University of California, Riverside

Faculty Profile System

Elizabeth Cochran

Elizabeth Cochran

Adjunct Assitant Professor

Department of Earth Sciences

Research Areas

  • Earthquake Physics

My research focuses on crustal deformation, earthquake triggering and near-fault structure, specifically related to earthquake physics. I employ a range of research methods, including statistical tests on earthquake catalogs, field acquisition and processing of seismic data, the use of space geodesy, and computational modeling to explain observations. Using data gathered during large seismic field deployments I investigate fault zone compliance, damage and healing associated with large earthquakes, and crustal anisotropy near active faults. In addition, I process, analyze, and model InSAR data acquired following large earthquakes to investigate postseismic deformation and recovery/relaxation processes. I also investigate triggering of earthquakes, specifically by Earth tides, to determine the lower limit of stress necessary to encourage a fault to fail. My research includes a range of projects and reflects the advantages gained by examining a problem from several perspectives.

Recent Projects:
My current studies focus on collecting and analyzing seismic data along active faults to determine fault structure as well as searching for seismic tremor in volcanic regions. To map the shallow and deep fault structure, nearly 100 seismometers were deployed along a section of the Calico Fault in the Mojave desert near Barstow, Calif. that exhibited anomalous strain in response to the 1992 Landers (M= 7.3) and 1999 Hector Mine (M=7.1) earthquakes. These data indicate that fault damage zones may be much wider than previously believed. Therefore, faults may affect rock properties at significant distances from the actual fault slip surfaces, a result likely to have implications for the partitioning of the stress buildup that leads to large earthquakes. Future work is planned on the Calico fault to compare the surface mapping of damage in the form of cracks and small block rotations with reductions in shallow seismic velocities. In addition, eight seismometers are currently deployed along the Superstition Hills fault to record seismic activity associated with episodes of accelerated creep along the fault that begin in October, 2006. This is a subset of work planned with the goal of assessing whether tremor or atypical seismic signals are associated with faults in Southern California.


Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2005



More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Department of Earth Sciences
Geology Building

Tel: (951) 827-3434
Fax: (951) 827-4324