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Eight SSA Special Session Announcements

Date: 01/06/2014

Dear SCEC Community,

Happy New Year! Below are eight special session announcements for the upcoming SSA Annual Meeting in Anchorage, AK (April 30 - May 2, 2014). The abstract submission deadline is this Friday, January 10, so please consider submitting an abstract for one of these sessions soon! Details for these sessions, and others, can be found online at:


Abstracts can be submitted through Friday, January 10, at:


======= Recent Advances and Findings in Earthquake Geology and Paleoseismology =======

Dear colleagues, 

We are convening a session at the SSA 2014 Annual Meeting in Anchorage, AK, entitled "Recent Advances and Findings in Earthquake Geology and Paleoseismology". Session details are given below. We invite you to submit abstracts that highlight recent investigations of Quaternary-active faults.

Session Title: Recent Advances and Findings in Earthquake Geology and Paleoseismology

Characterizations of the timing, recurrence, displacement, and rupture extent of recent surface-faulting earthquakes provide key inputs for earthquake-probability forecasts and seismic-hazard assessments. This session will highlight recent advances in the fields of earthquake geology and paleoseismology from investigations of Quaternary-active faults. We invite abstracts that present 1) paleoseismic earthquake histories and improved estimates of earthquake recurrence, fault slip rate, and rupture extent; 2) techniques for investigating surface ruptures, such as remote sensing of surface deformation and offset (e.g., InSAR, GPS, and pixel tracking); and 3) objective methods of synthesizing multiple paleoseismic datasets. The goal of this session is to critically evaluate how detailed fault and earthquake characterizations inform our understanding of seismic hazard.


Scott Bennett - US Geological Survey
Christopher DuRoss - Utah Geological Survey

Invited speakers: TBD

========================= Induced Seismicity ===========================

Dear colleagues,

We'd like to encourage you to submit an abstract to SSA 2014 special session on Induced Seismicity. The session will cover case studies of induced earthquakes, earthquake hazards, numerical modeling, and methods to assess whether or not earthquakes are induced.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Anchorage,

Thomas Braun, Justin Rubinstein, and Ivan Wong


Induced Seismicity

Recent damaging earthquakes in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Arkansas have renewed interest in induced seismicity. Across the central and eastern United States, the seismicity rate has doubled over the past 11 years. This rate change can largely be attributed to earthquakes induced by fluid injection associated with oil and gas production. Given the occurrence of damaging earthquakes and the large increase in seismicity rate observed in the United States, it is of critical importance that induced earthquakes are better understood such that their hazards may be mitigated. Topics of interest to address these issues include: the causes of fluid-injection induced earthquakes; methods to distinguish natural and induced earthquakes; why some wells trigger earthquakes, but the vast majority of wells do not; how fluid-injection induced earthquakes may be controlled; and how to estimate the hazard associated with already developed and new fluid injection fields. We invite papers on all forms of induced seismicity but particularly those associated with waste water-injection, geothermal production, carbon sequestration, and hydraulic fracturing. Papers from industry are particularly welcome to better inform the research community on the state of knowledge and practices within the community. As part of this session, a roundtable discussion will be held to discuss (1) the factors influencing induced seismicity, (2) the uncertainties in characterizing induced seismicity, (3) strategies to control induced seismicity, and (4) methods to characterize the earthquake hazards associated with fluid injection.

=============== Geometric Complexities Along Strike-Slip Systems ==============

Dear Colleagues,

Please consider contributing to the 2014 Seismological Society of America annual meeting special session:

Geometric Complexities Along Strike-Slip Systems: New Insights on Seismic Hazards, Earthquake Behavior, and Fault System Evolution

Major, active strike-slip fault zones around the world often have discrete zones of deformation and elevated seismicity focused around restraining bends and other geometric complexities of the trace of the main strike-slip fault. Alaska contains two world-class examples of extreme deformation and complex seismicity patterns along major strike-slip fault systems – the Mount McKinley restraining bend of the Denali fault, and the Alaskan syntaxis associated with the Fairweather fault. With this meeting having these dramatic examples as a backdrop, we seek contributions that provide global insight into focused zones of deformation along strike-slip faults and their influence on earthquake rupture and recurrence behavior, fault system evolution and the differences in seismic hazards between the primary strike-slip fault and subsidiary faults. We welcome contributions from seismology, paleoseismology, thermochronology, structural geology, geodesy, and analogue/numerical modeling, exploring both theoretical studies and field-based examinations of restraining bends around the world, including (but not limited to) the well-studied examples from the San Andreas fault system, the major fault systems of central Asia and South/Central America, the Dead Sea fault, the North Anatolian fault, and the Alpine fault.

Invited speakers for this session include:
Kate Scharer (USGS)
Thorne Lay (UCSC)
David Oglesby (UCR)
(additional invitations still pending)

We hope to see you in Anchorage in 2014!

Thank you - from session convenors:
Sean Bemis (U. of Kentucky)
Michele Cooke (UMass - Amherst)
Jeff Benowitz (U Alaska Fairbanks)

======= Fault Structure, Heterogeneity, and Implications for Rupture Dynamics ========

Please consider contributing to the special session entitled: "Fault structure, heterogeneity, and implications for rupture dynamics ", held at the 2014 SSA meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

Session type:
Oral and poster presentations

Contribution types:
Experimental, numerical and observational studies of fault properties and rupture dynamics

Faults are complex zones of highly deformed rock containing hydro-mechanical heterogeneities from the grain to plate boundary scale. These heterogeneities influence frictional properties of faults and control the dynamics of slip instabilities from episodic tremor and slow slip to large earthquake ruptures. Rupture nucleation, propagation and arrest may be affected by variations in intrinsic fault characteristics, for example, fault hydrology, geometry and structure.

While fault structure has been studied extensively on exhumed faults much remains unknown about fault structure at depth and its interplay with earthquake ruptures. Can fault heterogeneity limit the length of earthquake ruptures and control nucleation points of large earthquakes? Can fault heterogeneity explain the large diversity of slip behavior (from exotic slow events to large earthquakes) observed along faults? How do ruptures depend on faults characteristics, e.g., roughness, pore pressure and frictional properties? How does deformation localize within faults and is the degree of localization a function of fault lithology and age? How does fault heterogeneity evolve with successive rupture events? How are off-fault damage zones created? What is the contribution of dynamically vs. statically created damage? How is fault heterogeneity connected to the creation of fore and aftershocks?

To encourage an exchange on some of these questions, we solicit contributions from observational, numerical and experimental studies of fault structure, heterogeneity and implications for earthquake ruptures.

Thomas H. W. Goebel, Caltech
Thibault Candela, PennState
Heather Savage, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

==== Recent Advances in Ground Motions Simulation Methods and Their Validation =====

Dear Colleagues,

We are welcoming abstracts for the special session on "Recent Advances in Ground Motions Simulation Methods and Their Validation". The full description of the session is given below. If you have any questions or comments regarding this session please contact Kim Olsen or Christine Goulet directly (e-mails below).

Recent Advances in Ground Motions Simulation Methods and Their Validation

This session is targeted to highlight recent advances in the development and validation of ground motion simulation methods. Topics of interest include: formulation of new or updated simulation methods with description of parameterizations of the source, path and/or (nonlinear) site effects; models including small-scale heterogeneity in the source or surrounding medium or incorporating 3D complexity of the medium and/or mountain topography; methods for better constraining input; sensitivity of methods to ranges of plausible input parameters; and quantification of uncertainty in simulated ground motions. We also invite case histories comparing ground motions from various simulation techniques, as well as calibration and validation of methods against recordings and/or ground motion prediction equations. The session is open to a wide range of simulation methodologies, including deterministic and stochastic models of wave propagation, with stochastic, kinematic or dynamic models of the source description.

Your session chairs,

Christine Goulet (goulet@berkeley.edu)
Kim Olsen (kbolsen@mail.sdsu.edu)

======== ...and a trio of special sessions concerning seismic hazard analysis ========

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to call your attention to a trio of special sessions spanning a broad range of topics on seismic hazard maps and analysis scheduled for the upcoming 2014 SSA Annual Meeting in Anchorage, AK:

1. Development of 2014 U.S. National Seismic Hazard Maps and Their Implementation in Engineering Applications
2. Alaska Update of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps
3. New Directions in PSHA: Ins, Outs, and Uncertainty

Session descriptions are below.

Thank you,

John Anderson
Ned Field
Christine Goulet
Peter Haeussler
Morgan Moschetti
Mark Petersen
Peter Powers
Sanaz Rezaeian

Development of 2014 U.S. National Seismic Hazard Maps and Their Implementation in Engineering Applications

The 2014 National Seismic Hazard Maps (NSHMs) produced by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) incorporate significant changes in the earthquake catalog, source models, and ground motion models. These seismic hazard maps are based on the USGS’ assessment of the “best available science” at the time of the update, and incorporate a broad range of scientific input models contributed by the seismological research community. The NSHMs are used to produce science-based products that will be considered for inclusion in future building codes, risk assessments, and other public policy applications. We invite papers that discuss major changes to the maps or to the input data and models (e.g., catalog, source models, ground motion models) since 2008; or discuss improvements in data, methods, and models that could be used in future maps. Papers that discuss the impact of the 2014 NSHMs on design maps and future building codes are encouraged.

Alaska Update of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) plans to update the Alaska portion of the U.S. National Seismic Hazard Maps to produce science-based products that will be considered for inclusion in future building codes, risk assessments, and other public policy applications. These seismic hazard maps are based on our assessment of the “best available science” at the time of the update, and incorporate a broad range of scientific input models and parameters. We invite papers discussing new geologic and geophysical information on Alaska seismic sources (faults and seismicity) and ground motion models. In particular we are interested in new paleoseismic fault studies, geodetic and geologic combined inversions of fault slip rates, and ground motion models for subduction and crustal sources.

New Directions in PSHA: Ins, Outs, and Uncertainty

In light of recent advances in earthquake science, data, and computational resources, probabilistic seismic hazard analyses (PSHAs) have increased in complexity. Such complexity manifests as larger logic trees, more sophisticated data-integration techniques, better understanding of input data uncertainties, and the computational capacity to undertake high-resolution simulations (e.g., CyberShake) and inversions for earthquake rate models (e.g. UCERF3). We invite papers on topics that include uncertainty analysis in PSHA, new approaches to gridded, area, and finite-fault source representations, logic-tree analysis and trimming, deaggregation, site-specific methodologies, computational algorithms, simulation based methods, urban hazard maps, new source and ground motion models, and other research or approaches related to PSHA.