Earthquake Geology - Kerry Sieh

Overview

Director Kerry Sieh’s principal research interest is earthquake geology, which uses geological layers and landforms to understand the geometries of active faults, the earthquakes they generate, and the crustal structure their movements produce. His early work on the San Andreas fault led to the discovery of how often and how regularly it produces large earthquakes in southern California.

More recently, his group has begun a study of the earthquake geology of Myanmar and New Guinea. Current research is especially focused on the subduction megathrust that produced the devastating giant Aceh-Andaman earthquake and Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.

Latest Projects

Fossil micro atolls at the Paraoir site in Luzon, Philippines. (Source: M. Abigania)

In order to better understand deformation above the Manila trench at multiple timescales, we propose to investigate coral microatolls, uplifted terraces, and uplifted beach dune sequences along the west coast of Luzon.

Our aim is to establish a collaborative geochronology partnership between the Earth Observatory of Singapore and the WiscAr geochronology laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, targeting geochronology needs in Southeast Asia.

Close to solving one of the most celebrated, long-standing geo-hazard mysteries of the region, Sieh’s group is searching for an 800,000-year-old impact crater in Laos.

By studying land-level changes over the past 1,000 years, Sieh and his team have gained a better understanding of earthquake behaviour along the Sumatran portion of the Sunda subduction zone; this will lead to improved forecasts for places such...

The Shan Plateau, which passes through China and Myanmar, is not well studied; this three-year project that aims to determine earthquake recurrence intervals of two key faults will be invaluable to assessing hazard there.

Awards

2017

AXA Fellowship

2014

Harry Fielding Reid Medal

Collaborators