James Gaherty

Adjunct Professor
James Gaherty
Lamont Research Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Seismology Geology and Tectonophysics
108G Seismology
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000


(845) 365-8450


(845) 365-8150

Fields of interest: 

Earthquake Seismology, Geodynamics

Research Statement: 

The surface of the Earth is constantly deforming, over time scales ranging from seconds to eons, and spatial scales ranging from centimeters to thousands of kilometers. This deformation fundamentally impacts human life by generating natural hazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes, as well as by modulating our natural environment and climate. The underlying cause of this deformation is convection in the Earths mantle, the large-scale circulation pattern where hot material is constantly cycled to the surface, where it cools and then sinks. In my research, I utilize seismic images of the Earths deep interior to gain a better understanding of mantle convection and its effect on Earths surface. This effort often requires collecting new seismic data in field locations ranging from the mountain peaks of far northwestern Canada, to the newly formed seafloor in the Gulf of California.

List of Degrees from highest to lowest
Ph.D. Geophysics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M.S. Geology
University of Michigan
B.S. Geophysics
Brown University

Primary Discipline: 

Selected Publications:
Seismic velocity structure and depth-dependence of anisotropy in the Red Sea and Arabian shield from surface wave analysis, Hansen, S. E.; Gaherty, J. B.; Schwartz, S. Y.; Rodgers, A. J.; Al-Amri, A. M. S. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth Oct 14, Volume: 113, Issue: B10 p.: - (2008) Doi 10.1029/2007jb005335
The teleseismic signature of fossil subduction: Northwestern Canada, Mercier, J. P.; Bostock, M. G.; Audet, P.; Gaherty, J. B.; Garnero, E. J.; Revenaugh, J. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth Apr 29, Volume: 113, Issue: B4 p.: - (2008) Doi 10.1029/2007jb005127
Evaluating hot spot-ridge interaction in the Atlantic from regional-scale seismic observations, Gaherty, J. B.; Dunn, R. A. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems May 11, Volume: 8 p.: - (2007) Doi 10.1029/2006gc001533
Surface wave tomography of the upper mantle beneath the Reykjanes Ridge with implications for ridge-hot spot interaction, Delorey, A. A.; Dunn, R. A.; Gaherty, J. B. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth Aug 24, Volume: 112, Issue: B8 p.: - (2007) Doi 10.1029/2006jb004785
Upper mantle structure beneath the eastern Pacific Ocean ridges, Gu, Y. J.; Webb, S. C.; Lerner-Lam, A.; Gaherty, J. B. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth Jun 11, Volume: 110, Issue: B6 p.: - (2005) Doi 10.1029/2004jb003381
Mantle defomation during slow seafloor spreading constrained bv observations of seismic anisotropy in the western Atlantic, Gaherty, J. B.; Lizarralde, D.; Collins, J. A.; Hirth, G.; Kim, S. Earth and Planetary Science Letters Dec 15, Volume: 228, Issue: 3-4 p.: 255-265 (2004) DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2004.10.026
Spreading-rate dependence of melt extraction at mid-ocean ridges from mantle seismic refraction data, Lizarralde, D.; Gaherty, J. B.; Collins, J. A.; Hirth, G.; Kim, S. D. Nature Dec 9, Volume: 432, Issue: 7018 p.: 744-747 (2004) Doi 10.1038/Nature03140
A surface wave analysis of seismic anisotropy beneath eastern North America, Gaherty, J. B. Geophysical Journal International Sep, Volume: 158, Issue: 3 p.: 1053-1066 (2004) DOI 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2004.02371.x
Structure of the Kaapvaal craton from surface waves, Freybourger, M.; Gaherty, J. B.; Jordan, T. H.; Grp, Kaapvaal Seismic Geophysical Research Letters Jul 1, Volume: 28, Issue: 13 p.: 2489-2492 (2001)
Seismic evidence for hotspot-induced buoyant flow beneath the Reykjanes Ridge, Gaherty, J. B. Science Aug 31, Volume: 293, Issue: 5535 p.: 1645-1647 (2001)