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    Mendenhall Research Fellowship - Research Opportunity #17-7. Cascadia subduction zone coseismic landslide investigations

    Recent large-magnitude subduction zone earthquakes in Sumatra (M9.1, 2004), Chile (M8.8, 2010), and Japan (M9.0, 2011), have drawn increased public attention to the inevitability of a similar event in the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) of the Pacific Northwest US (e.g., Schulz, 2015). Given the potential for such large-magnitude earthquakes to generate significant losses due to shaking and a cascade of related coseismic hazards, particularly widespread landslides and powerful tsunamis, the USGS has initiated a multidisciplinary effort to advance subduction zone science and hazard modeling (Gomberg et al., 2017). This opportunity focuses on the advancement of coseismic landslide science in subduction zones to better understand the patterns and causes of paleo-landslide triggering during great CSZ earthquakes and improve hazard estimates for future earthquakes.

    Coseismic landslides play an important role as both a primary hazard to infrastructure and individuals and as a driver of secondary hazards (e.g., landslide dammed rivers and subsequent outburst floods and landslide-triggered tsunamis). Although recent work has made significant progress in documenting the timing of landslides in parts of the Pacific Northwest and developing methods to infer landslide age from surface morphology (e.g., LaHusen et al., 2016; Booth et al., 2017; Perkins et al., 2018), these studies are geographically sparse and associated landslides have not been linked to CSZ earthquake triggering. Site conditions often preclude extending these methods beyond the Holocene, or differentiate between rainfall-induced, coseismic, or other types of landslides. Moreover, what parameters exist and which are most useful for hazard forecasting and mitigation of subduction zone coseismic landslides remain poorly understood. Postdoctoral researchers are invited to use one or more of the following techniques — fieldwork, geochronology, topographic analysis, geophysics, and/or landscape process models — to address issues related to the record of coseismic landslides in the CSZ region to inform the understanding of frequency, magnitude, and geologic and geographic controls on landslide distribution.

    Proposed Duty Station: Menlo Park, CA

    Areas of Ph.D.: Geology, geomorphology, geochronology, geotechnical engineering, near surface geophysics, or related fields(candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines, but with extensive knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).

    Qualifications: Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications: Research Geologist, Research Geophysicist,  Research Engineer.

    (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:

    Work is primarily conducted in an office setting, and requires the ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time. The work area normally involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of office or meeting rooms. Work may also demand physical exertion and the ability to participate in fieldwork by walking over rough or uneven terrain and lifting and carrying equipment and supplies. Fieldwork involves exposure to moderate risks and discomforts, such as those due to adverse weather conditions (such as high wind and low or high temperatures), travel in safety approved small air and water craft and off-road vehicles, poisonous insects, plants or snakes, and flammable liquids. Work may also demand exposure to laboratories, which involve risks and hazards that require safety precautions. Lab work could involve exposure to moderate risks and discomforts, such as those due to irritating chemicals or noxious fumes, or involve high risk of exposure or damage to hazardous chemicals. The employee applies a wide range of safety precautions when controlled conditions deteriorate due to unforeseen conditions or previously unknown risks.

    Operates a government vehicle as an incidental driver.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Overnight travel of 1 to 5 nights per month may be required.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/515815500. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.