Earthquakes and Fault Zones

The earthquake machine from above
The UT Earthquake Machine, designed, built and operated by Srisharan Shreedharan, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, and David Chas Bolton, research scientist associate at the Bureau of Economic Geology.

Our lab directs research to investigate the processes and mechanics of fault zones and the earthquakes they generate. Our latest center-piece is the UT Earthquake Machine, a large-format direct shear experiment, designed and built in-house to recreate laboratory earthquakes in real time. The machine’s meter-long, artificial fault is studded with sensors and designed to lift the veil on how earthquakes play out under different conditions and pinpoint precursors that could lead to new early warning systems. The UT Earthquake Machine is just the latest of our many lab facilities for studying earthquake faults.