understand Earth structure, characterize unique sources, get out in the field, and provide resources to make science more accessible to all.

In my free time, you might find me outside on rocks, ice, snow, and rivers.

My Research

My current research interests lie in the field of seismic imaging (specifically, adjoint tomography), which means I use seismic waves and supercomputers to probe the structure of the Earth (think MRI or CT scans).

In adjoint tomography, we create computer-generated wiggles with simulations through models of the Earth (or a part of the Earth). By systematically changing the model, we try to line up the simulated wiggles with the real wiggles, giving us a better idea about the ground beneath our feet. Neat!

To perform my research, I develop, maintain, and rely on open source software. I am a big proponent of openly available data and software to make science more transparent, accessible and reproducible.

Have a look at my research page for more details on things I work on. Prospective students interested in these topics are welcome to check out the students page for information on open opportunities.

A wavefield simulation for a New Zealand earthquake

In a nutshell — [left] a computer simulation of seismic waves radiating away from an earthquake (black star), being recorded by a seismometer (white triangle); [right] vertical ground motion of the actual earthquake recording (black), and the simulated shaking (red). Note that time is sped up.


Bryant Chow
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Geophysical Institute
2156 N Koyukuk Drive

Fairbanks, AK 99775

Office: Elvey 506E
Phone: +1 907 474 7716

We acknowledge the Alaska Native nations upon whose ancestral lands our campuses reside. In Fairbanks, our Troth Yeddha' Campus is located on the ancestral lands of the Dena people of the lower Tanana River.