Geophysics Ph.D. Student Receives Student Presentation Award

Award for Oral Presentation at Seismological Society of America Annual Meeting

Sharmila Appini, a geophysics Ph.D. student from the University of Houston Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, received a Student Presentation Award for her oral presentation titled “Influence of a Dipping Anisotropic Slab on Shear Wave Splitting in Japan.” Appini gave the presentation at the 2023 Seismological Society of America (SSA) Annual Meeting held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Sharmila Appini

The SSA initiated these awards to honor excellent presentations at the meeting and to identify outstanding work by student members. A selection committee evaluated all student presentations. Based on their nominations, a judging committee selected 13 award recipients this year.

Appini’s research primarily investigates the presence of strong seismic anisotropy inside the slab using shear-wave splitting (SWS) patterns in Japan subduction zone. She measured the splitting patterns of a large dataset of global teleseismic waveforms and performed forward modeling to predict the same in a dipping anisotropic slab model.

The results suggest that the delay times and polarization directions of the shear waves can be significantly influenced by the slab anisotropy and event locations. This study emphasizes the importance of considering intra-slab anisotropy and highlights the implications for understanding deep earthquake generation and mantle processes.

As a Student Presentation Award recipient, Appini received a complimentary membership to SSA for 2024 and is listed on the SSA student awards webpage. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. supervised by Yingcai Zheng, associate professor in seismology.