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Mendenhall Research Fellowship - Research Opportunity # 18-7. Static vs. dynamic stress drops to characterize broadband earthquake rupture physics
“What is earthquake stress drop, and what does it represent physically?” is a long-standing issue in earthquake rupture physics. Seismologists and ground-motion modelers often mean dynamic stress drop, the change in shear stress driving earthquake faulting that goes into radiated seismic energy, which controls the amplitude and frequency content of ground shaking during earthquakes and is thus of great interest to structural engineers. Geologists often mean static stress drop, the change in average stress resolved onto the fault before and after an earthquake rupture, which controls the mechanics of crustal deformation and should be related to slip on a fault, which can feed into earthquake occurrence statistics. In idealized, theoretical earthquake models, static and dynamic stress drops are equivalent. To a first order, this equivalency has been observed, suggesting that earthquakes rupture in approximately the same way in a variety of geologic settings and over a wide range of magnitudes, allowing us to extrapolate current models and knowledge to predict ground-motion, slip, recurrence rates and other parameters to poorly recorded large-magnitude events, close distances, or new regions of interest; however, a closer look reveals discrepancies between static and dynamic stress drops and thus a need for a deeper understanding of the earthquake rupture process, apart from the idealized physics.
Proposed Duty Station: Moffett Field, CA
Areas of Ph.D.: Geophysics, geology, civil engineering or related fields (candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines but with knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).
Qualifications: Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications: Research Geophysicist, Research Geologist, Research Engineer
(This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above. However, other titles (such as Research Physical Scientist) 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 usually performed in an office setting. The work area normally involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of offices or meeting and training rooms.
Occasional travel - Overnight travel of 1 to 2 nights per month may be required.
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