Keith SverdrupKeith Sverdrup


322 Lapham Hall
(414) 229-4017
Vita (pdf-60kb)

Ph.D., Earth Science from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego
B.S., Geophysics from the University of Minnesota

Key Areas of Interest: Seismotectonics, Geoscience education in the undergraduate oceanography

Teaching Areas: Oceanography, earthquakes and plate tectonics

Research Interests: My research involves the relocation of historic earthquakes that have occurred in relatively remote regions where the azimuthal distribution of recording stations is poor, leading to in accurate relative and absolute locations. The most recent work has involved earthquakes along the Blanco Transform Fault separating the Pacific and Juan de Fuca plates off the northwest coast of the United States. Earthquakes in this region have historically been mislocated to the northeast due to the poor azimuth distribution of stations. Events along the transform are typically in the magnitude 5.5 or less range, small enough that only stations in the narrow azimuthal range from about 0 to 135 degrees record them well. This one-sided distribution of stations results in computed locations that are routinely tens of kilometers to the northeast of the actual locations.

Other Activities:

Co-PI on a four-year National Science Foundation undergraduate scholarship program, the COMPASS Scholarships, for students majoring in the natural sciences. The program supports a cohort of natural science majors by offering special courses for them, mentorship and tutoring, and financial support.

I am the principal author of two introductory oceanography textbooks. These textbooks have been adopted by colleges and universities across the country as well as overseas.

Over the years I have served on a number of committees, generally related to undergraduate education, for the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Physics, and the Geological Society of America.

Selected Publications:


Duxbury, A.C., A.B. Duxbury, and K.A. Sverdrup, Fundamentals of Oceanography, 5th edition, McGraw-Hill Publishers, 344 p., Copyright 2007, ISBN 0-07-242970-6.

Sverdrup, K.A., and E.V. Armbrust, An Introduction to the World’s Oceans, 9th edition, McGraw-Hill Publishers, 521 p., Copyright 2008, ISBN 978-0-07-282701-9.

Selected Papers:

Cronin, V.S., Schurter, G.S., and Sverdrup, K.A., Preliminary Landsat lineament analysis of the northern Nanga Parbat-Haramosh Massif, northwest Himalaya, from Treloar, P.J. & Searle, M.P. (eds), Himalayan Tectonics, Geological Society of London Special publication, No. 74, p. 193-206, 1993.

Sverdrup, K.A., Schurter, G.J., and Cronin, V.S., Relocation Analysis of Earthquakes near Nanga Parbat-Haramosh Massif, Northwest Himalaya, Pakistan, Geophys. Res. Letters, 21, no. 21, p. 2331-2334, 1994.

Cronin, V.S., and Sverdrup, K.A., Preliminary assessment of the seismicity of the Malibu Coast Fault Zone, southern California, and related issues of philosophy and practice, in Welby, C.W. and Gowan, M.E., eds, A Paradox of Power: Voices of Warning and Reason in the Geosciences: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America Reviews in Engineering Geology, v. XII, Copyright 1998, ISBN 0-8137-4112-2.

Cronin, V.S., and Sverdrup, K.A., Defining Static Correction for Jointly Relocated Earthquakes along the Blanco Transform Fault based on SOSUS Hydrophone Data, Oceans 2003 MTS/IEEE Conference Proceedings (ISBN 0-933957-30-9), p. P2721-2726, San Diego, California, Sept. 2003.

Cronin, V.S., and Sverdrup, K.A., Multiple-Event Relocation of Historic Earthquakes Along Blanco Transform Fault Zone, NE Pacific, Geophys. Res. Letters, 30, no. 19, p. 2001-2004, 2003.

Current Research