USGS Mendenhall post-doctoral opportunity in fiber optic and array seismology for earthquake early warning

Website USGS_Quakes United States Geological Survey (USGS)

The purpose of this Mendenhall Fellowship opportunity is to advance our understanding on fiber optic (FO) seismology for earthquake early warning (EEW) applications using array processing techniques.  A successful applicant should have the background and interest to pursue research on distributed acoustic sensing of earthquake waves with fiber optic cables and with traditional seismic arrays for EEW, focused on using seismic array processing techniques with either FO or traditional seismic arrays.  Array processing offers a robust method for determining slowness and back azimuth from arriving waves, which can help identify seismic phases and the earthquake source location at regional distances, in areas not easily instrumented with standard networks.

The ShakeAlert EEW system is live in California, Oregon, and Washington.  It relies on methods that are well optimized for dense seismic networks.  However, many of the largest earthquakes that could produce shaking within the ShakeAlert reporting region will occur outside of the well instrumented areas, such as offshore in the subduction zone.  Properly characterizing these earthquakes as quickly as possible presents one of the greatest opportunities for success in EEW, and more active research is needed to improve the methods used for these difficult to instrument regions. Method development can be done using a growing number of publicly available fiber optic and traditional seismic array datasets.  There will also be opportunities to design and collect new datasets during the term of the fellowship.

Even with the great potential for FO datasets to complement an EEW system like ShakeAlert, numerous fundamental questions remain. Among these, the most important ones include: how well dynamic strains in the fiber represent true ground strain, how signals within the FO array vary due to coupling and site effects, quantifying detection limits in frequency space, isolating seismic signals from natural and anthropogenic noise, the performance of FO systems in the near-field, optimal array geometries and sampling configurations, and differences in performance related to fiber engineering.

For more information about this Mendenhall post-doctoral fellowship opportunity please see: https://www.usgs.gov/centers/mendenhall/s59-fiber-optic-and-array-seismology-earthquake-early-warning

Applications, including a research proposal, are due by January 6, 2022, at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/620162700.

If you are interested in applying, please reach out to any of the advisors for this research opportunity:

Jeff McGuire <jmcguire@usgs.gov>, Andy Barbour <abarbour@usgs.gov>, Clara Yoon <cyoon@usgs.gov>

Learn more about the Mendenhall fellowship program here:

https://www.usgs.gov/centers/mendenhall

Full listing of research opportunities is available here:

https://www.usgs.gov/centers/mendenhall/research-opportunities

To apply for this job please visit www.usgs.gov.