Ph.D. Student Profile: Pamela Moyer
Degree: Earth and Environmental Science
Research Topic: Earthquake source parameters, rupture processes, and scaling relations at mid-ocean ridge transform faults and microseismicity in deep South African gold mines
Advisor: Dr. Margaret Boettcher
Description of Research
The motivation for my research is to better understand earthquake sources and faulting processes in different tectonic environments. My project involves the comprehensive examination and comparison of earthquake source parameters such as apparent stress, seismic moment, and radiated seismic energy for small to large magnitude earthquakes at the Gofar mid‐ocean ridge transform fault (RTF) on the East Pacific Rise (EPR) and microseismicity in the TauTona gold mine in South Africa.
At the EPR Gofar transform fault, thousands of earthquakes have been recorded by ocean bottom seismometers (OBS), including the foreshock and aftershock sequences of a predictable magnitude 6.0 mainshock. Using data from the OBS, I will investigate differences between earthquakes sources in the foreshock and aftershock regions and along the ruptured fault segment where variations in fault‐zone material are thought to produce rupture barriers that control earthquake propagation.
At the TauTona gold mine, thousands of microearthquakes with a magnitude range between -4 to 4 are recorded by seismometers placed in tunnels 2 to 4 km below the Earth’s surface. Using these high-quality recordings, I will investigate variations in source parameters with earthquake magnitude, source type, and proximity to geologic and mining structures such as faults, dikes, and tunnels.
The results of my research will help describe the rupture processes of very small to large earthquakes and address such issues as variations in source parameters for earthquakes that occur on and off geologic structures, earthquake scaling, and constraints on earthquake energy budgets, nucleation, and rupture. These projects are done in collaboration with partners at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the University of Southern California (USC).
Previous Awards and Activities
- College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Graduate Fellowship for 2011 - 2012, University of New Hampshire
- Honorable mention in the NSF MARGINS program student competition for a poster presentation during the Fall 2009 Annual AGU meeting
- Wilband Memorial Scholarship for academic achievement, Michigan State University, 2007
- Keck Memorial Scholarship for academic achievement, Michigan State University, 2006 and 2007
- Pringle Endowed Fellowship for academic achievement, Michigan State University, 2005
Selected Presentations and Publications
- Moyer, P. A., S. L. Bilek, and W. S. Phillips (2011), Apparent Stress Variations near the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, influenced by subducted bathymetric features, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L02304, doi:10.1029/2010GL045955.
- Moyer, P. A., S. L. Bilek, and W. S. Phillips (2010), Subducted bathymetric features linked to variations in earthquake apparent stress along the northern Japan Trench, Eos Trans. AGU, 91(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract T51D-2088.
- Moyer, P. A., S. L. Bilek, and W. S. Phillips (2010), Apparent Stress Variations at the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica and the Role of Subducting Topography (Final Results), IRIS Annual Workshop, June 2010.
- Moyer, P. A., S. L. Bilek, and W. S. Phillips (2009), Apparent Stress Variations at the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica and the Role of Subducting Topography (Preliminary Results), Eos Trans. AGU, 90(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract T23B-1892.
- Moyer, P. A., K. G. Mackey, K. Fujita, S. V. Shibaev, and L. V. Gounbina (2007), Seismicity of the Stanovoi Volcanic Field Region, Eastern Russia, Eos Trans. AGU, 88(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract T13-1628.
- Ph.D., Natural Resources & Earth Systems Science (NRESS), University of New Hampshire, Expected Award Date May 2015
- M.S., Geophysics, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Awarded December 2010
- B.S., Geological Sciences with Geophysics Option, Michigan State University, Awarded December 2007
- Research Assistant for the Department of Earth Sciences, performing source parameter studies of mid-ocean ridge earthquakes and microearthquakes from South African gold mines, University of New Hampshire, June 2011 – present
- Research Assistant for the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, performed seismic coda analysis of subduction zone earthquakes near Costa Rica and Northern Japan, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, August 2008 – December 2010
- Earthquake Analyst for the Northeast Russia Seismology Program (NERSP), conducted earthquake analysis and fault location as related to plate tectonic boundaries in Northeast Russia, Michigan State University, August 2007 – December 2007
- Learning Aide for Integrated Physical Science Course in Global Change, helped develop classroom activities and assisted students in comprehension of lecture material, Michigan State University, August 2007 – December 2007
- Research Assistant on Weathering of Basalts from Guatemala, conducted petrographic microscope examination of Guatemalan basalts to identify mineral weathering, Michigan State University, January 2007 – May 2007