Institute for Crustal Studies
1999/2000 Annual Report

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Director's Statement

Among the most noteworthy events of the past year is that there will be a new Director of ICS beginning January 1, 2000. Professor Douglas W. Burbank, one of the country's premier researchers in the areas of active tectonics, geomorphology and surficial processes, has been successfully recruited to lead ICS into the future. Professor Burbank is currently at Pennsylvania State University and formerly of the University of Southern California. His appointment as professor will be in the Department of Geological Sciences but has a breadth of research that will affect others in the Geography Department, Institute for Computational Earth System Science and the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.


ICS has continued to broaden its research base. One of the more significant awards was a $1,000,000 grant from the William Keck Foundation to establish an Interdisciplinary Program in Seismology and Materials Physics over the next three years. This program was spearheaded by Professors Jean Carlson (Physics), Ralph Archuleta (ICS and Geological Sciences), Jim Langer (Physics), Jacob Israelachvili, (Materials and Chemical Engineering) and David Pine (Materials and Chemical Engineering). The purpose of the program is to integrate our understanding of complex processes in materials–friction, fracture, and deformation–with our understanding of the earthquake process. In the broadest terms the program will examine the physics of complex processes from the micro- to the macro-scale. ICS serves as the administrative unit for the award. This past year ICS researchers garnered 18 awards totaling $2.66 M dollars from 48 submitted proposals in the amount of $7.12 M dollars.



On Oct. 16, 1999 the M 7.1 Hector Mine earthquake occurred in Mojave Desert. As part of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) ICS has responsibility for SCEC's portable broadband instrument center (PBIC): 18 digital field recorders and 38 3-component sensors and associated equipment. One of the primary functions of the PBIC is to deploy these instruments and coordinate with other institutions following significant earthquakes in southern California. When the Hector Mine earthquake occurred, these instruments were already deployed in another major SCEC experiment LARSE 2, designed to study the crustal structure from Santa Monica Bay to the southern Sierra Nevada cutting through the source region of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Rather than disrupt the LARSE 2 experiment (a million-dollar effort); the PBIC personnel decided on a strategy to use equipment from LARSE 2 in two experiments that would commence one week later. The PBIC arranged for 86 recorders and sensors to be deployed in two arrays near the causative fault of the Hector Mine earthquake (Cover Figure). Logistics were complicated by the fact that the entire earthquake rupture occurred within the boundary of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms–an active training ground with live artillery. The ICS personnel, including professional researchers, students and staff, formed the largest group assisting in the deployment. More than 1000 aftershocks were recorded on the two arrays.

Recently the U. S. Geological Survey reported that Santa Barbara is the third most hazardous metropolitan area in the United States. Over the past several years there have been three complementary research projects at ICS that have examined in depth the seismic hazard and what it may portend for UCSB. Professor Keller with Larry Gurrola have looked at the seismic hazard for a number of on-shore faults and folds (indicative of faults that are buried), including one that crosses the northern boundary of UCSB. They find that there is very active uplift–suggestive of faulting–that is an order of magnitude greater than previously thought. Drs. Kammerling and Sorlien have been reconstructing the 3D-fault geometry of offshore faults that dip underneath the Santa Barbara area. The complicated geometry of these faults suggests that there are many possible sources for large earthquakes in the region. ICS researchers (Drs. Archuleta, Bonilla, Liu, Lavallee, Nicholson and Steidl) with Dr. Heuze (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) have estimated the shaking at UCSB that might be caused by a M 6.8 earthquake occurring on the North Channel-Pitas Point fault that dips beneath the campus.

Visitors to ICS have continued to enrich the research activities. Dr. Peter Moczo, of Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia, spent four months working with Professor Archuleta on improving finite difference methods that are used in seismological simulations of earthquake ruptures and wave propagation. He gave a series of lectures to graduate students and ICS researchers during the Spring quarter on the various aspects of finite difference methods. Dr. Taro Okamoto from the Tokyo Institute of Technology collaborated with Professor Tanimoto and others at ICS on seismic wave propagation in regions with fluid interfaces and topography. Dr. Alexander Bykovtsev, General Director, Regional Academy of Natural Sciences from the Uzbekistan was a Fullbright scholar at ICS for nine months. His research interests centered on interacting fractures as an analog for fault systems.

ICS has always provided resources for undergraduate and graduate education. Elizabeth Cochran, who has worked as a student intern for three years at ICS, received the 1999 Woodhouse Award from the Department of Geological Sciences. This award is the highest undergraduate honor in the Department. Elizabeth also was awarded a NSF graduate fellowship–one of 50 throughout the entire US in solid earth sciences. She will pursue her doctorate at UCLA's Department of Earth and Space Sciences. Two undergraduates Adam Webber and Marie Herrera received SCEC summer intern awards to collaborate on research projects with Professors Keller and Luyendyk, respectively. Fabian Bonilla completed his Ph.D dissertation under the direction of Professor Archuleta. Bonilla's research was on the nonlinear effects that local geology can have on strong ground motion during intense shaking. He has been offered a temporary position at the Institute de Protection et de Surête Nucleaire, Commisariat l'Energie Atomique in Fontenay-Aux-Roses, France.

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