2013 Research Projects

Global Search of Triggered Tremors

Project Description: Deep tectonic tremor and episodic slow-slip events have been observed at major plate-boundary faults around the Pacific Rim. They appear to be extremely stress sensitive, and could be instantaneously triggered by distant earthquakes and solid earth tides. However, many important questions remain open. For example, it is still not clear what are the necessary conditions for tremor generation, and how remote triggering could affect large earthquake cycle. The summer intern(s) will join a group of graduate students/postdocs to continue our search of triggered tremor around the world. Possible work regions include: southern California, Alaska, Caribbean, Central and South America.
Intern(s): Jessica Zimmerman, Paul Morgan, Gavin Rinaldo

Zhigang Peng, Georgia Institute of Technology
Hongfeng Yang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Chastity Aiken, Graduate student


Geodetic and Paleoseismologic Studies of the San Andreas and San Jacinto Faults

Project Description: Collect GPS data from the eastern San Bernardino Mountains and vicinity. Dates of the 2013 internship can be either June 16-Aug 8 or June 23-Aug 15, though it is best if both interns choose the same date range. Interns will learn how to set up and operate geodetic-quality GPS antennae and receivers and will then travel as a pair to remote locations in the eastern San Bernardino Mountains and vicinity to set up GPS equipment over existing benchmarks. This will often involve hiking several miles to reach remote benchmarks and may involve camping at less remote benchmarks in order to guard the equipment from theft. Interns will also help to train a large group of other undergraduate students and high school and middle school teachers in the use of the GPS equipment beginning on July 7. Data collection will be completed by around July 15, with the remaining 3-4 weeks of the internship available for modeling and interpreting the GPS site velocities in terms of fault slip rates and preparation of a research poster to present at the SCEC meeting in September.
Intern(s): Walter Nelson, Matthew Warbritton

Sally McGill, California State University, San Bernardino


Interpreting Paleoseismology to the Public - The Pallett Creek Virtual Field Trip

Project Description: The San Bernardino County Museum(SBCM) is completing a suite of exhibits in our new Hall of Geological Wonders. The SBCM is a free choice learning environment and part of the EPIcenter (Earthquake Education and Public Information Center) network in California, providing earthquake awareness and preparedness messaging. Many of the new exhibits are focused on earthquake science, utilizing place-based learning to teach big ideas in geosciences. One of these exhibits interprets paleoseismology, which will include a three-dimensional recreation of a paleoseismic trench on the San Andreas fault, with the addition of two actual peels from the San Andreas Fault - one from Pallett Creek, the other from Wrightwood. Our intern will build on an interpretive field guide for Pallett Creek that that has already been produced -- this guide was created as a companion piece to the static exhibits in the Hall, inviting the visitor to explore their world. The 2013 SCEC intern will create a web-based virtual field trip for the Pallett Creek experience - complete with content, illustrations and links to other earthquake science/educational resources. The web-based Pallett Creek interpretive guide will allow the SBCM to cast our interpretive net wider, welcoming distant visitors as well as other EPIcenters to experience the museum with a full complement of resources, making their virtual visit both educational and meaningful.
Intern(s): Michelle Vanegas

Kathleen Springer, San Bernardino County Museum
Robert de Groot, University of Southern California


IRIS Active Earth HTML5 Update

Project Description: Modernize a popular seismology-related website by replacing a Flash object with JavaScript, CSS3 and DOM manipulation techniques. If time permits, improve the CSS file to be more fluid and reusable. The Flash object downloads a text list of URLs and sets up timeouts and event handlers to rotate through the URLs as well as allow a user to press buttons to advance forward or backward linearly through the URLs. All the functionality is now available using HTML5 techniques and we'd like not to be dependent on Flash. Also this moves us toward being able to be viewed on an iPad.
Intern(s): Edgar Chu

Russ Welti, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)
Patrick McQuillan, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)

3D Paleoseismologic Studies of the San Andreas Fault

Project Description: We seek one intern to help with a series of 3D paleoseismic trenches across the San Andreas Fault. The fault trenching will most likely occur from mid-June to mid-July, and will involve scraping trench walls, setting up string grids on the trench walls, surveying critical contacts with a total station and interpreting and documenting the stratigraphic and structural relationships exposed in order to document the surface slip that occurred along the SAF in the Carrizo Plain during the 1857 rupture. Each new exposure of The trench will be excavated by a "back-hoe" but some hand-digging will also be necessary. For field work, we will be staying at a motel in Taft (CA). Driving to and from the field site should take about 45 minutes each way. This is a collaborative project between UCI, UCLA and ASU. Office time will mostly be spent at UCLA with Sinan Akciz, but regular visits to UCI campus will also be made.
Intern(s): Daniel Halford

Lisa Grant Ludwig, University of California, Irvine
Sinan Akciz, University of California, Los Angeles