Research

For those of you who sought me out for the science:

My work is on fault dynamics – the physics of how faults move. In particular, I’m interested in how complexity and heterogeneity on and around a fault affect the rupture behavior, the size of the earthquake, and the intensity and distribution of the resulting shaking. I use computer models to study this, both because it allows me complete control over my input parameters, rather than trying to tease out effects from observational data, and because I don’t have to wait for real earthquakes on the kinds of fault systems I’m interested in.

I did my doctorate at UC Riverside. My dissertation involved models of rupture across fault stepovers and of how aseismic creep on part of a fault affects how it behaves in an earthquake. My major case study for combining the effects of several types of fault zone complexity (geometry, stress state, and surrounding geology) was the northern San Jacinto Fault, in the Inland Empire of Southern California.

I’m currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Institute at UC Berkeley. I’m using dynamic rupture models to work toward a more physics-based (rather than empirical) assessment of ground motion that might come from rupture on several types of complicated fault geometries.

I have also done some laboratory work on normal stress-dependent fault friction, in collaboration with researchers at the US Geological Survey.

I love talking about all of these things, and am glad to try and answer questions you may have on any of these topics. If you want to talk science, leave me a comment here, or ping me on Twitter, and I’ll get back to you.

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