Ryan Porter

Ryan Porter 230x230


Assistant Professor


Ph.D. Geosciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 2011.
B.A. Geology/Physics, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, 2006


Office: Geology Building (bldg. #12) room 214
Phone: (928) 523-2429
Email: Ryan.Porter@nau.edu

Research interests

Ryan Porter's research is focused on using seismology to better understand tectonically active regions. For my research I have primarily focused on the North and South American Cordillera and Africa. I have been involved with projects studying California, Utah and northern Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming, Peru, and Argentina. I am particularly interested in how the angle of subduction impacts regional deformation. Some of the techniques I work with are receiver functions, ambient noise tomography, and surface wave tomography. I am also interested in combining seismic techniques and in measuring seismic anisotropy to better understand deformation at depth.


I grew up in the Seattle area and attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. I was always interested in math and physics but first became excited about geology while working as a raft guide in Alaska. I went on to major in Geology and Physics at Whitman and then earned by PhD in seismology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. I worked as a postdoc at the Carnegie Institute for Science before taking my current job at Northern Arizona University. Outside of geophysics some of my interests include soccer, mountain and road biking, running, whitewater rafting and kayaking, triathlons, traveling, skiing and occasionally climbing. 


*Delph, J.R. and Porter R.C., 2014, Crustal structure beneath southern Africa: Insight into how tectonics events affect the Mohorovicic Discontinuity, Geophysical Journal International.
In Press.
Porter, R. C., Fouch, M. J., & Schmerr, N. C., 2014. Dynamic lithosphere within the Great Basin. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15(4), 1128-1146.
*Allison, C., Porter, R., Fouch, M., Semken, S., 2013. Seismic evidence for lithospheric modification beneath the Mojave Neovolcanic Province, Southern California, Geophysical
Research Letters, 40 (19): 5119–5124
*Ward, K., Porter, R., Zandt, G., Beck, S., Wagner, L., Estela, M., Hernando, T., 2013. Ambient Noise Tomography Across the Central Andes. Geophysical Journal International, 194 (3): 1559-1573.
Porter, R., Gilbert, H., Zandt, G., Beck, S., Warren, L., Calkins, J., Alvarado, P., Anderson, M., 2012. Shear wave velocities in the Pampean flat-slab region from Rayleigh wave
tomography: Implications for slab and upper mantle hydration. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth, 117, B11301.
Porter, R., Zandt, G., McQuarrie, N., 2011. Pervasive lower-crustal seismic anisotropy in Southern California: Evidence for underplated schists and active tectonics. Lithosphere, 3, 2011.
Porter et al., The Anisotropic Magnetic Susceptibility Of Proterozoic Northshore Volcanic Rhyolites, Keweenaw Rift in: 19th Annual Keck Symposium; http://keck.wooster.edu/publications
*Student Publications