Thread: USGS Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity on Characterization of Small Earthquakes for Seismic Forecasting

Started: 2021-10-28 16:31:11
Last activity: 2021-10-28 16:31:11

Mendenhall Opportunity 20-17: Optimizing the characterization of small earthquakes for seismic forecasting

Small earthquakes form an essential pillar of the methodology in use by the USGS and others for forecasting of larger earthquakes, whether on timescales of days to months (Operational Aftershock Forecasting - OAF) or years (National Seismic Hazard Model - NSHM). In addition to their spatial distribution, the seismicity rates (Gutenberg-Richter a-values) and associated occurrence rates as a function of magnitude (Gutenberg-Richter b-values) strongly influence forecasted rates at larger magnitudes. Although advances in seismic monitoring in recent decades have allowed consideration of increasingly small earthquakes in these forecasts, bringing increased spatial and temporal resolution, the magnitude characterizations themselves have not kept pace, introducing potentially large inconsistencies and biases.

The research envisioned in this Mendenhall Opportunity is to take a holistic view of the use of small earthquakes in seismic forecasting. We invite proposals to assess and address current issues, particularly related to earthquake magnitudes, in order to optimize our ability to forecast seismicity using small-magnitude earthquakes. We expect this work to encompass research into both theoretical and practical aspects of earthquake characterization and forecasting.

Full project details and contact information:

Proposed Duty Station: Golden, Colorado; Moffett Field, California
Research Advisors: David Shelly, Andrea Llenos, Allison Shumway, Morgan Moschetti, Andrew Michael, Jeanne Hardebeck, William Yeck, Paul Earle, Kevin Mayeda, and Jon Ake

Application deadline is January 6, 2022. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Research Advisors early and to work with them to develop a suitable proposal.

Please see for more information on the Mendenhall program and how to apply.

David R. Shelly, Ph.D. (he/him)
U.S. Geological Survey
Geologic Hazards Science Center, Golden, CO

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