Kade Keranen

Associate Professor
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences


Dr. Kade Keranen earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geophysics from Stanford University. She began her professional career at ExxonMobil Exploration as a geophysicist and then the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in the Earthquake Hazards division, Menlo Park, CA prior to joining the faculty at the University of Oklahoma in 2009. She was a GeoPRISMS Distinguished Lecturer from 2011-2013. Katie accepted a faculty position in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University in July of 2013. Keranen’s research uses seismic reflection imaging, along with local and global seismicity, to study active fault zones and regions of active tectonics. She is interested in the role that fluids and sediment play in controlling seismogenesis.

Research Interests

Keranen uses seismic methods to study faults, earthquakes, earth structure and deformation, and the role of fluids in deformation. Recent study areas for research and fieldwork include Chile, Ethiopia, offshore Oregon and Washington, Alaska, and Oklahoma. Keranen employs both active- and passive-source seismic methods, along with potential field methods, to image faults and lithospheric structure.

Teaching Interests

Geophysical techniques and methods including raw data processing and interpretation from geophysical fieldwork; solid earth structure and active processes.

Selected Publications

  • Bécel, A., D.J. Shillington, M. Delescluse, M.R. Nedimovic, G.A. Abers, D.M. Saffer, S.C. Webb, K.M. Keranen, P.-H. Roche, J. Li, and H. Kuehn (2017), Tsunamigenic structures in a creeping section of the Alaska subduction zone, Nat. Geosci, adv. online publ, doi:10.1038/ngeo2990.
  • McComas, Katherine Anne, Hang Lu, Kathleen Keranen, Maria Furtney, Hwansuck Song. 2016. “Public perceptions and acceptance of induced earthquakes related to energy development.” Energy Policy 99: 27-32.
  • Shillington, Donna, Anne Becel, Mladen Nedimovic, Harold Kuehn, Spahr Webb, Geoffrey Abers, Kathleen Keranen, Jiyao Li, Matthias Delescluse, Gabriel Mattei-Salicrup. 2015. “Link between plate fabric, hydration and subduction zone seismicity in Alaska.” Nature Geoscience 8.
  • Li, Jiyao, Donna Shillington, Anne Becel, Mladen Nedimovic, Spahr Webb, Demian Saffer, Kathleen Keranen, Harold Kuehn. 2015. “Downdip variations in seismic reflection character: Implications for fault structure and seismogenic behavior in the Alaska subduction zone.” Journal of Geophysical Research 120
  • Keranen, K., Weingarten, M., Abers, G. A., Bekins, B., Ge, S. (2014). Sharp increase since 2008 induced by massive wastewater injection. Science, 345 (6195), 448-451.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • IRIS/SSA Distinguished Lecturer 2017-18
  • Douglas Whitney Excellence in Teaching Award, Cornell University 2016
  • GeoPRISMS Distinguished Lecturer 2011
  • USGS Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellowship 2008
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship 2001-04


  • BS(Applied Geophysics),Michigan Technological University, 2001
  • Thermal Geophysics Group(Thermal Geophysics),University of Utah, 2002
  • MS(Geophysics),Stanford University, 2004
  • Ph D(Geophysics),Stanford University, 2008