< Back to Announcement List

USGS Mendenhall Opportunity 16-16: Linking landscape evolution and seismic hazard in California

Date: 04/14/2016

On behalf of Steve DeLong, USGS

USGS Mendenhall Opportunity 16-16: Linking landscape evolution and seismic hazard in California

We seek applicants for a postdoc at the USGS interested in applying tectonic geomorphology to seismic hazard analysis in California. Feel free to contact the proposed research advisors. Deadline for application is May 2, 2016


Advances in tectonic geomorphology have not been well integrated with seismic hazard analyses in part because they constrain relative and/or numerical rates of deformation integrated over millennial and longer timescales. New integrated studies can elucidate understanding of seismic hazard on shorter time scales, and provide an opportunity to integrate tectonic geomorphology with seismic hazard. Translating results from the study of the crustal deformation from blind faults, folds, and other secondary structures, including those related to the vertical component of deformation, to analyses of seismic hazard on human timescales remains both a research and a synthesis need.
We seek a Mendenhall Fellow interested in studying seismic hazard associated with structures other than the primary strike-slip faults in California. We anticipate that the successful fellow could apply innovative and/or integrative methods to specific field sites with apparent elevated seismic hazard. Approaches may include detailed mapping and geochronology, collection and analysis of high-resolution topographic data, innovative paleoseismological approaches, river channel profile analysis, cosmogenic denudation rate determination and/or shallow geophysics. Alternatively, a broader approach that creates new understanding of relative seismic hazard across a large area could provide new, foundational understanding of the distribution of hazard and risk, and generate products that inform the seismic hazard analysis community. This broader analysis might rely on some combination of structural geology, quantitative tectonic geomorphology, cosmogenic radionuclide denudation rate measurement, low temperature thermochronometry, or innovative integration of geodetic, remote sensing and geophysical methods. The anticipated outcome of the proposed research activity should include creation of new knowledge and understanding that bridges the divide between quantitative tectonic geomorphology and seismic hazard analysis. We anticipate that any successful project would broaden the suite of methods and data that can inform seismic hazard analysis.

Proposed Duty Station: Menlo Park, CA; Pasadena, CA

Research Advisor(s): Stephen DeLong, (783) 763-3128, sdelong@usgs.gov; George Hilley (Stanford U), (650) 723-2782, hilley@stanford.edu; Katherine Scharer, (626) 583-7240,kscharer@usgs.gov; Andrew Cyr, (650) 329-4820, acyr@usgs.gov; Carol Prentice, (650) 329-5690, cprentice@usgs.gov.