2018 Research Projects

Using GeoGateway UAVSAR data to Explore Deformation Along the San Andreas Fault System

Project Description: The proposed research project involves searching UAVSAR interferograms along the major faults in southern California to identify (or rule out) the presence of anomalous or previously unrecognized deformation such as creep, fold growth, or subsidence. Special attention would be focused on locations that have previously been identified as important. These areas would include (but not be limited to) paleoseismic sites, and fault junctions such as the Cajon Pass which is being investigated as a possible “Earthquake Gate” which may control the propagation of large ruptures. Prior to the development of NASA’s GeoGateway, searching for off-fault deformation over large swathes of fault zones was a complex, time consuming and expensive task. However, it can now be done by a trained undergraduate intern with appropriate supervision. We propose to host a SCEC SURE Intern at UC Irvine over the summer, to be supervised by PI Lisa Grant Ludwig, and to do the work in her lab. The intern would be introduced to GeoGateway and trained jointly by PI and Collaborator Andrea Donnellan. Donnellan is PI of the GeoGateway project at JPL. She would be available for consultation and guidance as needed throughout the summer. It is expected that we will find at least one area of significant and/or previously unidentified offfault deformation. The deformation would be documented and analyzed. Results would be presented as a poster at the SCEC meeting. If no deformation is identified, the null result would also be important to document in an abstract and poster presentation.
Intern(s): Megan Mirkhanian

Lisa Grant Ludwig, University of California, Irvine

Updating GPS Site Positions and Velocities and Improving GPS Coverage in Southern California for the Community Geodetic Model

Project Description: The proposed project is for a GPS resurvey of geodetic benchmarks in inland southern California, in order to better determine the rates of movement of the major faults in the region – the San Andreas, San Jacinto and Elsinore faults. This project would assist significantly our understanding of the likely seismic hazard, and place constraints on future seismic hazard models. Most of the sites to be surveyed are located within a short driving distance of the host institution, UCR. The successful candidate will be responsible for planning of, obtaining permitting for and conducting the survey, as well as updating site descriptions, processing, analyzing and archiving the data. Simple 2D and 3D elastic dislocation models will be used to estimate the slip rate for the fault, and how it may vary along-strike. Full training in the operation of the GPS equipment, GPS data processing and modeling of the data will be provided.
Intern(s): Eneas Torres Andrade

Gareth Funning, University of California, Riverside

Complementing CGM with Sentinel-1 InSAR Data

Project Description: Intern will be involved in routine processing of Sentinel-1 data. Most of the processing steps are now fully automated, and can be executed with little human supervision. Interns can quickly learned how to download and process the data, and in fact are instrumental in developing scripts for further automating the processing chain. A previous intern recently got an outstanding student award from San Diego Association of Geologists (SDAG) for his work on a SCEC-sponsored project. We would be happy to involve an extra intern under the auspices of this project.
Intern(s): Margaret Grenier

Yuri Fialko, University of California, San Diego - Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Nonlinear Earthquake Simulations Through Robust and Accurate A Posteriori Sub-Cell Limiting

Project Description: We propose to mentor a total of two interns at SDSC, supporting SCECs Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). We request support for one intern through this project and support for a second intern through the project “Unified and Continuous Software Development”, submitted separately to SCEC. Intended learning outcome is the ability to design a small and reliable software system in team- and project-based setting. The project will apply Scientific Computing and High Performance Computing (HPC) in the context of earthquake science. Goal of the project is a fully-automated study of rupture variability using EDGE’s fused simulations for the seismic forward simulations. We target a guided learning experience by stepwise increases of the students independence. In the first week, our students will manually perform the individual steps, required for their automation project. Additionally, the students will prepare a project plan, including goals, work packages and milestones. This time is also designed to a have a comparably low workload, allowing our students to adjust to an unfamiliar working environment and the use of HPC clusters. The following 6-8 weeks are organized as a sprint, realizing the planned project plan. Here, the students will use SAGA-Python for automation of the parameter runs and the pre- and post-processing. The last week concludes the project with a final presentation at SDSC and preparation of a poster for the SCEC annual meeting. In addition to ad-hoc meetings, we will provide structure through dedicated, weekly meetings, including our graduate students. Further, our entire group will meet once a day for an informal meeting, open to off-topic discussion.
Intern(s): Jared Bryan

Alexander Breuer, University of California, San Diego

Fault Geometry and Exhumational History of the Windy Canyon Fault Block Along the Garlock Fault Near Mojave, CA

Project Description: The Tehachapi Mountains are the southernmost extension of the Sierra Nevada. They lie to the northwest of the Garlock fault, a major NE-trending strike slip fault that is seismically active and related to the San Andreas fault as well as the clockwise rotation of the Mojave fault block. However, it is likely that the uplift and exhumational history of the Tehachapi Mountains is only indirectly influenced by the Garlock fault. In this project, we are exploring the role of poorly understood dip-slip faults on the south side of the Garlock fault. The Windy Canyon fault block, located to the west of Mojave, CA, is clearly exhumed by one of these faults and an understanding of its geometry and exhumational history is necessary to better constrain the seismic hazards and tectonics of this region. The SCEC intern will learn how to do apatite fission track analyses in the low-temperature thermochronology laboratory at Occidental College. The intern will then obtain analyses on samples that have already been collected from the fault block, and will interpret the results of the study in terms of the geometry of the fault that controls the exhumation and uplift of the fault block.
Intern(s): Iris Smith

Ann Blythe, Occidental College