Examines the geology of earthquakes, including the mechanics of fault failure, interpretation of seismic waves, seismicity associated with all fault types in a variety of tectonic settings, methods for the identification of paleo-earthquakes in the geological record, and assessing seismic risk in active fault environments. Case examples include the Pacific Northwest, the San Andreas fault system, and the North Anatolian fault history.
The Geology of Earthquakes (Yeats, Sieh and Allen). This textbook is currently out of print so you will need to do some digging around online to find a copy.
Further reading (NOT required):
Earthquakes - 5th edition (Bolt).
The San Andreas Fault System, California (Wallace).
Living with Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest (Yeats).
Paleoseismology - 2nd edition (McCalpin).
Earthquake Hazards Analysis (Reiter).
Lecture Content and Electronic Materials
1. Introduction. Seismically active regions of the world. Earthquake statistics. Structure and composition of the Earth's crust. Overview of plate tectonics.
2. Mechanics of faulting. Classification of faults. Stress and strain. Elasticity of rocks. Brittle failure of rocks. Fault friction and Coulomb failure. Pore pressure and effective stress. Seismic and aseismic fault slip. Elastic rebound theory. Geodetic measurements of fault slip.
3. Seismic waves. Characteristics of elastic waves. Wave types produced by earthquakes. Instrumentation methods. Magnitude and intensity scales. Determining epicenters and focal mechanism solutions.
4. Strike-slip faulting. Definitions and tectonic settings. Transform faults in extensional and compressional environments. Intraplate strike-slip faults. Fault geometry and evolution. Regional structure of strike-slip faults. Case histories: San Andreas fault system (1906 San Francisco; 1989 Loma Prieta); North Anatolian fault system (1999 Izmit earthquake). Earthquake triggering.
5. Normal faulting. Definitions and tectonic settings. Spreading centers. Hot spots. Back-arc basins. High plateaus. Intracontinental rifts. Fault geometries, segmentation and 3D evolution. Slip rates and recurrence intervals. Fault spacing. Case history: 1983 Borah Peak, Idaho earthquake.
6. Reverse faulting. Definitions and tectonic settings. Convergent margins. Thin-skinned and basement-involved faulting behind arcs. Reverse faults in strike-slip systems. Within-shield reverse faults. Fault geometries and surface deformation. Slip rates and recurrence intervals.
7. Subduction zone megathrusts. Characteristics and classification of subduction zones. Failure characteristics. Case histories: Sumatra subduction zone (the M9.1 December 2004 earthquake and resultant tsunami); Cascadia system and hazard to the Pacific Northwest (1700 Great Cascadia earthquake - M9.0).
8. Paleoseismology. Classification of paleoseismic evidence. Field techniques. Stratigraphic and sedimentary evidence of ancient earthquakes. Tectonic geomorphology.
9. Seismic hazard assessment. Hazard versus risk. Probabilistic versus deterministic assessment methods. Logic trees. Natural and artificial earthquake triggering. Earthquake engineering and risk mitigation. Seismic hazards in the United States. Seismic hazards in Idaho. Earthquake prediction.
There will be a mandatory 4-day field trip to the Borah Peak and Hebgen Lake earthquake rupture sites (Friday, April 25th - Monday, April 28th).
Photos from 2008 Borah Peak field trip