Earthquake Seismology and Geodynamics

Seismic and aseismic activity following the 2010 Maule earthquake, Chile

The project is to study the inter-relationship of seismic and aseismic activity in the subduction zone region of Chile that experienced a magnitude 8.8 earthquake in February 2010. Using data from an 18-month seismometer and GPS deployment to measure aftershocks of this earthquake we are able to study the structure of the area and the distribution of the aftershocks.

Aftershock analysis of the 2014 Pisagua earthquake, Chile

In collaboration with scientists in Peru, the University of Liverpool deployed stations to the North of the earthquake rupture area to compliment stations deployed in Northern Chile. This data is being used to characterise the distribution of aftershocks in the area, and add to are broader understanding of mega thrust earthquake processes.

Magmatic Margins projects (MM3/MM4)

Projects funded by the MM3 and MM4 industry consortium’s work in conjunction with the University of Strasbourg on the geodynamics of passive margins. Work looks at both non-volcanic and volcanic rifted margins focusing on the structure and evolution of the lithosphere and the upper mantle including the use of methanotrophic bio-systems and their link to serpentinised mantle. The aim is to improve our understanding of the geodynamics in these areas by modelling extensional fault geometry and mechanics at non-volcanic margins alongside the analysis of deep seismic reflection data at volcanic margins to help determine structure and relationships found there.

Monitoring Local Seismic

Within the context of the recently established Liverpool Earth Observatory (LEO) and a nationwide consortium (UK-Array), we are monitoring background seismicity in the North West region. A local monitoring network deployed by the group in the NW of England will supplement an existing national earthquake-monitoring network run by the British Geological Survey (BGS) and the temporary UK-Array stations. The dense seismic monitoring network will enable us to detect and assess the local background seismicity, which is not possible with national monitoring networks. We use these data to characterize changes in seismicity and seismic hazard, for instance over the life-cycle of industrial operations such as carbon storage.

Engineering Seismology

We investigate seismic hazard and risk by improving our understanding of the occurrence of earthquakes, the resulting shaking and subsequent damage. We work with earthquakes at a variety of scales, from small induced events related to industrial operations (carbon storage, mining, gas etc.) - often in close proximity to urban environments - to larger, but rarer tectonic (natural) events. We investigate the propagation of energy from earthquake sources, through the crust and near-subsurface. To do this we use a variety of approaches including full-waveform modelling, stochastic and empirical ground-motion prediction equations (GMPEs), and shallow geophysical and geotechnical field investigations. Our group works on various national and international projects related to induced seismicity and seismic hazard, both in academia and industry.

Seismic Properties of Fault Zones

Seismic properties are used to infer fault zone structure at depth. The Carboneras fault of southeast Spain and the Parkfield area of the San Andreas Fault, California are studied.  In order to develop a better understanding of fault structure in the Carboneras area, a number of seismic studies have taken place, including an active source experiment and the temporary deployment of a network of seismometers. Laboratory measurements of velocity, velocity anisotropy and other physical properties of fault rocks can aid the interpretation of results from the seismic studies.  Temporal changes of fault zone properties over an earthquake cycle in Parkfield are analysed and interpreted in terms of fault zone processes.

Guided waves in subduction zones

High frequency seismic energy is retained in subducting lithosphere as guided waves due to the relatively low seismic velocity of the subducting material compared with the surrounding mantle. As these waves spend longer interacting with the subducting lithosphere than other seismic phases they are able provide new insight into the structure of the subducting slab. In particular guided waves may help resolve where in the slab mineral phase transitions and Wadati-Benioff zone earthquakes occur, and provide an innovative method of constraining the amount of water delivered to the mantle by subduction

Probing the deep rheology of the Tibetan Plateau

We are using space geodesy to investigate the deep crustal structure beneath the Tibetan plateau, which has experienced many large earthquakes recently. These earthquakes act as a source of stress in the crust, which then deforms in response. By observing this slow response from space, we infer that the lower crust flows as a viscous medium.

VERCE project

The VERCE project (Virtual Earthquake and seismology Research Community in Europe e-science environment) is a collaborative project with several EU partners, aimed at developing an e-science environment to allow computationally intensive applications such full waveform simulations to become available to a wider section of the seismology community.

VERCE’s strategy is to build upon a service-oriented architecture and a data-intensive platform delivering services, workflow tools, and software as a service, and to integrate the distributed European public data and computing infrastructures (GRID, HPC and CLOUD) with private resources and the European integrated data archives of the seismology community. VERCE is a major contribution to the e-science environment of the European Plate Observing System (EPOS), the ESFRI initiative of the solid Earth community.

Please visit the VERCE website to learn more about the project on