RSES seminar • July 15 1 pm • Patricia Persaud (Louisiana State University)

Why sedimentary basin geometry must be included in predictions of earthquake ground motions


Patricia Persaud
Department of Geology and Geophysics
Louisiana State University

July 15 • 1 pm (AEST)
Zoom link ( 606 666 0101, password: jaeger)
Seminar will be broadcasted from J1 seminar room


An overdue large-magnitude earthquake rupture on the southern San Andreas fault will have severe impacts for residents of the densely populated Los Angeles area. Due to the lack of recent large earthquakes, seismic hazard estimates for the region are mainly based on hypothetical simulations of earthquake rupture that give estimates of the ground motion or shaking. One of the key ingredients in such simulations is an Earth model that is representative of the real geology and rock properties. Our work improves the ground motion estimates in the region by applying newly developed approaches to update the standard Southern California Earthquake Center - Community Velocity Models used in earthquake hazard estimates by embedding basin models that include explosive shots. I will present our evaluation of this new generation of hybrid Earth models in the vicinity of the southern San Andreas fault in the Salton Trough. Our methodology can be applied to other regions to rapidly and cost-effectively improve earthquake ground motion modeling efforts.


Patricia Persaud is an Assistant Professor of Geophysics at LSU and a 2020-21 Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. She is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award. Persaud was a Postdoctoral Science Fellow at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. She holds a PhD in Geophysics from California Institute of Technology.

She has organized and led large, multi-year seismic field campaigns, from a 744-node study in Los Angeles to an international campaign across Myanmar. She works on both active and passive source seismic imaging, and completed a survey on Lipari Island, Italy, an active volcano with hydrothermal vents and fluid-related tremors. Her group also uses oil industry borehole data in Southern California to produce constraints on in situ stress that will help improve the accuracy of large San Andreas fault earthquake rupture scenarios.

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RSES Seminar Committee
(Michael Anenburg, Sarah Jackson, Voon Hui Lai, Louis Moresi)