Very short earthquake recurrence times

The belief that earthquakes release most or all of the accumulated shear stress on a fault is widespread among both scientists and the general public. It is closely related to, and may stem directly from, Harry Reid's idea of elastic rebound theory: The crust slowly accumulates elastic strain until the …

Side projects and sabbatical projects

In my work as a scientist, I work on projects of a range of scales. While my major projects, which I do for work, are generally multi-year and often team-based, I also frequently start smaller projects. These are generally done to scratch an intellectual itch: quantifying a certain effect that …

Active Fault Databases for Central America and the Caribbean, and the GEM Global Active Fault DB

Last week I was fortunate to give a presentation at the GEM Foundations's CCARA Final Workshop in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The CCARA, or Caribbean and Central American Risk Assessment project, is a USAID-funded project to develop a unified seismic hazard, risk, and social vulnerability model for the region. Consistent …

How earthquake recurrence variability impacts Quaternary slip rate estimates

Natural variability in the time between successive earthquakes on a fault leads to variability in slip rates measured over paleoseismic to neotectonic timescales. But how long does it take for the measured rates to be accurate?

Trying out EarthArXiv

While physics and mathematics have been using the ArXiv preprint/e-print repository for decades, we in the earth sciences haven't had something similar. The benefits of a widely-used preprint repository are large: it should increase the speed at which science is disseminated, reduce the stranglehold of journals on paper access …

Topographic modulation of fault kinematics in the Himalaya and Tibet

This is a draft of a manuscript I've been trying to find a home for; it will hopefully get submitted in the next several months, but in the mean time I want to at least get the idea out there in some form. I have been working through the idea …

Exploring strength and stress relationships in critical wedges with raw topography data through Bayesian inversions

Plotting focal mechanism 'beachballs' in QGIS

Cross-posted from the GEM Hazard Blog

One of the major annoyances of working in earthquake and tectonic sciences is the difficulty of browsing earthquake focal mechanism 'beachball' data, and plotting it in GIS. The typical way of displaying this data spatially is to use a script in Matlab (probably using …

Survival in Seattle: Magnitude estimation, survival analysis, and hazard and loss from Puget Lowland paleoearthquakes

I presented a talk yesterday at the USGS Earthquake Science Center in Menlo Park, California, on statistical paleoseismology in the Puget Lowland region of Washington State. I was a little nervous going into the belly of the beast to deliver this talk, with some of the world's experts on statistical …