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USGS Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program

S28. Characterizing crustal structure in the San Francisco Bay area for earthquake ground-motion simulations

Earthquake engineers require accurate estimates of strong ground motion in order to design structures to resist earthquake loads efficiently and reduce loss of life and property from damaging earthquakes. In order to improve seismic hazard assessments, we need to advance our understanding of the physical processes that govern ground shaking and its effects on the built environment. As seismic waves propagate away from a fault rupture, they are affected by the earth structure, resulting in complex wave propagation effects caused by basin edges, super-critical reflections, scattering, and other features.

We seek a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Scholar to use novel data and/or analysis techniques to improve the USGS 3D seismic velocity model for the San Francisco Bay region (https://earthquake.usgs.gov/data/3dgeologic/). Many of the sedimentary basins within the model were defined using geophysical data, e.g., gravity surveys. Proposals combining seismic observations (e.g., earthquake recordings, previous active source experiments, and ambient noise) with geophysical observations (e.g., gravity and aeromagnetic data) and well logs to constrain the 3D elastic properties are strongly encouraged. Proposals should describe the merit of incorporating the chosen subset of observations in constraining the seismic velocity model. The proposed study should include documenting the effects of improvements in the seismic velocity model on ground-motion simulations of moderate earthquakes.

Extensive data sets encompassing earthquake ground motions from broadband and strong-motion stations and active and passive source experiments are available for use in these studies. The Earthquake Science Center maintains a small pool of portable instruments that can be leveraged for high priority temporary deployments. Proposals with work plans that include portable deployments should discuss the role of such data and timeline for its collection and analysis within the two-year duration of the fellowship.

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the advisors below early in the application process to discuss project ideas.

Proposed Duty Station: Menlo Park, California

Areas of Ph.D.: Geophysics or engineering seismology or exploration seismology with a focus on seismic wave propagation, ground motion and earthquake physics; or related fields (candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines, but with extensive knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).

Qualifications: Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications: Research Geophysicist, Research Engineer. (This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above. However, other titles may be applicable depending on the applicant's background, education, and research proposal. The final classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources specialist.)

Research Advisor(s): Brad Aagaard, (650) 329-4789, baagaard@usgs.gov; Russell Graymer, (650) 329-4988, rgraymer@usgs.gov.

Human Resources Office Contact: Yumi Sakakibara, 916-278-9384, lsakakibara@usgs.gov


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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://geology.usgs.gov/postdoc/opps/2018/S28 Aagaard.htm
Direct inquiries to Rama K. Kotra at rkotra@usgs.gov
Maintained by: Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program Web Team
Last modified: 09:50:10 Thu 24 May 2018
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