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Welcome to Dr. Gao's Research Page!

The Earth has a radius of 6,371 kilometers. Numerous studies have demonstrated that processes in the Earth's deep interior control the formation and evolution of most of the large-scale surface features (e.g., mountain belts, faults, volcanoes etc.). A large portion of our knowledge about the Earth's interior comes from geophysical measurements made within the top few kilometers of the planet's surface.

Dr. Gao's research emphasizes the combination of geology, physics, mathematics, and computer science to explore the Earth. We image the structure of the Earth's deep interior using elastic waves produced by earthquakes, and study the distribution of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in space and time.

On the practical side, we conduct research projects and offer courses in the area of exploration (mostly seismic) geophysics. Applications of geophysical techniques include locating oil, gas, and minerals, as well as imaging objects or substances related to the understanding and protection of the environment.

Many of our ongoing research projects involve "big data" (tens of terabytes of digital data and millions of earthquakes), and we are developing/implementing machine-learning based digital signal processing techniques to effectively mine the data sets for better imaging and understanding the Earth's deep interior.