Staff Profile


Preferred Name: Nicholas Harmon




Phone: 508 289 3337


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,   Mail Stop 24
266 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, MA 02543


Ph.D. Brown University, 2007

M.S. Brown University, 2004

B.A. Boston University, 2000, Summa Cum Laude

Research Statement

I am a marine geophysicist and seismologist interested in plate tectonics and mantle dynamics. Plate tectonics is a fundamental theory for earth science, but the mechanics of this process are not fully understood because most of the tectonic plates lie beneath the oceans.  The primary focus of my research is to understand the interactions between the rigid lithosphere and flow in the mantle beneath and how these interactions result in surface volcanism and plate boundary formation. In addition, I am interested in understanding how plate tectonics give rise to geohazards such earthquakes, volcanos and tsunami, and mitigating these disasters. I use observations such as gravity and seafloor bathymetric surveys, and in particular ocean bottom seismology. I also use numerical modeling techniques to determine the implications of various geophysical and geochemical constraints. I have a secondary focus on the interactions of the oceans with the solid earth observed in situ and using seismic networks on land. Ocean bottom seismic instruments record a wide variety of oceanographic and biological phenomenon that provide novel constraints in fields outside of ocean bottom seismology.