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White Paper: Highlights of SCEC5 community modeling efforts and vision for community models in the next earthquake center

March 2020

By Elizabeth Hearn, Scott Marshall, and Laurent Montesi

Modern, physics-based models of fault systems, postseismic stress transfer, and evolution of earthquake probabilities must be supported by detailed and up-to-date data on lithospheric structure and properties. Creating, synthesizing, refining, and disseminating these voluminous and complex datasets (in the form of community models) has long been a centerpiece of the SCEC collaboration. Individual PI’s access the community models, efficiently incorporating detailed and up-to-date information on structure, elastic properties, temperature, stress or rheology into their research.

Community model development must play a key role in the next earthquake science center (ESC). This effort must be not only sustained but expanded to accommodate the explosion in observational data volume and the demands of increasingly sophisticated numerical models. In addition, the geographic focus of the new ESC and hence the community models should not be limited by political boundaries. The entire San Andreas fault system in California, onshore and offshore, from Mexico to the Mendocino triple junction would be a logical target for the next ESC, and community models covering this region could be seeded by those that already exist for southern California. Another challenge that must be met by the new center is making the community models accessible to a wide range of users, via citable and frequently-updated online data repositories, thorough documentation, and powerful query tools.

→ Download the full white paper full white paper and response to NSF20-036 DCL here.

Elizabeth Hearn is a consulting geophysicist with expertise in kinematics and dynamics of lithosphere deformation and faulting. She has served on the SCEC Science Planning Committee as co-leader of the Crustal Deformation Modeling working group[ (2007-2011), Stress and Deformation Over Time working group (2016), and CXM working group (2017-present).

Scott Marshall is a professor at Appalachian State University. His research focuses on fault and fracture mechanics, satellite geodesy, near-surface geophysics, and several other Earth science data analysis projects. He has served as the SCEC CXM working group co-leader since 2017.

Laurent Montesi is a professor at the University of Maryland, specializing in geodynamical modeling to understand lithospheric-scale behavior from tectonic deformation localized on ductile shear zones and brittle faults. He has been a co-leader of the SCEC CXM working group since 2019.


Return to the 2020 SCEC Community White Papers.