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UTIG Discussion Hour: Sabrina Reichert (UTIG)

March, 05 2024

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: ROC 2.201

UTIG Special Seminar: Will Struble, University of Arizona

March, 05 2024

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: PRC 196/ROC 1.603

SpeakerWill Struble, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Arizona

Host: Ethan Conrad

Title: Landslides, Lakes, and Landscapes: Interpreting surface processes and landscape morphology to reveal natural hazards

Abstract: Landscapes evolve through the contribution of uplift and erosion acting over numerous spatial and temporal scales, including by stochastic earthquake and hydrologic processes. Along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, great earthquakes (Mw>8) occur approximately every 300-500 years, but the impact of these earthquakes on the landscape has remained ambiguous. While >20,000 bedrock landslides have been mapped to date in the Oregon Coast Range, no slope failure has been clearly linked with the most recent megathrust earthquake, a Mw ~9.0 that occurred on January 26, 1700. We utilized dendrochronology of drowned ghost forests to determine the age of landslide-dammed lakes in western Oregon, often with seasonal accuracy, and we observed temporal clustering of landslides that records significant regional flooding events. Intriguingly, no dated landslide dams correspond with the 1700 earthquake, emphasizing the outsized role that large storms play in initiating bedrock landslides in the Pacific Northwest. Crucially, the lack of a 1700-dated landslide raises mechanistic questions about processes that may inhibit the triggering of coseismic slope failures, such as the seismic-wave damping properties of old-growth forests.

Over longer timescales, landscape morphology serves as a template that defines where natural hazards occur. For instance, debris flows incise steep valley bottoms and transport significant sediment volumes, especially following wildfire. However, their contributions to setting landscape form, and by extension encoding tectono-climatic processes in the landscape, remain ambiguous. We quantified steepland morphometrics that record debris-flow processes in the San Gabriel Mountains, California. We observed that the drainage area at which steepland, debris-flow dominated valleys transition to fluvial channels correlates with measured uplift and erosion rates. We additionally put forward a landscape evolution model that includes debris-flow incision to reproduce relationships between erosion rate and steepland form and put constraints on the mathematical form of a debris-flow incision law. More broadly, our results allow for enhanced linkages between landscape morphology and processes. Applications include mapping hazards associated with coseismic subsidence during megathrust earthquakes and interpreting drainage network evolution over geologic time.

UTIG Seminar Series: Zhe Jia, Scripps

March, 08 2024

Time: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: PRC 196/ROC 1.603

Speaker: Zhe Jia, Green Postdoctoral Scholar, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Host: Thorsten Becker

Title: Adventures in unraveling earthquake source complexities and the implications to earthquake physics and hazard mitigation

Abstract: A major challenge in earthquake science is to resolve and comprehend the complexity of earthquake ruptures. These complexities compound earthquakes’ unpredictability and destructive potential. Leveraging advancements in earthquake imaging techniques and multi-geophysical modeling, I show how we quantify earthquake rupture complexities, including recent examples as the 2021 South Sandwich Island earthquake sneaking through subduction interface, the 2019 Ridgecrest, California earthquakes interlocked in continent, and the 2023 Turkey earthquake doublet cascading across a strike-slip plate boundary. These examples show how far earthquakes and their hazards can go beyond our expectation.

I further investigate some key factors controlling these complexities, including fault geometry and pressure/temperature conditions. Using rupture characteristics of numerous small earthquakes, we can now determine high resolution fault geometries without seeing a large event rupture the surface. Additionally, we find temperature and pressure control global large deep earthquake characteristics by gating their mechanism transition from shearing to melting. Explorations on earthquake complexities and controlling factors help bridge theoretical and empirical understanding of earthquakes, and provide insights on the Earth’s multi-scale dynamic processes as well.

UTIG Discussion Hour: Michael Shahin (KU)

March, 19 2024

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: ROC 2.201

UTIG Special Seminar: Hongyu Sun, Caltech

March, 19 2024

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: PRC 196/ROC 1.603

SpeakerHongyu Sun, Postdoctoral Scholar in Geophysics, California Institute of Technology

Host: Benjamin Keisling

UTIG Seminar Series: Zhongwen Zhan, Caltech

March, 22 2024

Time: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: PRC 196/ROC 1.603

NOTE: This seminar is hosted jointly with the Bureau of Economic Geology and will be held at 3pm. The seminar will be followed by a reception in the first floor UTIG lobby at 4pm.

Speaker: Zhongwen Zhan, Professor of Geophysics, Seismological Laboratory, Caltech

Host: Duncan Young

Hot Science - Cool Talks: \"Breaking the Universe\"

March, 22 2024

Time: 5:30 PM - 8:15 PM
Location: Welch 2.224

The powerful James Webb Space Telescope allows us to see back to the beginning of time, shortly after the Big Bang, when the first stars and galaxies were only starting to form. Professor Caitlin Casey will explore with us some exciting new discoveries made using JWST during the first billion years of cosmic time. These discoveries are challenging scientists’ existing understanding about the universe itself and will change the way you see the cosmos.

Planetary Habitability Seminar Series

March, 25 2024

Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: PMA 15.216B

UT Center for Planetary Systems Habitability Seminar Series. See website for speaker schedule and more details: View Events

Join remotelyhttps://utexas.zoom.us/j/94052130734

In person: Classroom 15.216B, Physics, Math and Astronomy Bldg.

UT Austin, Department of Astronomy

2515 Speedway, Stop C1400

Austin, Texas 78712-1205

UTIG Discussion Hour: Okezie Chinemerem (EER & BEG)

March, 26 2024

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: ROC 2.201

UTIG Special Seminar: Sophie Coulson, University of New Hampshire

March, 26 2024

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: PRC 196/ROC 1.603

Speaker: Sophie Coulson, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of New Hampshire

Host: David Mohrig

UTIG Seminar Series: Melisa Diaz, The Ohio State University

March, 29 2024

Time: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: PRC 196/ROC 1.603

Speaker: Melisa Diaz, Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University

Host: Benjamin Keisling