Miaki Ishii Miaki Ishii
Email: ishii (at) eps (dot) harvard (dot) edu
Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Harvard Seismology Group
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Harvard University

日本語(Japanese Version)

Research Interests

My main interest is to use recordings of seismic energy to image the internal structure of the Earth and to study properties of earthquakes. Just as X-ray (CAT scan) and MRI provide non-invasive ways of viewing the inside of human body, different geophysical data can be deciphered to obtain pictures of the Earth's interior without sending instruments deep down. Seismological observations are particularly suitable for such study, and allow us to see the internal structure from different angles. These data also contain clues about source of the energy, i.e., how the Earth slipped to cause earthquakes.

Some of my current research projects can be found here.

Curriculum vitae

2003 Ph.D. (Geophysics), Harvard University
         Large-Scale Structure of the Earth's Mantle and Inner Core
1998 Hon.B.Sc. (Physics), University of Toronto

Professional Experience
2013-current Professor of Earth and Planetary Science, Harvard University
2010-2013 Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University
2006-2010 Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University
2003-2005 Green Scholar (Postdoctoral Fellow), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD
2003 Visiting Scientist, University of California Los Angeles
1994 Summer Intern, Chalk River National Laboratory, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

2017 Miller Visiting Professorship, University of California, Berkeley
2012-2013 IRIS/SSA Distinguished Lecturer, Incorporated Research Institutions of Seismology & Seismological Society of America
2012 Kavli Fellow, Kavli Frontiers of Science Program, U.S. National Academy of Sciences
2009 James B. Macelwane Medal, American Geophyical Union
2009 American Geophysical Union Fellow
2008 Charles F. Richter Early Career Award, Seismological Society of America
2007 Most Cited Authors, Physics of Earth and Planetary Interiors
2004 Alice Wilson Award, Royal Society of Canada
2000-2002 Julie Payette Scholar (Earth Sciences), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
1999 Outstanding Student Paper Award, American Geophysical Union
1998 Outstanding Student Paper Award, American Geophysical Union
1995 Summer Research Studentship, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
1994-1998 Canada Scholar, Industry Canada
Miaki <b>Ishii</b> Miaki <b>Ishii</b> Miaki <b>Ishii</b>


  • Park, S., & Ishii, M., 2018.
    Near-surface compressional and shear wave speeds constrained by body-wave polarization analysis.
    Geophysical Journal International 213(3), 1559-1571, doi:10.1093/gji/ggy072.

  • Kiser, E., & Ishii, M., 2017.
    Back-projection imaging of earthquakes.
    Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences 45,271-299, doi:10.1146/annurev-earth-063016-015801.

  • Bogiatzis, P., & Ishii, M., 2016.
    DigitSeis: A new digitization software for analog seismograms.
    Seismological Research Letters 87(3), 255-261.

  • Bogiatzis, P., Ishii, M., & Davis, T.A., 2016.
    Towards using direct methods in seismic tomography: Computation of the full resolution matrix using high-performance computing and sparse QR factorization.
    Geophysical Journal International 205(2), 803-836, doi:10.1093/gji/ggw052.

  • Park, S., & Ishii, M., 2015.
    Inversion for rupture properties based upon 3-D directivity effect and application to deep earthquakes in the Sea of Okhotsk region.
    Geophysical Journal International 205(2), 1011-1025, doi:10.1093/gji/ggv352.

  • Bogiatzis, P., & Ishii, M., 2015.
    Continuous wavelet decomposition algorithms for automatic detection of compressional- and shear-wave arrival times.
    Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 105(3), 1628-1641, doi:10.1785/0120140267.

  • Ishii, M., Ishii, H., Bernier, B., & Bulat, E., 2015.
    Efforts to recover and digitize analog seismograms from Harvard-Adam Dziewonski observatory.
    Seismological Research Letters 86(1), 255-261.

  • Bogiatzis, P., & Ishii, M., 2014.
    Moment tensor of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake from Earth's free oscillations.
    Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 104(2), 875-884, doi:10.1785/0120130243.

  • Kiser, E., & Ishii, M., 2013.
    Hidden aftershocks of the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku, Japan earthquake imaged with the backprojection method.
    J. Geophys. Res. 118(10), 5564-5576, doi:10.1002/2013JB010158.

  • Kiser, E., & Ishii, M., 2013.
    The 2010 Maule, Chile coseismic gap and its relationship to the Mw 7.1 March 25, 2012 earthquake.
    Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 103(2A), 1148-1153.

  • Ishii, M., Kiser, E., & Geist, E.L., 2013.
    Mw 8.6 Sumatran earthquake of April 11, 2012: Rare seaward expression of oblique subduction.
    Geology 41(3), 319-322.

  • Kiser, E., & Ishii, M., 2012.
    The March 11, 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake and cascading failure of the plate interface.
    Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, L00G25, doi:10.1029/2012GL051170.

  • Kiser, E., & Ishii, M., 2012.
    Combining seismic arrays to image the high-frequency characteristics of large earthquakes.
    Geophys. J. Int. 188, 1117-1128.

  • Lucifredi, I., & Ishii, M., 2012.
    A coupled wavenumber integration approach for calculating the wavefield in large-scale laterally varying structures.
    Geophys. J. Int. 188, 195-210.

  • Kiser, E., & Ishii, M., 2011.
    Back-projection results for the Mw 9.0 March 11, 2011 Tohoku, Japan earthquake.
    IRIS Annual Report, 10-11.

  • Ishii, M., 2011.
    High-frequency rupture properties of the Mw 9.0 Off-the-Pacific-Coast-of-Tohoku earthquake.
    Earth, Planets, Space 63, 609-614.

  • Kiser, E., Ishii, M., Langmuir, C.H., Shearer, P.M., & Hirose, H., 2011.
    Insights into the mechanism of intermediate-depth earthquakes from source properties as imaged by back-projection of multiple seismic phases.
    J. Geophys. Res. 116, doi:10.1029/2010JB007831.

  • Kiser, E., & Ishii, M., 2011.
    The 2010 Mw 8.8 Chile earthquake: Triggering on multiple segments and frequency‐dependent rupture behavior.
    Geophys. Res. Lett. 38, L07301, doi:10.1029/2011GL047140.

  • Kiser, E., & Ishii, M., 2010.
    Modeling the 2010 Chile earthquake rupture with USArray.
    inSights, the EarthScope Newletter, fall 2010, 2.

  • Latychev, K., Mitrovica, J.X., Ishii, M., Chan, E., & Davis, J.L., 2009.
    Body tides on a 3-D elastic Earth: Toward a tidal tomography.
    Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 277, 86--90, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2008.10.008.

  • Ishii, M., Shearer, P.M., Houston, H., & Vidale, J.E., 2007.
    Teleseismic P wave imaging of the 26 December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman and 28 March 2005 Sumatra earthquake ruptures using the Hi-net array.
    J. Geophys. Res. 112, B11307, doi:10.1029/2006JB004700.

  • Ishii, M., 2007.
    Seismological constraints on the structure of the Earth's core.
    in Superplume: Beyond Plate Tectonics, edited by D. Yuen, S. Karato, S. Maruyama, and B.F. Windley, 31-68, Kluwer Academic Press, New York.

  • Peng, Z., Vidale, J.E., Ishii, M., & Helmstetter, A., 2007.
    Seismicity rate immediately before and after main shock rupture from high-frequency waveforms in Japan.
    J. Geophys. Res. 112, B03306, doi:10.1029/2006JB004386.

  • Walker, K., Ishii, M., & Shearer, P.M., 2005.
    Rupture details of the 28 March 2005 Sumatra Mw 8.6 earthquake imaged with teleseismic P waves.
    Geophys. Res. Lett. 32(24), L24303, doi:10.1029/2005GL024395.

  • Davis, P., Ishii, M., & Masters, G., 2005.
    An assessment of the accuracy of GSN sensor response information.
    Seism. Res. Lett. 76(6), 678-683.

  • Ishii, M., & Dziewonski, A.M., 2005.
    Constraints on the outer core tangent cylinder using normal-mode splitting measurements.
    Geophys. J. Int. 162(3), 787-792, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2005.02587.x.

  • Ishii, M., Shearer, P.M., Houston, H., & Vidale, J.E., 2005.
    Extent, duration and speed of the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake imaged by the Hi-Net array.
    Nature 435(7044), 933-936, doi10.1038/nature03675.

  • Pysklywec, R.N., & Ishii, M., 2005.
    Time dependent subduction dynamics driven by the instability of stagnant slabs in the transition zone.
    Phys. Earth Planet. Inter. 149(1-2), 115-132.

  • Lay, T., Heinz, D., Ishii, M., Shim, S., Tsuchiya, J., Tsuchiya, T., Wentzcovitch, R., & Yuen, D., 2005.
    Multi-disciplinary impact of the lower mantle perovskite phase transition.
    EOS Trans. AGU 86(1), 1-5.

  • Ishii, M., & Tromp, J., 2004.
    Constraining large-scale mantle heterogeneity using mantle and inner-core sensitive normal modes.
    Phys. Earth Planet. Inter. 146(1-2), 113-124.

  • Ishii, M., & Dziewonski, A.M., 2003.
    Distinct seismic anisotropy at the centre of the Earth.
    Phys. Earth Planet. Inter. 140(1-3), 203-217.

  • Pysklywec, R.N., Mitrovica, J.X., & Ishii, M., 2003.
    Mantle avalanche as a driving force for tectonic reorganization in the south-west Pacific.
    Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 209, 29-38.

  • Ishii, M., Tromp, J., Dziewonski, A.M., & Ekström, G., 2002.
    Joint inversion of normal mode and body wave data for inner core anisotropy: 1. Laterally homogeneous anisotropy.
    J. Geophys. Res. 107, doi:10.1029/2001JB000712.

  • Ishii, M., Dziewonski, A.M., Tromp, J., & Ekström, G., 2002.
    Joint inversion of normal mode and body wave data for inner core anisotropy: 2. Possible complexities.
    J. Geophys. Res. 107, doi:10.1029/2001JB000713.

  • Ishii, M., & Dziewonski, A.M., 2002.
    The innermost inner core of the earth: Evidence for a change in anisotropic behavior at the radius of about 300~km.
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99(22), 14026-14030.

  • Ishii, M., & Tromp, J., 2001.
    Even-degree lateral variations in the mantle constrained by free oscillations and the free-air gravity anomaly.
    Geophys. J. Int. 145(1), 77-96.

  • Ishii, M., & Tromp, J., 1999.
    Normal-mode and free-air gravity constraints on lateral variations in velocity and density of the Earth's mantle.
    Science 285, 1231-1236.

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences / Harvard University / 20 Oxford Street / Cambridge / MA 02138 / U.S.A. / Telephone: +1 617 495 2350 / Fax: +1 617 496 1907 / Email: reilly@eps.harvard.edu