Rowena Lohman

Rowena B. Lohman

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
4130 Snee Hall


Rowena Lohman received her B.S. in geology in 1998, and her Ph.D. in geophysics in 2004, both from the California Institute of Technology. She followed her time at Caltech with postdoctoral positions at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) before joining the Cornell faculty in the summer of 2007. Lohman aims at advancing our understanding of the nucleation of earthquakes and their interactions within tectonically active regions that are often hosts to densely populated metropolitan areas. Her primary interests are earthquake physics, inverse theory, satellite remote sensing (particularlyInterferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar or InSAR), finite element modeling, ground displacements associated with a variety of human and natural causes (including subsidence in New Orleans and upstate New York), and the tectonics of southern California, Louisiana, the Cascadia subduction zone, and Iran. Increasingly, she is also interested in the effects of land use change (logging, mining, etc.) on observations of ground deformation and other remote sensing observations.

Research Interests

Lohman's specific research involves the use of satellite-based remote sensing observations of ground deformation before and during earthquakes. Her primary focus will be on identifying anomalous behavior along fault zones and ingesting these observations into models of the dynamics of earthquake nucleation and rupture by using geodetic observations of ground deformation, primarily InSAR. Much of her work will involve development of methods for fully capitalizing on the rapidly increasing volumes of imagery available from international satellite platforms.

Teaching Interests

In teaching, Lohman focuses on global geophysics, advanced seismology, earthquake record reading, remote sensing and active tectonics

Service Interests

Lohman's service activities on a national level have primarily involved community-led organizations aimed at improving access to satellite remote sensing data and numerical modeling tools, as well as involvement in the Southern California Earthquake Center, one of the key organizations for bringing scientists and engineers together to help identify and solve problems related to earthquake hazard around the world. She is also a member of the planning committee for the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

Selected Publications

  • Barnhart, William D., Rowena B. Lohman.  2012. "Regional trends in active diapirism revealed by mountain range-scale InSAR time series."  Geophysical Research Letters 30.
  • Lohman, Rowena B., William D Barnhart.  2010. "Evaluation of earthquake triggering during the 2005-2008 earthquake sequence on Qeshm Island, Iran."  Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth 115 (B12413).
  • Finnegan, Noah J., Matthew Pritchard, Rowena B. Lohman, Paul R Lundgren.  2008. "Constraints on surface deformation in the Seattle, WA, urban corridor from satellite radar interferometry time-series analysis."  Geophysical Journal International 174 (1): 29-41.
  • Lohman, Rowena B., J. J. McGuire.  2007. "Earthquake swarms driven by aseismic creep in the Salton Trough, California."  Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth 112 (B4).
  • Lohman, Rowena B., M. Simons.  2005. "Locations of selected small earthquakes in the Zagros mountains."  Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 6.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Daniel M. Lazar '29 Teaching Award (College of Engineering, Cornell University) 2019
  • Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor (University of Bristol) 2019
  • Geodesy Section Award (American Geophysical Union) 2013
  • James and Mary Tien Teaching Award (College of Engineering, Cornell University) 2011
  • NASA New Investigator Program grant for $318,000 over 3 years to study subsiding deltas and sea level rise worldwide with space-based geodetic observations (NASA) 2011
  • Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future Faculty Fellow (Cornell) 2010
  • Graduate Fellowship (National Science Foundation) 1999


  • BS (Geology), California Institute of Technology, 1998
  • Ph D (Geophysics), California Institute of Technology, 2004


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