About Me

I study seismology, which means I spend my days looking at wiggles on a screen. Typically these wiggles are recorded using very expensive slinkies buried in the ground, which shake and bounce due to earthquakes.
My research is concerned with the field of adjoint tomography, which means I also spend my days generating fake wiggles using a very expensive computer and a 3D model of the ground beneath our feet. In a very roundabout way, I change parts of the model to try to line up the fake wiggles with the real wiggles, and in doing so, I am able to get better idea about the structure of the Earth. Neat!


Adjoint Tomography

My doctoral research involved seismic imaging of the Hikurangi subduction zone and crustal structure of the North Island of New Zealand using adjoint tomography. Our objective was to generate and interpret high-resolution velocity models of an active convergent plate boundary.


The Broadband East Coast Network was a temporary deployment of 20 broadband seismic instruments in the central Hawke's Bay and Tararua regions. The network was deployed to supplement receiver coverage over the Hikurangi subduction interface.

Rotational Seismology

My master's work involved analysis of amplitudes from rotational ground motion sensors. Using a large catalog of global earthquakes, we empirically derived a rotational magnitude scale to understand the charactersitics of amplitude decay for rotation signals.

Select Publications

[manuscript in review] Strong upper-plate heterogeneity at the Hikurangi subduction margin (North Island, New Zealand) imaged by adjoint tomography
Bryant Chow, Yoshihiro Kaneko, Carl Tape, Ryan Modrak, Nick Mortimer, Stephen Bannister, John Townend

[manuscript in review] Evidence for deeply-subducted lower-plate seamounts at the Hikurangi subduction margin: implications for seismic and aseismic behavior
Bryant Chow, Yoshihiro Kaneko, John Townend

An automated workflow for adjoint tomography — Waveform misfits and synthetic inversions for the North Island, New Zealand
Bryant Chow, Yoshihiro Kaneko, Carl Tape, Ryan Modrak, John Townend

Love wave amplitude decay from rotational ground motions
Bryant Chow, Joachim Wassermann, Berhard S A Schuberth, Celine Hadziioannou, Stefanie Donner, Heiner Igel


NSF Postdoctoral Fellow (2021 - 2023)
Active Tectonics and Crustal Structure of Northern Alaska
University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska
Scientific Mentor: Carl Tape


PhD, Geophysics (2018 - 2021)
Adjoint tomography of the Hikurangi subduction zone and the North Island of New Zealand
Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Advisors: Yoshihiro Kaneko, John Townend
MSc, Geophysics (2015 - 2017)
Analysis of rotational motion amplitudes on local and global scales
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München & Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
Advisors: Heiner Igel, Celine Hadziiannou, Stefanie Donner, Joachim Wassermann
BSc, Physics // Minor in German Studies (2011- 2015)
Determining Love wave phase velocity through analysis of rotational ground motion
University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California
Advisor: Toshiro Tanimoto


Sometimes I do non-science things. In my free I rock climb, mountain bike, ride motorbikes, cook, and tinker.

Rock Climbing

I started out bouldering in the sandstone hills of Santa Barbara, California. I learned to lead (and fall) at Malibu Creek and New Jack City, and have found myself in absolutely stunning areas like Bishop, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, and the pre-alps of Bavaria. I usually attribute my keen'ness for geophysics to my love of rock climbing.


I got my first bike, a Suzuki DRZ400S, at the grand ole' age of 20. I generally consider that a solid life decision. Since then I've owned a Honda CBR600F4i, and currently ride a Suzuki DR650 with a cast wheel supermoto conversion. Occasionally I throw on the knobblies and spin my tires off road.