Sam Hansen

Samantha E. Hansen

George Lindahl III Endowed Professor


  • Ph.D., Geology and Geophysics, The University of California, Santa Cruz, 2007
  • M.S., Geology and Geophysics, The University of Wisconsin, 2002
  • B.S., Geological Engineering, The University of Wisconsin, 2000

Research Areas

  • Geophysics, Tectonics, and Structural Geology


Research Interests

My research is driven by the underlying goal to advance our understanding of fundamental geodynamic processes, such as volcanism, mountain building, continental rifting, and craton formation. To this end, I employ a wide range of geological and geophysical tools emphasizing earthquake seismology, active tectonics, and the analysis of seismic data to investigate structure and to infer associated Earth processes. Past and current research projects have focused on a variety of different geographic locations including Hawaii, Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia, Africa, Greece, and Antarctica.  I have also expanded my research to investigate deep Earth structure, particularly ultra-low velocity zones along the core-mantle boundary.

Research Group Members

  • Hesam Saeidi, Ph.D.
  • Long Ho, Ph.D.
  • Kayode Agboola, M.S.
  • Ashish Kumar, M.S. (graduated: June 2021)
  • Sarah Carson, M.S. (graduated: December 2018)
  • Jordan Graw, Ph.D. (graduated: May 2017)
  • Greg Brenn, M.S. (graduated: December 2016)
  • Lindsey Kenyon, M.S. (graduated: December 2014)

Courses Taught

  • GEO 101: The Dynamic Earth
  • GEO 369: Introduction Geophysics
  • GEO 407/507: Seismology
  • GEO 435/535/635: Honors and Graduate Seminar in Geology
  • GEO 542: Geodynamics

Selected Publications

See for a full list of publications

  • Hansen, S.E., E.J. Garnero, M. Li, S.-H. Shim, and S. Rost, Globally Distributed Subducted Materials along the Earth’s Core-Mantle Boundary: Implications for Ultra-low Velocity Zones, Sci. Adv., 9, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.add4838, 2023.  Hansen_etal_SciAdv_2023.pdf
  • Saeidi, H., S.E. Hansen, and A.A. Nyblade, Deep Mantle Influence on the Cameroon Volcanic Lines, Geochem. Geophys. Geosys., 24, doi: 10.1029/2022GC010621, 2023. Saeidi_G-cubed_2023.pdf
  • Hansen, S.E., E.J. Garnero, and S. Rost, Historical Interstation Pattern Referencing (HIPR): an application to PcP waves recorded in the Antarctic for ULVZ imaging, J. Geophys. Res., 126, doi: 10.1029/2021JB022741, 2021. Hansen_etal_JGR_2021.pdf
  • Hansen, S.E., S.E. Carson, E.J. Garnero, S. Rost, and S. Yu, Investigating Ultra-low Velocity Zones in the Southern Hemisphere using an Antarctic Dataset, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 536, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116142, 2020. Hansen_etal_EPSL_2020.pdf
  • Hansen, S.E., C.P. Evangelidis, and G.A. Papadopoulos, Imaging Slab Detachment within the Western Hellenic Subduction Zone, Geochem. Geophys. Geosys., 20, 895-912, doi: 10.1029/2018GC007810, 2019. Hansen_etal_Gcubed_2019.pdf
  • Brenn, G.R., S.E. Hansen, and Y. Park, Variable thermal loading and uplift along the Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica, Geology, 45, doi: 10.1130/G38784.1, 2017.  Brenn_etal_Geology_2017.pdf (1615 downloads )
  • Graw, J.H., S.E. Hansen, C. Langston, B. Young, A. Mostafanejad, and Y. Park, Assessment of Crustal and Upper Mantle Velocity Structure by Removing the effect of an ice layer on the P-wave response: An application to Antarctic seismic studies, BSSA, 107, doi: 10.1785/0120160262, 2017. Graw_etal_BSSA_2017.pdf (1622 downloads )
  • Graw, J.H. and S.E. Hansen, Upper Mantle Seismic Anisotropy Beneath the Northern Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica from PKS, SKS, and SKKS Splitting Analysis, Geochem. Geophys. Geosys., 18, doi: 10.1002/2016GC006729, 2017.  Graw_Hansen_G-cubed_2017.pdf (868 downloads )
  • Graw, J.H., A.N. Adams, S.E. Hansen, D.A. Wiens, L. Hackworth, and Y. Park, Upper mantle shear wave velocity structure beneath northern Victoria Land, Antarctica: Volcanism and uplift in the northern Transantarctic Mountains, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 449, 48-60, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.05.026, 2016.  Graw_etal_2016.pdf (1212 downloads )
  • Hansen, S.E., L.M. Kenyon, J.H. Graw, Y. Park, and A.A. Nyblade, Crustal Structure beneath the Northern Transantarctic Mountains and Wilkes Subglacial Basin: Implications for Tectonic Origins, J. Geophys. Res., 121, 812-825, doi: 10.1002/2015/JB012325, 2016.  SHansen_JGR_2016.pdf (1646 downloads )
  • Ramirez, C., A.A. Nyblade, S.E. Hansen, D.A. Wiens, S. Anandakrishnan, R.C. Aster, A.D. Huerta, P.J. Shore, and T. Wilson, Crustal and Upper Mantle Structure beneath Ice-Covered Regions in Antarctica from S-wave Receiver Functions and Implications for Heat Flow, Geophys. J. Int., 204, 1636-1648, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv542, 2016. Ramirez_GJI_2016.pdf (1689 downloads )
  • Hansen, S.E., A. Reusch, T. Parker, D. Bloomquist, P. Carpenter, J.H. Graw, and G.R. Brenn, The Transantarctic Mountains Northern Network (TAMNNET): Deployment and Performance of a Seismic Array in Antarctica, Seism. Res. Lett., 86, 1636-1644, doi: 10.1785/0220150117, 2015.  SHansen_SRL_2015.pdf (1739 downloads )