David T. Sandwell
University of California, San Diego
Election Year: 2011
Primary Section: 16, Geophysics
Secondary Section: 15, Geology
Membership Type: Member
Sandwell's research focuses on mapping the gravity field and topography of the deep oceans using data collected by radar altimeters on satellites orbiting the earth and sonars on research vessels. He has been chief scientist on several seafloor mapping expeditions to remote areas of the South Pacific. In conjunction with colleagues, Sandwell developed the most detailed map to date of the global sea floor, providing scientists with the first uniform resolution view of 70 percent of the earth and opening up new areas of research in marine geology and geophysics. He uses these data to investigate the tectonics and geodynamics of the ocean basins. He was also involved in the Magellan mapping mission to understand the geodynamics of Venus. Much of his current research is focused on the use of radar interferometry data to measure crustal deformations associated with earthquake processes.