Projects | Earthquake Geology - Kerry Sieh

We propose to continue our paleoseismological and multi-lateral, international collaborations on active fault behaviors in Myanmar. In 2018, our three major goals are to (1) continue paleoseismological investigations of the central Sagaing fault by analysis of airborne LiDAR and UAV surveys and... Read more

The marine geophysical data collected during the 2015 MEGA-TERA expedition provide a unique window into the near-trench structure of the Sumatran accretionary wedge. We are building detailed geological cross sections and reconstructions of the imaged faults and sedimentary units. From this, we... Read more

Formally established in September 2016, the Singapore‐WiscAr Partnership (SWAP) facilitates collaboration between the Earth Observatory of Singapore and the WiscAr Geochronology Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin‐Madison, with emphasis on studies of earthquake science and volcanology... Read more

The project, funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), aims to provide a new understanding of Indo-­Pacific history post-­1000 C.E. based on an enhanced understanding of the inter-­relationship between natural environmental cycles and events, and social and political cycles and events. By... Read more

The site of the extraterrestrial impact that produced the Australasian tektite strewnfield has never been found. We suspect that the ~800,000-year-old impact crater, from which this horizon of ejecta were scattered across 10% of Earth’s surface, lies buried under the voluminous Bolaven Plateau... Read more

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 as the Mentawai gap, a section of the fault that... Read more

History shows that the fault system of the Shan Plateau poses a high seismic hazard. Slip rates and earthquake recurrence intervals of these faults are key to a better quantification of that hazard. However, estimates of reliable slip rates from geodetic and geological observations are very... Read more

Between 2015 to 2017, we developed probabilistic seismic hazard maps for Southeast Asia from a uniform set of databases, a series of ground-shaking scenarios, and an innovative approach for probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA). We envision this integration of databases and approaches... Read more

We have shown that the immediate predecessors of the great 2004 tsunami occurred six centuries ago and devastated a 14th century coast settlement. We are now conducting a far more comprehensive interdisciplinary investigation of the interactions of coastal processes and settlements along the... Read more

Past Projects

The Aceh Geohazards Project combines geology, geomorphology, history and archaeology to better understand the past occurrence of tsunami in Aceh, and the extent to which such events might have impacted past societies. Our research has shown that the immediate predecessors of the 2004 tsunami... Read more

Our new active-fault database and UAV survey results reveal new details of fault geometry along the central Sagaing fault. In 2015, we conducted paleoseismic studies along the Sagaing fault near the northern termination of the 1839 earthquake rupture and excavated one paleoseismological trench... Read more

We wish to understand the roles that active faults play in accommodating Sumatra’s oblique plate convergence and the potential hazards to society associated with them. To this end, we are measuring long-term Sumatran Fault slip rates by dating laterally offset features. Thus far, we have revised... Read more

Investigation of fault ruptures and other tectonic deformation immediately following earthquakes has taught us a great deal about the nature of earthquake sources. In particular, we have investigated the Landers earthquake (1992), the Imperial Valley earthquake (1979), the Chi-Chi, Taiwan,... Read more

Our studies of the spectacular 80-km rupture of the Chelungpu thrust fault of 1999 introduced us to the neotectonic wonders of Taiwan. Since the earthquake, we have produced a new neotectonic map and interpretation of the Taiwan orogen and focussed on the eastern of its two active sutures.

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The obliquely convergent Sumatran plate boundary is an extraordinary natural laboratory for understanding the influence of fault geometry on rupture processes and the sequential rupture of active faults. We are working on both principal components of the system - the Sumatran fault and the... Read more

The Mono Craters are a very young, arcuate chain of silicic volcanoes on the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada near the California/Nevada border. We have used physical stratigraphy to understand the eruptions of about AD 1350 and a similar eruption in the 7th century. We have also investigated... Read more

I began my professional life studying the paleo seismology of parts of the San Andreas fault system. This famous fault continues to be a crucible for testing neotectonic concepts and paleoseismic hypotheses.

Urban faults and folds pose a particular hazard to humankind. Even in Los Angeles, these hazards have not been quantified fully. We have mapped and studied the Hollywood fault and the Santa Monica fault. We've also attempted to quantify the hazard posed by the blind thrust faults beneath the... Read more

I first worked in Alaska as a member of the geological team evaluating fault rupture hazard for the Trans-Alaska pipeline. Three decades later, the great Denali earthquake drew me back to study the 325-km long rupture that produced the earthquake. That rekindled my interest in the neotectonics... Read more