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Geological Sciences Seminar: Michele Cooke, University of Massachusetts - "What can little faults tell us about big earthquakes"

Date and Time: 
January 15, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
GeoCorner 220 - 450 Serra Mall, Building 320
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Event Sponsor: 
Department of Geological Science

** Please join us for coffee and cookies in the GeoCorner Undergraduate lounge (bldg. 320, rm 114) before the talk, at 11:30am! - Seminar will be in room 220~

As crustal faults accrue earthquakes and slip they interact and evolve so that their slip rates maybe non-constant through time. New geologic data on earthquake slip rates and super-cycles provides evidence of non-constant fault slip rates but the drivers for non-steady state slip rate remain elusive. Scaled laboratory experiments of fault evolution allows us to directly document fault evolution and measure changes in slip rates associated with the reorganization of fault systems. These experiments reveal that interaction among faults within the system can temporally alter both slip direction and rate so that seismic moment rate can be non-constant even while the tectonic loading remains constant. This implies that recent seismic hazard on faults may not always accurately predict future hazard. 

Michele Cooke investigates the deformation and evolution of faults and fractures in the upper crust of the Earth (and sometimes other planets). Her primary toolkit includes engineering mechanics, numerical modeling (BEM & FEM) and scaled physical experiments.  Michele likes to use these tools in new ways and combined with geologic and geophysical data in order to shed insight into how faults evolve and to constrain the seismic hazard of active faults.