Laboratory Earthquakes: Direct Observation of Stick-Slip Fault Behavior
Laboratory seismology uses a scale-model approach to complement the wealth of research on in situ earthquakes that cannot be observed directly. A simple mechanical system applies shear stress to two blocks with a roughened interface, such that it produces stick-slip behavior with energy signatures matching in situ earthquakes. Lab scale seismic sensors allow us to apply typical seismological analyses. Additional instruments provide measurements not available in the field, which are used to expand our understanding of the underlying processes as well as the results and limits of the seismological methods.
Doing research this summer was one of the most eye opening experiences Ive had. In a sense, it showed me how little I truly know and how much there is to learn and understand, which was scary and exciting all at once. Participating in SURF also allowed me to learn so much that I wouldve simply never taken the time to look into or even know about, for that matter, thus bringing me to how much this has helped me with my major and what I want to do. There are so many disciplines within civil engineering that I was unsure what I wanted to go into. The research I did allowed me to go deep into one of those disciplines early in my time here and now its certainly something Im going to have to further explore in my other courses because it's so interesting to me. I cant even begin to express my thanks to the Johnson fund and SURF-SMART for this opportunity that has truly opened my eyes.