Eric M. Dunham

Professor, Department of Geophysics
Affiliated Faculty Member, Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering
Director, SDSS Center for Computation
Stanford University
Stanford Geophysics
397 Panama Mall
Mitchell Building, room 325
Stanford, CA 94305

tel: (650) 725-6989
FAX: (650) 725-7344

My research focuses on the development and use of physics-based computational simulations to characterize and understand earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, and similar phenomena. My approach is to identify the fundamental mechanical processes governing a system of interest, develop numerical models incorporating these processes, validate them using geophysical observations, and then use the models to predict system behavior. Specific research areas include earthquake rupture dynamics and earthquake source processes, tsunami generation, volcano seismology and infrasound, ice stream stick-slip events and flexural-gravity waves in ice shelves, and numerical methods for wave propagation.

Message to potential students and postdocs: One of my favorite parts of being a professor is the opportunity to work with students and postdocs who share common interests in geophysical problems, and who enjoy rigorous theory and modeling. Group members should have, or develop as part of their training here at Stanford, expertise in continuum (solid and fluid) mechanics, numerical methods, programming, scientific computing, and some specific geophysical problem. Not all group members have all of these skills. Some develop numerical methods and write codes, other utilize our codes to study some geophysical problem or connect with data from some specific event. Please contact me for more information about current interests of the group, but before doing so make sure to spend time learning about our group through our publications. When emailing me, explain why you are interested in our group. Please be specific; I am unable to respond to generic inquiries.


Research For more information about one of my primary research fields (earthquake modeling), please read two community white papers that I helped write: Megathrust Modeling, Modeling Earthquake Source Processes. I am also part of the SZ4D (Subduction Zones in Four Dimensions) effort, described in this report.


Curriculum Vitae

Research group members

Vidar Stiernström (2024-present), numerical methods for poromechanics, adjoint method for earthquake modeling/inversion
So Ozawa (2022-present), fault zone fluid transport and pore pressure dynamics in subduction zones

Graduate students
Natalia Berrios-Rivera (Geophysics PhD student, 2023-present), fluid-driven seismic swarms
Mario Ruiz (Geophysics PhD student, 2022-present), volcanic eruptions
Qing Ji (Geophysics PhD student, 2022-present), seismic wave generation by hurricanes and atmospheric processes
Fred Lam (ICME PhD student, 2019-present), explosive volcanic eruption modeling, marine seismic sources

Undergraduate students

Former group members
Kate Coppess (Physics PhD student, 2019-2024), seismic waves from volcanic eruptions, currently Data Scientist at Stratus Data
Nurbek Tazhimbetov (2018-2022), PhD ICME, ocean wave interactions with ice shelves, currently software engineer at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)
Lauren Abrahams (2017-2022), PhD Geophysics, coupled earthquake-tsunami simulations, currently Design Physicist in the Weapons and Complex Integration Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Yuyun Yang (2017-2022), PhD ICME, fluid transport and pore pressure evolution in earthquake sequences, currently RCG Postdoctoral Fellow at Chinese University of Hong Kong
Martin Almquist (2017-2020), Wallenberg Postdoctoral Fellow, numerical methods for forward and inverse wave propagation and earthquake sequence modeling, currently Assistant Professor, Department of Information Technology, Division of Scientific Computing, Uppsala University, Sweden
Leighton Watson (2014-2020), PhD Geophysics, infrasound from volcanic eruptions, marine seismic sources (airguns), currently postdoc University of Canterbury
Ali Kashefi (2017-2020), Engineer Mechanical Engineering, earthquake and hydraulic fracture simulations
Chao Liang (2015-2019), PhD Geophysics, waves in fluid-filled cracks, application to hydraulic fractures in oil and gas industry and to volcanoes, currently Assistant Professor at Sichuan University
Kali Allison (2012-2018), PhD Geophysics, thermomechanical earthquake cycle modeling, currently CIG postdoc at University of California, Davis
Gabe Lotto (2012-2018), MS ICME (Computational Geosciences) and PhD Geophysics, fully coupled simulations of offshore earthquakes and tsunamis, currently ShakeAlert User Engagement Facilitator at Pacific Northwest Seismic Network
Ossian O'Reilly (2011-2017), PhD Geophysics, numerical methods for wave propagation and related problems, currently MTS Software System Design Engineer, AMD
Sam Bydlon (2011-2017), PhD Geophysics, seismic scattering, earthquake source complexity, and strong ground motion, currently Quantitative Product Manager, SigFig
Brad Lipovsky (2011-2016), PhD Geophysics, glacial seismicity, resonant vibrations of fluid-filled cracks, currently Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington
Bo Prochnow (2015-2016), MS Geophysics, numerical methods for axisymmetric wave propagation in volcanic conduits
Kenneth Duru (2012-2015), postdoc, numerical methods for 3D seismic wave propagation and earthquake rupture dynamics, currently researcher at Australian National University
Alex Kinsella (2013-2014), BS Physics, frequency-dependent radiation patterns from earthquakes on nonplanar faults, currently postdoctoral fellow, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Paul Summers (2013-2014), MS Geophysics, volcanic tremor, conduit flow, and repeating earthquakes, currently PhD student, Stanford University
Leif Karlstrom (2012-2014), NSF Earth Sciences postdoc, wave propagation in magma columns accounting for gravity and time-dependent gas exsolution, currently Associate Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oregon
Daniel Trugman (2012-2013), BS Geophysics with Honors, pseudodynamic rupture generator, currently Assistant Professor, Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno
Brittany A. Erickson (2010-2012), NSF Earth Sciences postdoc, earthquake cycles in sedimentary basins, currently Assistant Professor, Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Oregon
Zijun Fang (2010-2011), postdoc, fault roughness and crustal stress levels, currently Numerical geomechanics specialist, Chevron
Jeremy E. Kozdon (2009-2012), NSF CI TRaCS postdoc, numerical methods for earthquake rupture dynamics, subduction zone megathrust earthquakes, currently Staff HPC Applications Engineer, NextSilicon

Last updated: March 20, 2024