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Mendenhall Research Fellowship - Research Opportunity #17-3. Earthquake-related land-level changes and their cascading consequences in Cascadia and elsewhere
Within seconds to minutes, megathrust earthquakes may cause land-level changes along hundreds of kilometers of coastline and inundation equivalent to hundreds of years of sea level rise. These perturbed coastal lands will continue to evolve over many decades, while adjusting to coseismic slip, secondary faulting, shallow material responses, and mantle processes. The plate convergence and interface locking that lead to megathrust earthquakes also cause slowly evolving surface uplift and subsidence. All these often-overlooked land-level changes will affect tidal and tsunami runup, stream and river gradients, surface and groundwater drainage, flooding potential, coastal ecosystems, sedimentation and erosion, and coastal and off-shore infrastructure.
Research under this Opportunity is expected to provide the input needed to prepare for the hazards and risks associated with earthquake-generated land-level changes and the cascade of phenomena they initiate, described in the USGS’s 2017 “Reducing Risk Where Tectonic Plates Collide – A Plan to Advance Subduction Zone Science” [Gomberg and others, 2017]. This project also advances priorities defined in the “Science for a Risky World: a USGS Plan for Risk Research and Applications” [Ludwig and others, 2018]. One or several of a broad range of questions about earthquake-related land-level changes may be addressed, such as:
- What observations provide maximum constraint on models of megathrust earthquake slip, locking and segmentation? How might these be affected by partial-margin megathrust, upper plate, and intraslab earthquakes?
- How will earthquake-related land-level changes impact hydrologic systems, and in turn control the modern and paleo distributions of earthquake shaking-triggered slope stability, turbidites, and liquefaction potential, which otherwise may be attributed to earthquake source characteristics?
- How have and will coastal ecosystems respond to land-level changes, and what interplays exist between habitat restoration and earthquake and tsunami risk mitigation measures?
- To what extent can earthquake-related land-level changes be distinguished from climatic drivers?
- How do we best assess, mitigate and communicate the associated social and economic risks?
Proposed Duty Station: Seattle, WA
Areas of Ph.D.: Geophysics, geology, seismology, hydrology, geomorphology, geotechnical engineering, ecology or related fields (candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines, but with extensive relevant knowledge and skills may be considered).
Qualifications: Research Geologist; Research Geophysicist; Research Ecologist; Research Hydrologist; Research Social Scientist; Research Wildlife Biologist
(This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above. However, other titles may be applicable depending on the applicant's background, education, and research proposal. The final classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources specialist).
Physical/Environmental Demands: Most or all of the work required for this position will be in the office, at a desk. There may or may not be field work involved that requires working outdoors, but not under any adverse climatic conditions or in terrains requiring any special physical skills beyond normal walking. Some lab work may or may not be involved, but it also would not pose any special physical demands or exposure to dangerous conditions or materials.
Operates a government motor vehicle as an incidental driver
Occasional travel - Overnight travel of 1 to 5 nights per month may be required.
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/515814500. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.