Brian Savage

  • Professor
  • Department of Geosciences
  • Phone: 401.874.5392
  • Email:
  • Office Location: Office: 336 Woodward


My primary topic of research includes determining complex seismic velocity structures within the solid earth, primarily the crust and upper mantle. This is accomplished through seismic waveform modeling in 1, 2 and 3-D and the utilization of a number of programs which compute synthetic seismograms. Of particular interest are highly complex and unusual seismic signals resulting from exotic sources and/or complex seismic wave propagation. Computation of synthetics seismograms, especially in 3D, takes place in massively parallel computers housed within the department and at super computing centers around the world.


  • Formation and Deformation from Tomography of the Ontong Java Plateau using Finite Frequency, physics based methods.
  • Tectonics and Tomography of the Eastern North American Margin
  • Delineation of Saltwater / Freshwater interface along the coast
  • Imaging the lower crust and volcanic centers
  • Seismological Software Development


  • Postdoc, Harry O. Wood Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, 2004-2006
  • Ph.D., Geophysics, California Institute of Technology, 2004
  • M.A., Geophysics, California Institute of Technology, 2000
  • B.A., Geophysics, University of California, Berkeley, 1998

Selected Publications

Savage, B. (2021), sacio: A library for Seismic Analysis Code data files, Journal of Open Source Software, 6(64), 3619, doi:10.21105/joss.03619.

Savage, B. (2021), Body wave speed structure of eastern North America, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 22, e2020GC009,002, doi:10.1029/2020GC009002.

Savage, B. (2017), A seismic shift in continental tectonic plates, Science, 357(6351), 549–550.

Savage, B., B. M. Covellone, and Y. Shen (2017), Wave speed structure of the Eastern North American Margin, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 459, 394–405, doi:

Covellone, B. M., B. Savage, and Y. Shen (2015), Seismic Wave speed structure of the Ontong Java Plateau, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 420, 140–150, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.03.033.


  • GEO 113 - Natural Disaster
  • GEO 465 - Introduction to Geophysics
  • GEO 581 - Topics in Tectonics
  • GEO 370 - Earth Structure