Caroline Beghein

Room Number: 318
Google Scholar Link

Biographical Info

07/2015-present: Associate Professor, Dept. of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, UC Los Angeles, CA
02/18/2014-03/07/2014: Visiting Investigator, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC
01/2008-06/2015: Assistant Professor (2011-2012 and 2012-2013 off the tenure clock), Dept. of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, UC Los Angeles, CA
05/2006-12/2007: Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Earth & Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
01/2004-12/2005: Postdoctoral Scholar/Fellow, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Space Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


2003 Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
1998 M.Sc. (D.E.A.) Geophysics, Institute de Physique du Globe, Paris, France
1997 B.Sc. (License) Physics, Université de Liège, Belgium

Awards & Honors

2016 IRIS/SSA Distinguished Lecturer
2009 UCLA Faculty Career Development Award
2005 EGU Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists
2003 Ph.D. Cum Laude
1997 B.Sc. with High Honors


Earth’s interior, transition zone, D”, mantle deformation, seismic tomography, seismic anisotropy, mantle, inner core, forward modeling, surface waves, free oscillations, lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary, mantle flow, inverse problems


My area of expertise is seismic tomography, and in particular in numerical modeling of Earth structure using seismic data at the global and the regional scales. My interests encompass mantle and inner core structure, the deformation of the mantle, the interaction between lithosphere and asthenosphere, and inverse theory. One common theme of many of my research projects is seismic anisotropy. Because it can result from deformation during convection, seismic anisotropy provides some of the most direct constraints on mantle dynamics. It can be a powerful tool to understand the interactions between geological observations and Earth’s interior. I have also been at the forefront of using Monte Carlo modeling techniques to determine quantitative uncertainties in tomographic models, an area of research of great importance to make meaningful interpretation of tomographic models. My research program seeks to address challenges regarding the depth extent of seismic anisotropy, its pattern in the upper mantle and mantle transition zone, and its relation to seismic discontinuities and mantle convection. Additional research interests involve inner core structure, and Earth’s free oscillations, which can be used to constrain large-scale, whole Earth structure.

Selected Publications

Beghein, C., Yuan, K., Schmerr, N., and *Xing, Z. (2014), Changes in seismic anisotropy shed light on the nature of the Gutenberg discontinuity, Science, 343(6176), 1237-1240, doi:10.1126/science.1246724
Yuan, K., and Beghein, C. (2013), Seismic anisotropy changes across upper mantle phase transitions, Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett., 374, 132-144, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2013.05.031
Stubailo, I., Beghein, C., Davis, P. (2012), Structure and anisotropy of the Mexico subduction zone based on Rayleigh-wave analysis and implications for the geometry of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, J. Geophys. Res., 117, B5, B05303, doi:10.1029/2011JB008631
Beghein, C., Resovsky, J., and van der Hilst, R.D. (2008), The signal of mantle anisotropy in the coupling of normal modes, Geophys. J. Int., 175, 1209-1234, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03970.x
Beghein, C., Trampert, J., and H.J. van Heijst (2006), Radial anisotropy in reference models of the mantle, J. Geophys. Res., 111, B02303, doi:10.1029/2005JB003728
Beghein, C., and Trampert, J. (2003), Robust normal mode constraints on inner core anisotropy from model space search, Science, 299, 552-555, doi:10.1126/science.1078159