Dr Yen Joe Tan 陳衍佐

  • Croucher Tak Wah Mak Innovation Award in 2022 at Chinese University of Hong Kong

About Dr Yen Joe Tan’s work

Dr Yen Joe Tan studies earthquake and volcanic processes on the seafloor using data gathered from Axial Seamount, an active submarine volcano offshore the West coast of the United States. His work could improve our ability to forecast these natural events.

Most earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur under the ocean, creating unique natural laboratories to study the fundamental physics behind earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to their generally simpler geology compared to their continental counterparts. In 2015, a cabled observatory was established on Axial Seamount, an active submarine volcano offshore the West coast of the United States. The network of geophysical instruments provides continuous, real-time monitoring data and has recorded more than 100,000 earthquakes.

Dr Tan is leveraging this unique dataset to study the dynamics of submarine volcanic eruptions and quantify how small stress perturbations can modulate earthquake and volcanic activities. Understanding the fundamental physics behind these processes will improve our ability to forecast and manage the risk associated with these natural hazards.


Dr Yen Joe Tan is an Assistant Professor in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Programme, Faculty of Science, at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He was a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University and a Visiting Researcher at Institut des Sciences de la Terre, Universite Savoie Mont Blanc. He earned a PhD in Geophysics from Columbia University Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and a BSc in Geology and BA in Anthropology and Sociology at Lafayette College, Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences.