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Research Areas


Atmospheric Sciences

We study extreme weather, climate change, and their impacts on both ecosystems and modern society.

Testing the water

Environmental Geoscience

We use biology, chemistry, geology, and physics to understand how the Earth System supports such a diversity of life and how human behavior is impacting this system.

Geodata Science Initiative

Data science is the fourth and the newest paradigm of science. In Geodata Science Initiative, we conduct transdisciplinary research, merging or articulating EAPS subject matters with technical areas in data science: statistical and machine learning methods and models, algorithms for the models and methods, and computational environments for data analysis.

Mountain ranges

Geology and Geophysics

We study the processes that shape our planet, from the building of mountains and oil-bearing sedimentary basins, to the flow of warm rocks and cold glaciers, to the triggering of earthquakes.

Spacecraft mission

Planetary Science

We study the evolution of the solar system and how planets evolve over time due to impacts, tectonics, and atmospheric processes, with an eye to the potential for past and future habitability.

Research News

As the Oceans Warm, Hurricanes Stay Stronger Longer


Hurricane season is drawing to a close, but not before setting a record. Tropical Storm Theta became the 29th named Atlantic storm this week, making 2020 the busiest season on record. And it’s not just the total number of storms that’s remarkable. At least nine storms this year underwent a process known as rapid intensification, quickly gathering strength over a short period of time as they moved across the ocean. Purdue University researchers Dan Chavas and Jie Chen contribute to this Scientific American article.

New seismic research helps understand the volcanic activity in Alaska


Plate tectonics is a complicated phenomenon which isn’t completely mapped or understood. The Earth’s surface layers move all the time, which can produce volcanic activity where the plates meet. The region that encloses the converging plates is called the “subduction zone”. Seismologists uses seismic waves created by the Earth’s movements to study how the Earth looks like beneath the surface. Co-authored with Dr. Haiying Gao in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Xiaotao Yang, Assistant Professor in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) at Purdue University, has recently led a publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth, which uses seismic measuring to determine volcanic activity in Alaska.

Warmer seas keep hurricanes stronger for longer, study says


Warmer seas caused by climate change are making hurricanes stronger for longer after landfall, increasing the destruction they can wreak on impact, a new study has found. Researchers warn the finding suggests inland communities -- which may be less prepared than coastal regions to face hurricanes -- are increasingly at risk.

Clouds and Climate Change


New research from an international team of scientists, including from Purdue University, provides insights into how natural and human-made particles affect precipitation and climate change. Professor Daniel Cziczo, head of Purdue’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, was part of the team that looked into how emissions from trees, plants and other organic materials affect the creation of cirrus clouds.

Intensive irrigation in India enhances deadly 'moist heat stress', study finds


Intensive irrigation in India is increasing atmospheric moisture levels and enhancing potentially deadly extreme 'heat stress' conditions where people's bodies do not cool down easily, a new study says. The research, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, noted that heat stress occurs when the human body cannot cool itself, and can result from high environmental temperatures alone—dry heat stress—or from high temperatures with humidity—moist heat stress.

All Departmental News

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