Professor Meghan Samantha Miller

Professor, Research School of Earth Sciences


Whittier College               Physics and Geology                             B.A. 1997 

Columbia University        Applied Geophysics                               M.Sc. 1999

Cornell University           Geological Science                                 M.Eng. 2000

Australian National University      Earth Science/Geophysics         Ph.D. 2006


California Institute of Technology – Visiting Associate, Pasadena, California, 2015-2016

University of Southern California – Assistant/Associate Professor, Los Angeles, California, 2009-2017

Rice University - Postdoctoral Research Associate, Houston, Texas 2006-2008

University of British Columbia - Postdoctoral Research Associate, Vancouver, British Columbia, 2006-2008

Research interests

Most of my research focuses on tectonic plate boundaries, in particular subduction zones where oceanic plates are descending into the Earth’s deep interior, but are still relatively poorly understood.  These are regions where tectonic activity, as observed in seismicity and volcanism, is localized, making them natural targets of high scientific and societal relevance. As a complement to the dynamic, active plate boundary research, I also have an interest in understanding the structure of stable continental interiors as they provide the best long-term record of plate tectonic processes. 

  • Miller, M 2020, 'Mapping Earth's deepest secrets', Science, vol. 368, no. 6496, pp. 1183-1184.
  • Harris, C, Miller, M, Supendi, P et al. 2020, 'Subducted lithospheric boundary tomographically imaged beneath the arc-continent collision in eastern Indonesia', Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, vol. 125, no. 8.
  • Lecocq, T, Hicks, S, Koen, V et al. 2020, 'Global Quieting of High-Frequency Seismic Noise Due to COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown Measures', Science, vol. 369, pp. 1338-1343.
  • Supendi, P, Nugraha, A, Widiyantoro, S, Harris, CW, Miller, MS, 2020, 'Fate of Forearc Lithosphere at Arc-Continent Collision Zones: Evidence From Local Earthquake Tomography of the Sunda-Banda Arc Transition, Indonesia', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 47, no. 6, pp. 1-9.
  • Toy, V, Manatschal, G, Rosenbaum, G et al 2019, 'Introduction to "Orogenic Cycles: From Field Observations to Global Geodynamics"', Tectonics, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 3-6.
  • Boneh, Y, Schottenfels, E, Kwong, K et al 2019, 'Intermediate-Depth Earthquakes Controlled by Incoming Plate Hydration Along Bending-Related Faults', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 46, no. 7, pp. 3688-3697.
  • Li, Y, Miller, M & Sun, D 2019, 'Seismic imaging the D`` region beneath the Central Atlantic', Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, vol. 292, pp. 76-86.
  • Miller, M & Moresi, L 2018, 'Mapping the Alaskan Moho', Seismological Research Letters, vol. 89, no. 6, pp. 2430-2436pp.
  • Porritt, R & Miller, M 2018, 'Updates to FuncLab, a Matlab based GUI for handling receiver functions', Computers and Geosciences, vol. 111, pp. 260-271.
  • Harris, C, Miller, M & Porritt, R 2018, 'Tomographic Imaging of Slab Segmentation and Deformation in the Greater Antilles', Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 2292-2307pp.
  • Attanayake, J, Thomas, C, Cormier, V, Koper, K, Miller, M.S. 2018, 'Irregular Transition Layer Beneath the Earth's Inner Core Boundary From Observations of Antipodal PKIKP and PKIIKP Waves', Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, vol. 19, no. 10, pp. 3607-3622pp.
  • Martin-Short, R, Allen, R, Bastow, I, Miller, MS, Porritt, RW, 2018, 'Seismic imaging of the Alaska subduction zone: implications for slab geometry and volcanism', Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems.
  • Miller, M.S., O'Driscoll, L, Porritt, R.W., Roeske, S.M., 2018, 'Multiscale crustal architecture of Alaska inferred from P reciever functions', Lithosphere, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. pp.267-278.
  • Cooper, C, Miller, M & Moresi, L 2017, 'The structural evolution of the deep continental lithosphere', Tectonophysics, vol. 695, pp. 100-121.
  • Ebinger, C, Keir, D, Bastow, I et al 2017, 'Crustal Structure of Active Deformation Zones in Africa: Implications for Global Crustal Processes', Tectonics, vol. 36, no. 12, pp. 3298-3332pp.
  • Miller, M, O'Driscoll, L, Roosmawati, N et al 2016, 'Banda Arc Experiment-Transitions in the Banda Arc-Australian Continental Collision', Seismological Research Letters, vol. 87, no. 6, pp. 1417-1423.
  • Porritt, R, Miller, M, O'Driscoll, L et al 2016, 'Continent-arc collision in the Banda Arc imaged by ambient noise tomography', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 449, pp. 246-258.
  • Sun, D, Helmberger, D, Miller, MS, Jackson, J, 2016, 'Major disruption of D" beneath Alaska', Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, vol. 121, no. 5, pp. 3534-3556pp.
  • Porritt, R, Miller, M & Darbyshire, F 2015, 'Lithospheric architecture beneath Hudson Bay', Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, vol. 16, no. 7, pp. 2262-2275.
  • Hodges, M & Miller, M 2015, 'Mantle flow at the highly arcuate northeast corner of the Lesser Antilles subduction zone: Constraints from shear-wave splitting analyses', Lithosphere, vol. 7, no. 5, pp. 579-587.
  • O'Driscoll, L & Miller, M 2015, 'Lithospheric discontinuity structure in Alaska, thickness variations determined by Sp receiver functions', Tectonics, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 694-714.
  • van Hunen, J & Miller, M 2015, 'Collisional processes and links to episodic changes in subduction zones', Elements, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 119-124pp.
  • Betts, P, Moresi, L, Miller, M & Willis, D, 2015, 'Geodynamics of oceanic plateau and plume head accretion and their role in Phanerozoic orogenic systems of China', Geoscience Frontiers (Previously Earth Science Frontiers), vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 49-59.
  • Gerault, M, Husson, L, Miller, M et al 2015, 'Flat-slab subduction, topography, and mantle dynamics in southwestern Mexico', Tectonics, vol. 34, no. 9, pp. 1892-1909.
  • Miller, M, O'Driscoll, L, Butcher, A, Thomas, C. 2015, 'Imaging Canary Island hotspot material beneath the lithosphere of Morocco and southern Spain', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 431, pp. 186-194.
  • Cooper, C & Miller, M 2014, 'Craton formation: Internal structure inherited from closing of the early oceans', Lithosphere, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 35-42.
  • Miller, M & Becker, T 2014, 'Reactivated lithospheric-scale discontinuities localize dynamic uplift of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains (Forum Reply)', Geology, vol. 42, no. 6, pp. E338-E338.
  • Levander, A, Bezada, M, Niu, F et al 2014, 'Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere', Nature, vol. 515, no. 7526, pp. 253-U219.
  • Sun, D, Miller, M, Agostinetti, N et al 2014, 'High frequency seismic waves and slab structures beneath Italy', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 391, pp. 212-223pp.
  • Faccenna, C, Becker, T, Miller, M et al 2014, 'Isostasy, dynamic topography, and the elevation of the Apennines of Italy', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 407, pp. 163-174pp.
  • Bianchi, I, Miller, M & Bokelmann, G 2014, 'Insights on the upper mantle beneath the Eastern Alps', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 403, pp. 199-209pp.
  • Agostinetti, N & Miller, M 2014, 'The fate of the downgoing oceanic plate: Insight from the Northern Cascadia subduction zone', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 408, pp. 237-251pp.
  • Miller, M, Zhang, P & Dolan, J 2014, 'Moho structure across the San Jacinto fault zone: Insights into strain localization at depth', Lithosphere, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 43-47.
  • Becker, T, Faccenna, C, Humphreys, E, Lowry, A, Miller, M. 2014, 'Static and dynamic support of western United States topography', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 402, pp. 234-246pp.
  • Kim, Y, Lim, H, Miller, MS, Clayton, R, 2014, 'Evidence of an upper mantle seismic anomaly opposing the Cocos slab beneath the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico', Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, vol. 15, no. 7, pp. 3021-3034pp.
  • Miller, MS & Becker, T 2014, 'Reactivated lithospheric-scale discontinuities localize dynamic uplift of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains', Geology, vol. 42, no. 1, pp. 35-38.
  • Moresi, L, Betts, P, Miller, M & Cayley, R, 2014, 'Dynamics of continental accretion', Nature, vol. 508, no. 7495, pp. 245-248.
  • Sun, D, Miller, MS, Holt, A, Becker T.W. 2014, 'Hot upwelling conduit beneath the Atlas Mountains, Morocco', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 41, no. 22, pp. 8037-8044pp.
  • Miller, M, Allam, A, Becker, T et al 2013, 'Constraints on the tectonic evolution of the westernmost Mediterranean and northwestern Africa from shear wave splitting analysis', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 375, pp. 234-243pp.
  • Sun, D & Miller, M 2013, 'Study of the western edge of the African large low shear velocity province', Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, vol. 14, no. 8, pp. 3109-3125pp.
  • Miller, M, Niu, F & Vanacore, E 2013, 'Aspherical structural heterogeneity within the uppermost inner core: Insights into the hemispherical boundaries and core formation', Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, vol. 223, pp. 8-20pp.
  • Alpert, LA, Miller, Ms, Becker, TW, Allam, AA, 2013, 'Structure beneath the Alboran from geodynamic flow models and seismic anisotropy', Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, vol. 118, no. 8, pp. 4265-4277pp.
  • Miller, M & Agostinetti, N 2012, 'Insights into the evolution of the Italian lithospheric structure from S receiver function analysis', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 345, pp. 49-59pp.
  • Kim, Y, Miller, M, Pearce, F et al 2012, 'Seismic imaging of the Cocos plate subduction zone system in central Mexico', Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, vol. 13, no. 7, pp. 1-16pp.
  • Levander, A & Miller, M 2012, 'Evolutionary aspects of lithosphere discontinuity structure in the western US', Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 1-22pp.
  • Miller, M & Becker, T 2012, 'Mantle flow deflected by interactions between subducted slabs and cratonic keels', Nature Geoscience, vol. 5, no. 10, pp. 726-730pp.
  • Bailey, I, Alpert, L, Becker, T et al 2012, 'Co-seismic deformation of deep slabs based on summed CMT data', Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 117, pp. 1-19pp.
  • Bailey, I, Miller, M, Liu, K, Levander, A, 2012, 'Vs and density structure beneath the Colorado Plateau constrained by gravity anomalies and joint inversions of receiver function and phase velocity data', Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 1-18pp.
  • Reid, M, Bouchet, R, Blichert-Toft, J, Levander, A, Miller, MS, Lee, C, 2012, 'Melting under the Colorado Plateau, USA', Geology, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 387-390pp.
  • Miller, M & Agostinetti, N 2011, 'Erosion of the continental lithosphere at the cusps of the Calabrian arc: Evidence from S receiver functions analysis', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 38, no. 23, pp. 1-6pp.
  • Levander, A, Schmandt, B, Miller, M et al 2011, 'Continuing Colorado plateau uplift by delamination-style convective lithospheric downwelling', Nature, vol. 472, no. 7344, pp. 461-U540.
  • Liu, K, Levander, A, Niu, F, Miller, MS, 2011, 'Imaging crustal and upper mantle structure beneath the Colorado Plateau using finite frequency Rayleigh wave tomography', Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, vol. 12, no. 7, pp. 1-24pp.
  • Mason, W, Moresi, L, Betts, P et al. 2010, 'Three-dimensional numerical models of the influence of a buoyant oceanic plateau on subduction zones', Tectonophysics, vol. 483, no. 1-2, pp. 71-79.
  • Miller, M & Eaton, D 2010, 'Formation of cratonic mantle keels by arc accretion: Evidence from S receiver functions', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 37, no. 18, pp. 1-5.

Updated:  25 May 2023/Responsible Officer:  College of Science/Page Contact: