Susan Schwartz

Great Earthquakes and Tsunamis: How, Why, and Where?

The December 2004 and March 2005 Sumatra earthquakes were the two largest earthquakes to occur in the past 40 years. While the human tragedy that accompanied these events is hard to comprehend, the location of these earthquakes, at a subduction zone plate boundary, is well known to generate the greatest earthquakes and tsunamis worldwide. The Fall 2005 Synergy Lecture will feature Dr. Susan Schwartz, who will explore the tectonic environment of subduction zone faults. She will address questions of how and why great earthquakes and tsunamis occur at these faults and what factors control the mode and localization of strain release.

Vast improvements in the quantity and quality of both seismic and Global Positioning System (GPS) data from subduction zones are allowing fault zones to be imaged. These images reveal a patchwork of frictional properties with behaviors ranging from completely locked patches that will fail in large earthquakes, to high slip rate zones (moving at the plate rate). Dr. Schwartz will discuss results she has obtained from the Costa Rica seismogenic zone and how that data adds to our overall knowledge of how, why, and where earthquakes occur.

Please join us for this exciting look into cutting-edge research at UC Santa Cruz.


Susan Schwartz
Professor, Earth Sciences
Seismology and Geophysics

Great Earthquakes and Tsunamis: How, Why, and Where?

Place: Science & Engineering Library, Current Periodicals Room
Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Time: 4:00 p.m.

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