Wednesday, February 13, 2013
8:00 pm
Beckman Auditorium

Nadia Lapusta: Under the Hood of the Earthquake Machine

The San Andreas and similar faults separate two tectonic plates slowly moving in opposite directions. The faults can remain locked for many years, then catch up in sudden dramatic rupture events perceived as earthquakes. These occasional fast motions co-exist with much slower fault slips. This talk will describe how laboratory-derived friction laws and sophisticated numerical models can reproduce, in remarkable detail, all stages of past fault behavior - locked, slowly moving and earthquake-producing - bringing us closer to understanding earthquake physics. Such calibrated models will provide new ways to assess seismic hazards and forecast the seismic response to both natural and man-made perturbations.

Nadia Lapusta is a professor of mechanical engineering and geophysics at Caltech.

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Presented By: Caltech Committee on Institute Programs

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