Geology & Environmental Science Seminars

Fall 2014 Seminar Schedule

Seminars are held in Memorial Hall Room 7370 at 4:00 pm unless otherwise noted.
Refreshments will be available before each talk.


Thursday, September 4

Introduction of JMU faculty research areas


Thursday, September 18

Speaker: Dr. Justin R. Brown, Visiting Assistant Professor of Geophysics

Title: The Tortoise vs. the Hare: Slow tremors, fast rupture events and the race to improved earthquake forecasting

Abstract: The science of earthquake forecasting has evolved for several millennia. Unanswered questions as to why, how, where and when large earthquakes occur continue to drive research efforts in seismology to this day. Since 2002, a new class of seismic signals termed non-volcanic tremors have changed scientists’ views of the seismic cycle, viz., patterns of large earthquake ruptures due to tectonic loading. Unlike large earthquakes, non-volcanic tremor is a low amplitude signal representing slow sliding on a fault. Precise forecasts of the timing and location of a fast rupturing earthquake may never occur in our lifetime (if at all). However, forecasting the timing and location of non-volcanic tremor episodes in several circum-Pacific subduction zones are being calculated to the precision of +/- 1 month and +/- 7 km, respectively. Moreover, the tremor activity occurs in vicinity of expected large megathrust events, indicates the presence of a weakening zone and could hold clues as to when 'the next big one’ should occur. In this presentation I will provide a synopsis of current research that explores the relationship between tremor, large earthquakes and improvement to earthquake forecasting.


Thursday, October 2

Speaker:  Page Quinton, PhD Student (Paleoclimatology), University of Missouri-Columbia

Title:  Constraining the Ordovician climate with stable isotopes


Thursday, November 6

Dr. Harry Rowe, Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin