Normal modes of the Earth

As part of the class Data Sonification and Visualization in Python, Joshua Russell and I developed a series of animations of the normal modes of the Earth. Normal modes are standing waves in the Earth that are generated by the interference of waves from large earthquakes. These animations use synthetic seismograms computed for a large earthquake, and visualize the ground motions due to the vibrations of individual modes as well as the sum of multiple modes. We also sonify the ground motion by modulating a mode-dependent frequency by the envelope of that mode’s amplitude. This project was entered into the annual Research as Art Competition at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and won the top award in the video category in 2017.