AGU 100

Celebrating AGU 100

This page archives the Seismology Section's initiative to celebrate the AGU 100. This initiative highlights the excellent, ground-breaking seismology research published in AGU journals or monographs over the last 100 years. It is a list that both honors and celebrates the contributions of the past and present, and reflects the diversity in people and of research within the current and future AGU membership. Every week up to December 2019, we uploaded links to a set of 3-4 papers or monographs. Preserved below is this list. 

Submissions were solicited from the seismology community, using the following questions for guidance. What articles in AGU journals were fundamental to your own research? What do you consider a great paper in seismology? What article used seismic data to transform our understanding of the Earth or other planets? Initial suggestions were provided by AGU Fellows in Seismology. 

100 papers in Seismology for 100 years of AGU

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”
– Isaac Newton

The Seismology section executive committee made effort to ensure the final 100 papers chosen reflected the breadth of seismology and allied fields. The order of papers and sub-disciplines posted throughout the year should not be construed as a relative ranking.

Questions on the initiative and recommendations may be sent to Suzan van der Lee at

AGU100 Seismology Award Winners

Aki Award: Zachary Ross

Ross, Z. E., Meier, M. A., & Hauksson, E. (2018). P wave arrival picking and first‐motion polarity determination with deep learning. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth123(6), 5120-5129.

Silver Award: Judith Chester

Chester, F. M., & Chester, J. S. (1998). Ultracataclasite structure and friction processes of the Punchbowl fault, San Andreas system, California. Tectonophysics295(1-2), 199-221.

Gutenberg Lecture: Emily Brodsky

Brodsky, E. E., Roeloffs, E., Woodcock, D., Gall, I., & Manga, M. (2003). A mechanism for sustained groundwater pressure changes induced by distant earthquakes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth108(B8).

Week 1: Fundamentals

Birch, F. (1952). Elasticity and constitution of the Earth’s interior. Journal of Geophysical Research 57 (2), 227-286. doi: 10.1029/JZ057i002p00227

Isacks, B., Oliver, J. and Sykes, L.R. (1968). Seismology and the new global tectonics, Journal of Geophysical Research 73 (18), 5855-5899. doi:10.1029/JB073i018p05855.

Grand, S.P. (1994). Mantle shear structure beneath the Americas and surrounding oceans, Journal of Geophysical Research 99 (B6), 11591-11621. doi: 10.1029/94JB00042

Week 2: Fundamentals 2 

Aki, K. (1967). Scaling law of seismic spectrumJournal of Geophysical Research72(4), 1217-1231. doi:10.1029/JZ072i004p01217.

Brune, J. N. (1970). Tectonic stress and the spectra of seismic shear waves from earthquakesJournal of Geophysical Research75(26), 4997-5009. doi:10.1029/JB075i026p04997.

Brune, J. N. (1979). Implications of earthquake triggering and rupture propagation for earthquake prediction based on premonitory phenomenaJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth84(B5), 2195-2198. doi:10.1029/JB084iB05p02195.

Week 3: Fundamentals 3 

Phinney, R.A. (1964). Structure of Earth’s crust from spectral behavior of long-period body wavesJournal of Geophysical Research 69(14), 2997-3017. doi:10.1029/JZ069i014p02997

Dziewonski, A.M., T.A. Chou, and J.H. Woodhouse (1981). Determination of earthquake source parameters from waveform data for studies of global and regional seismicityJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 86(B4), 2825-2852. doi:10.1029/JB086iB04p02825

Yamasaki, T. and T. Seno (2003).  Double seismic zone and dehydration embrittlement of the subducting slabJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 108(B4), 2212. doi:10.1029/2002JB001918

Week 4: Influential Papers

Paulssen, H. (1985). Upper mantle converted waves beneath the NARS arrayGeophysical Research Letters12(10), 709-712.

Romanowicz, B. (1990). The upper mantle degree 2: constraints and inferences from global mantle wave attenuation measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth95(B7), 11051-11071.

Das, S., & Aki, K. (1977). Fault plane with barriers: a versatile earthquake modelJournal of geophysical research82(36), 5658-5670.

Week 5: Earthquake Triggers 

Jones, L. M., Wang, B., Xu, S., & Fitch, T. J. (1982). The foreshock sequence of the February 4, 1975, Haicheng earthquake (M= 7.3)Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth87(B6), 4575-4584.

Gomberg, J., Beeler, N. M., Blanpied, M. L., & Bodin, P. (1998). Earthquake triggering by transient and static deformations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth103(B10), 24411-24426.

Vidale, J. E., Agnew, D. C., Johnston, M. J., & Oppenheimer, D. H. (1998). Absence of earthquake correlation with Earth tides: An indication of high preseismic fault stress rate. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth103(B10), 24567-24572.

Week 6: Modeling the Upper Mantle 

Mavko, G., & Nur, A. (1975). Melt squirt in the asthenosphereJournal of Geophysical Research80(11), 1444-1448.

Burdick, L. J., & Helmberger, D. V. (1978). The upper mantle P velocity structure of the western United States. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth83(B4), 1699-1712.

Woodhouse, J. H., & Dziewonski, A. M. (1984). Mapping the upper mantle: Three‐dimensional modeling of Earth structure by inversion of seismic waveformsJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth89(B7), 5953-5986.

Nuttli, O. (1963). Seismological evidence pertaining to the structure of the earth's upper mantle. Reviews of Geophysics1(3), 351-400.

Week 7: Anisotropy 

Savage, M. K. (1999). Seismic anisotropy and mantle deformation: what have we learned from shear wave splitting?Reviews of Geophysics37(1), 65-106. 

Silver, P. G., & Chan, W. W. (1991). Shear wave splitting and subcontinental mantle deformation. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth96(B10), 16429-16454.

Kraut, E. A. (1963). Advances in the theory of anisotropic elastic wave propagation. Reviews of Geophysics1(3), 401-448.

Meade, C., Silver, P. G., & Kaneshima, S. (1995). Laboratory and seismological observations of lower mantle isotropy. Geophysical Research Letters22(10), 1293-1296.

Week 8: Heterogeneity in the Lithosphere 

Aki, K., & Chouet, B. (1975). Origin of coda waves: source, attenuation, and scattering effects. Journal of geophysical research80(23), 3322-3342.

Aki, K., Christoffersson, A., & Husebye, E. S. (1977). Determination of the three‐dimensional seismic structure of the lithosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research82(2), 277-296.

Thurber, C. H. (1983). Earthquake locations and three‐dimensional crustal structure in the Coyote Lake area, central California. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth88(B10), 8226-8236.

Week 9: The Core-Mantle Boundary 

Phinney, R. A., & Alexander, S. S. (1966). P wave diffraction theory and the structure of the core‐mantle boundary. Journal of Geophysical Research71(24), 5959-5975. 

Doornbos, D. J. (1983). Present seismic evidence for a boundary layer at the base of the mantleJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth88(B4), 3498-3505.

Week 10: Mapping the Ocean 

Atwater, T., & Mudie, J. D. (1973). Detailed near‐bottom geophysical study of the Gorda Rise. Journal of Geophysical Research78(35), 8665-8686.

Holbrook, W. S., Reiter, E. C., Purdy, G. M., Sawyer, D., Stoffa, P. L., Austin Jr, J. A., & Makris, J. (1994). Deep structure of the US Atlantic continental margin, offshore South Carolina, from coincident ocean bottom and multichannel seismic dataJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth99(B5), 9155-9178.

Week 11: Ambient Noise 

Shapiro, N. M., & Campillo, M. (2004). Emergence of broadband Rayleigh waves from correlations of the ambient seismic noise. Geophysical Research Letters31(7).

Yang, Y., Ritzwoller, M. H., Lin, F. C., Moschetti, M. P., & Shapiro, N. M. (2008). Structure of the crust and uppermost mantle beneath the western United States revealed by ambient noise and earthquake tomography. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth113(B12).

Nolet, G. (1990). Partitioned waveform inversion and two‐dimensional structure under the network of autonomously recording seismographs. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth95(B6), 8499-8512.

Week 12: Mineral Physics and Seismology 

Ida, Y. (1972). Cohesive force across the tip of a longitudinal‐shear crack and Griffith's specific surface energy. Journal of Geophysical Research77(20), 3796-3805.

Ito, E., & Takahashi, E. (1989). Postspinel transformations in the system Mg2SiO4‐Fe2SiO4 and some geophysical implicationsJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth94(B8), 10637-10646.

Week 13: The Core 

Morelli, A., Dziewonski, A. M., & Woodhouse, J. H. (1986). Anisotropy of the inner core inferred from PKIKP travel times. Geophysical Research Letters13(13), 1545-1548.

Woodhouse, J. H., Giardini, D., & Li, X. D. (1986). Evidence for inner core anisotropy from splitting in free oscillation spectra. Geophys. Res. Lett.13, 1545-1548.

Shearer, P. M., & Toy, K. M. (1991). PKP (BC) versus PKP (DF) differential travel times and aspherical structure in the Earth's inner core. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth96(B2), 2233-2247.

Week 14: Mantle Reflections 

Wajeman, N. (1988). Detection of underside P reflections at mantle discontinuities by stacking broadband data. Geophysical Research Letters15(7), 669-672.

Revenaugh, J., & Jordan, T. H. (1991). Mantle layering from ScS reverberations: 2. The transition zone. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth96(B12), 19763-19780.

Week 15: Regional Focus - South America 

James, D. E. (1971). Andean crustal and upper mantle structure. Journal of Geophysical Research76(14), 3246-3271.

Assumpcao, M. (1992). The regional intraplate stress field in South America. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth97(B8), 11889-11903.

Ihmlé, P. F. (1998). On the interpretation of subevents in teleseismic waveforms: The 1994 Bolivia deep earthquake revisited. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth103(B8), 17919-17932.

Comte, D., Dorbath, L., Pardo, M., Monfret, T., Haessler, H., Rivera, L., & Meneses, C. (1999). A double‐layered seismic zone in Arica, northern Chile. Geophysical Research Letters26(13), 1965-1968.

Week 16: Stress Week 

Jongens, R., (active special issue). Stress at Active Plate Boundaries - Measurement and Analysis, and Implications for Seismic Hazard. JGR: Solid Earth.

Allmann, B. P., & Shearer, P. M. (2009). Global variations of stress drop for moderate to large earthquakes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth114(B1).

Hardebeck, J. L., & Okada, T. (2018). Temporal stress changes caused by earthquakes: a review. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth123(2), 1350-1365.

Week 17: Mantle Plumes

Montelli, R., Nolet, G., Dahlen, F. A., & Masters, G. (2006). A catalogue of deep mantle plumes: New results from finite‐frequency tomographyGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems7(11).

Lognonne, P., & Romanowicz, B. (1990). Effect of a global plume distribution on Earth normal modes. Geophysical Research Letters17(10), 1493-1496.

Week 18: Regional Interest - Central America 

Linehan, D. (1940). Earthquakes in the West Indian regionEos, Transactions American Geophysical Union21(2), 229-232.

Zhang, H., & Brudzinski, M. R. (2019). Evidence for Rupture Through a Double Benioff Zone During the 2017 Mw 8.2 Chiapas, Mexico EarthquakeGeophysical Research Letters46(2), 652-660.

Ye, L., Lay, T., Bai, Y., Cheung, K. F., & Kanamori, H. (2017). The 2017 Mw 8.2 Chiapas, Mexico, earthquake: energetic slab detachment. Geophysical Research Letters44(23), 11-824.

Courboulex, F., Singh, S. K., Pacheco, J. F., & Ammon, C. J. (1997). The 1995 Colima‐Jalisco, Mexico, earthquake (Mw 8): A study of the rupture process. Geophysical Research Letters24(9), 1019-1022.

Okuwaki, R., & Yagi, Y. (2017). Rupture process during the Mw 8.1 2017 Chiapas Mexico earthquake: Shallow intraplate normal faulting by slab bending. Geophysical Research Letters44(23), 11-816.

Week 19: Tremor Week

McCausland, W., Malone, S., & Johnson, D. (2005). Temporal and spatial occurrence of deep non‐volcanic tremor: From Washington to northern California. Geophysical Research Letters32(24).

Wech, A. G., & Creager, K. C. (2008). Automated detection and location of Casca dia tremorGeophysical Research Letters35(20). 

Liu, Y., & Rice, J. R. (2005). Aseismic slip transients emerge spontaneously in three‐dimensional rate and state modeling of subduction earthquake sequences. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth110(B8).

Week 22: Fault Mechanics

Manighetti, I., Campillo, M., Sammis, C., Mai, P. M., & King, G. (2005). Evidence for self‐similar, triangular slip distributions on earthquakes: Implications for earthquake and fault mechanics. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth110(B5).

Braunmiller, J., & Nábělek, J. (1996). Geometry of continental normal faults: Seismological constraints. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth101(B2), 3045-3052.

Week 20: Modeling Large Earthquakes

Kanamori, H. (1977). The energy release in great earthquakes. Journal of geophysical research82(20), 2981-2987.

Shimazaki, K., & Nakata, T. (1980). Time‐predictable recurrence model for large earthquakes. Geophysical Research Letters7(4), 279-282.

Week 24: Array Seismology

Rost, S., & Thomas, C. (2002). Array seismology: Methods and applications. Reviews of geophysics40(3), 2-1.

Week 21: The Science of Foreshocks

Reasenberg, P. A. (1999). Foreshock occurrence before large earthquakes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth104(B3), 4755-4768.

Shaw, B. E., Carlson, J. M., & Langer, J. S. (1992). Patterns of seismic activity preceding large earthquakes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth97(B1), 479-488.

Bowman, D. D., & King, G. C. (2001). Accelerating seismicity and stress accumulation before large earthquakes. Geophysical Research Letters28(21), 4039-4042.

Week 23: The Core 2.0

Tanaka, S., & Hamaguchi, H. (1997). Degree one heterogeneity and hemispherical variation of anisotropy in the inner core from PKP (BC)–PKP (DF) times. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth102(B2), 2925-2938.

Souriau, A., Roudil, P., & Moynot, B. (1997). Inner core differential rotation: facts and artefacts. Geophysical research letters24(16), 2103-2106.

Massé, R. P., Flinn, E. A., Seggelke, R. M., & Engdahl, E. R. (1974). PKIIKP and the average velocity of the inner core. Geophysical Research Letters1(1), 39-42.

Week 25: Tomography

Su, W. J., Woodward, R. L., & Dziewonski, A. M. (1994). Degree 12 model of shear velocity heterogeneity in the mantleJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth99(B4), 6945-6980.

Montagner, J. P., & Tanimoto, T. (1991). Global upper mantle tomography of seismic velocities and anisotropies. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth96(B12), 20337-20351.

Bjarnason, I. T., Menke, W., Flóvenz, Ó. G., & Caress, D. (1993). Tomographic image of the mid‐Atlantic plate boundary in southwestern Iceland. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth98(B4), 6607-6622.

Levin, V., Lerner‐Lam, A., & Menke, W. (1995). Anomalous mantle structure at the Proterozoic‐Paleozoic boundary in northeastern USGeophysical research letters22(2), 121-124.

Week 26: Hazard Monitoring

Cansi, Y. (1995). An automatic seismic event processing for detection and location: The PMCC methodGeophysical research letters22(9), 1021-1024.

Le Pichon, A., Vergoz, J., Blanc, E., Guilbert, J., Ceranna, L., Evers, L., & Brachet, N. (2009). Assessing the performance of the International Monitoring System's infrasound network: Geographical coverage and temporal variabilities. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres114(D8).

Week 27: Surface Wave Inversions

Laske, G., & Masters, G. (1996). Constraints on global phase velocity maps from long‐period polarization data. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth101(B7), 16059-16075.

Alsina, D., Snieder, R., & Maupin, V. (1993). A test of the great circle approximation in the analysis of surface waves. Geophysical research letters20(10), 915-918.

Week 28: Paleo Seismology

Sieh, K. E. (1978). Prehistoric large earthquakes produced by slip on the San Andreas fault at Pallett Creek, California. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth83(B8), 3907-3939.

Minster, J. B., & Jordan, T. H. (1978). Present‐day plate motions. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth83(B11), 5331-5354.

Week 29: Regional Focus - Alaska 

Dreger, D. S., Oglesby, D. D., Harris, R., Ratchkovski, N., & Hansen, R. (2004). Kinematic and dynamic rupture models of the November 3, 2002 Mw7. 9 Denali, Alaska, earthquakeGeophysical research letters31(4).

Sykes, L. R. (1971). Aftershock zones of great earthquakes, seismicity gaps, and earthquake prediction for Alaska and the Aleutians. Journal of Geophysical Research76(32), 8021-8041.

Week 30: Regional Focus - Mediterranean

Amato, A., Azzara, R., Chiarabba, C., Cimini, G. B., Cocco, M., Di Bona, M., & Basili, A. (1998). The 1997 Umbria‐Marche, Italy, earthquake sequence: A first look at the main shocks and aftershocks. Geophysical Research Letters25(15), 2861-2864.

Delouis, B., Lundgren, P., Salichon, J., & Giardini, D. (2000). Joint inversion of InSAR and teleseismic data for the slip history of the 1999 Izmit (Turkey) earthquakeGeophysical Research Letters27(20), 3389-3392.

Week 31: Megathrust Events

Larmat, C., Montagner, J. P., Fink, M., Capdeville, Y., Tourin, A., & Clévédé, E. (2006). Time‐reversal imaging of seismic sources and application to the great Sumatra earthquake. Geophysical Research Letters33(19).

Suzuki, W., Aoi, S., Sekiguchi, H., & Kunugi, T. (2011). Rupture process of the 2011 Tohoku‐Oki mega‐thrust earthquake (M9. 0) inverted from strong‐motion data. Geophysical Research Letters38(7). 

Sornette, D., Knopoff, L., Kagan, Y. Y., & Vanneste, C. (1996). Rank‐ordering statistics of extreme events: Application to the distribution of large earthquakes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth101(B6), 13883-13893.

Week 32: Regional Focus - Japan

Mogi, K. (1981). Seismicity in western Japan and long‐term earthquake forecasting. Earthquake prediction: An international review4, 43-51.

Ichinose, G. A., Thio, H. K., Somerville, P. G., Sato, T., & Ishii, T. (2003). Rupture process of the 1944 Tonankai earthquake (Ms 8.1) from the inversion of teleseismic and regional seismograms. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth108(B10).

Igarashi, T., Matsuzawa, T., Umino, N., & Hasegawa, A. (2001). Spatial distribution of focal mechanisms for interplate and intraplate earthquakes associated with the subducting Pacific plate beneath the northeastern Japan arc: A triple‐planed deep seismic zone. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth106(B2), 2177-2191.

Week 33: The Foundations 

Bauer, L. A. (1906). Magnetograph records of earthquakes with special reference to the San Francisco earthquake, April 18, 1906. Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity11(3), 135-144.

Unknown, (1896), Editorial greetingTerr. Magn., 1( 1), 41– 43, doi:10.1029/TM001i001p00041.

Hasselmann, K. (1966). Feynman diagrams and interaction rules of wave‐wave scattering processes. Reviews of Geophysics4(1), 1-32.

Hasselmann, K. (1963). A statistical analysis of the generation of microseisms. Reviews of Geophysics1(2), 177-210.

Week 34: Planetary Seismology

Nakamura, Y., Latham, G. V., & Dorman, H. J. (1982). Apollo lunar seismic experiment—Final summary. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth87(S01), A117-A123.

Okal, E. A., & Anderson, D. L. (1978). Theoretical models for Mars and their seismic properties. Icarus33(3), 514-528.

Week 35: Ocean Bottom Seismometers

Nagumo, S., & Kasahara, J. (1976). Ocean‐bottom seismograph study of the western margin of the Pacific. The Geophysics of the Pacific Ocean Basin and Its Margin19, 155-167.