Dr. Jean Paul Ampeuro


Earth's Cocktail Party: Deciphering the Physics of Earthquakes
                               With Networks of Seismic Arrays

The usage of dense arrays of sensors to detect and track moving sources of electromagnetic or acoustic waves is ubiquitous in industrial, military and biological systems. Although the usage of arrays in seismology has a long history too, only in the last decade it has emerged as a novel way to investigate in detail the rupture process of large earthquakes. In this presentation I will summarize key open questions that drive research on earthquake physics, and their potential impact on the sustainability of our society and its resilience to natural hazards. I will then describe the challenges in addressing those questions through conventional seismological observations, and explain the principles of array seismology for earthquake source imaging. With recent examples, including the largest strike-slip and deep-focus earthquakes, I will illustrate how dense array data is providing unique observations of earthquake rupture processes at a level of resolution without precedent, and how seismologists are integrating experiment design, data gathering, data analysis, theory and simulations to advance our understanding of how the Earth works. I will then present an outlook on how our efforts to decipher the physics of earthquakes and to improve the rapid assessment of earthquake hazards can benefit from future earthquake observation systems consisting of networks of seismic arrays, distributed over the globe or focused on active faults, or off-shore acoustic arrays in subduction zones.


               Dr. Jean Paul Ampeuro

     Assistant Professor of Seismology
      California Institute of Technology

      Pasadena, California










Professional Preparation

Université Paris VII Denis Diderot Physics B.S. 1997
U. Paris VII – Inst. de Physique du Globe de Paris Geophysics M.S. 1998
U. Paris VII – Inst. de Physique du Globe de Paris GeophysicsPh.D. 2002
Dissertation title: A physical and numerical study of earthquake nucleation
Advisor: Jean-Pierre Vilotte
Princeton University Post-doctoral Researcher 10/2002-10/2004
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich Post-doctoral Researcher 11/2004-12/2006


05/2008-present Assistant Professor, California Institute of Technology
10/2007-03/2008 Visiting Research Fellow, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo
01/2007-04/2008 Research Associate, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich

Recent awards

- 2014 IRIS/SSA Distinguished Lectureship
- NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. Project title: “Integrating earthquake physics and source imaging while engaging the Hispanic community” (2011)
- Invited speaker: AGU, SIAM, SCEC, Earthscope, IRIS, SSA


For manuscripts in review, see http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~ampuero/publications.html
Graduate students, visitors and postdoctoral researchers in my team are listed in bold italics.

[50] E. Wang, A. M. Rubin and J.-P. Ampuero (2014), Compound earthquakes on a bimaterial interface and implications for rupture mechanics, accepted for publication in Geophys. J. Int. PDF [49] J.-P. Avouac, F. Ayoub, S. Wei, J.-P. Ampuero, L. Meng , S. Leprince, R. Jolivet, Z. Duputel and D. V. Helmberger (2014), The 2013, Mw 7.7 Balochistan earthquake, seismic slip boosted on a misoriented fault, accepted for publication in EPSL. PDF Supplement [48] A. Lucas, A. Mangeney and J.-P. Ampuero (2014), Frictional velocity-weakening in landslides on Earth and on other planetary bodies, accepted for publication in Nature Communications
[47] Y. Huang, J.-P. Ampuero and H. Kanamori (2013), Slip-weakening models of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake and constraints on stress drop and fracture energy, PAGEOPH, doi:10.1007/s00024-013-0718-2. PDF DOI
[46] A. A. Gabriel, J.-P. Ampuero, L. A. Dalguer and P. M. Mai (2013), Source Properties of Dynamic Rupture Pulses with Off-Fault Plasticity, J. Geophys. Res., 118, doi:10.1002/jgrb.50213. PDF DOI [45] V. C. Tsai, J.-P. Ampuero, H. Kanamori and D. J. Stevenson (2013), Estimating the effect of Earth elasticity and variable water density on tsunami speeds, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40 (3), 492-496, doi:10.1002/grl.50147. PDF DOI
[44] S. Xu, Y. Ben-Zion and J.-P. Ampuero (2012b), Properties of Inelastic Yielding Zones Generated by In-plane Dynamic Ruptures: II. Detailed parameter-space study, Geophys. J. Int., 191 (3), 1343-1360, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2012.05685.x. PDF DOI [43] S. Xu, Y. Ben-Zion and J.-P. Ampuero (2012a), Properties of Inelastic Yielding Zones Generated by In-plane Dynamic Ruptures: I. Model description and basic results, Geophys. J. Int., 191 (3), 1325-1342, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2012.05679.x. PDF DOI [42] A. A. Gabriel, J.-P. Ampuero, L. A. Dalguer and P. M. Mai (2012), The transition of dynamic rupture styles in elastic media under velocity-weakening friction, J. Geophys. Res., 117, B09311, doi:10.1029/2012JB009468. PDF DOI [41] T. J. Ader, J.-P. Ampuero and J.-P. Avouac (2012), The role of transient slow slip on the modulation of tectonic tremor activity by periodic loading, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L16310, doi:10.1029/2012GL052326. PDF DOI [40] Z. Duputel, H. Kanamori, V. C. Tsai, L. Rivera, L. Meng and J.-P. Ampuero (2012), The 2012 Sumatra great earthquake sequence, EPSL, 351-352, 247-257, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2012.07.017. PDF DOI [39] L. Meng, J.-P. Ampuero, J. Stock, Z. Duputel, Y. Luo and V. C. Tsai (2012), Earthquake in a maze: compressional rupture branching during the 2012 Mw 8.6 Sumatra earthquake, Science, 337 (6095), 724-726, doi:10.1126/science.1224030. DOI Caltech press release PDF available upon request [38] Y. Huang, L. Meng and J.-P. Ampuero (2012), A dynamic model of the frequency-dependent rupture process of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake, Earth, Planets and Space, special issue "The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake", 64 (12), 1061-1066, doi:10.5047/eps.2012.05.011. PDF DOI [37] L. Meng, J.-P. Ampuero, Y. Luo, W. Wu and S. Ni (2012), Mitigating Artifacts in Back-Projection Source Imaging with Implications on Frequency-Dependent Properties of the Tohoku-Oki Earthquake, Earth, Planets and Space, special issue "The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake", 64 (12), 1101-1109, doi:10.5047/eps.2012.05.010. PDF DOI [36] R. Michel, J.-P. Ampuero , J.-P. Avouac, N. Lapusta, S. Leprince, D.C. Redding and S. Somala (2012), A Geostationary Optical Seismometer, Proof of Concept, accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Trans. Geo. Rem. Sens., 51 (1), 695-703, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2012.2201487. PDF DOI [35] O. Lengline, J. E. Elkhoury, G. Daniel, J. Schmittbuhl, R. Toussaint, J.-P. Ampuero and M. Bouchon (2012), Interplay of seismic and aseismic deformations during earthquake swarms: an experimental approach, Earth Plan. Sci. Lett., 331-332, 215-223, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2012.03.022. PDF DOI [34] L. Meng, J.-P. Ampuero, A. Sladen and H. Rendon (2012), High-resolution back-projection at regional distance: application to the Haiti M7.0 earthquake and comparisons with finite source studies, J. Geophys. Res., 117, B04313, doi:10.1029/2011JB008702. PDF Supplementary material DOI
[33] C. Pelties, J. de la Puente, J.-P. Ampuero, G. Brietzke and M. Kaeser (2012), Three-dimensional dynamic rupture simulation with a high-order Discontinuous Galerkin method on unstructured tetrahedral meshes, J. Geophys. Res., 117, B02309, doi:10.1029/2011JB008857. PDF DOI
[32] V. Tsai, B. Minchew, M. Lamb and J.-P. Ampuero (2012), A physical model for seismic noise from sediment transport by rivers, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L02404, doi:10.1029/2011GL050255. PDF DOI
[31] Y. Huang and J.-P. Ampuero (2011), Pulse-like ruptures induced by low-velocity fault zones, J. Geophys. Res., 116, B12307, doi:10.1029/2011JB008684. PDF DOI [30] Y. Kaneko and J.-P. Ampuero (2011), A mechanism for preseismic steady rupture fronts observed in laboratory experiments, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L21307, doi:10.1029/2011GL049953. PDF DOI [29] T. Yamaguchi, M. Morishita, M. Doi, T. Hori, H. Sakaguchi and J.-P. Ampuero (2011), Gutenberg-Richter's law in sliding friction of gels, J. Geophys. Res., 116, B12306, doi:10.1029/2011JB008415. PDF DOI [28] O. Lengline, R. Toussaint, J. Schmittbuhl, J. Elkhoury, J.-P. Ampuero , K. T. Tallakstad, S. Santucci and K. J. Maloy (2011), Average crack-front velocity during subcritical fracture propagation in a heterogeneous medium, Phys. Rev. E, 84, 036104. PDF DOI [27] L. Meng, A. Inbal and J.-P. Ampuero (2011), A window into the complexity of the dynamic rupture of the 2011 Mw 9 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. Geophys. Res. Let., 38, L00G07, doi:10.1029/2011GL048118. DOI PDF Auxiliary material Animation S1 Animation S2 [26] Y Kaneko, J.-P. Ampuero and N. Lapusta (2011), Spectral-element simulations of long-term fault slip: Effect of low-rigidity layers on earthquake-cycle dynamics, J. Geophys. Res., 116, B10313, doi:10.1029/2011JB008395. PDF DOI [25] Harris et al. (2011), Verifying a computational method for predicting extreme ground motion, Seis. Res. Let., 82 (5), 638-644, doi:10.1785/gssrl.82.5.638. PDF DOI [24] O. Lengline, J. Schmittbuhl, J. E. Elkhoury, J.-P. Ampuero, R. Toussaint and K. J. Maloy (2011), Downscaling of fracture energy during brittle creep experiments, J. Geophys. Res., 116, B08215, doi:10.1029/2010JB008059. PDF DOI [23] M. Simons, S. E. Minson, A. Sladen, F. Ortega, J. Jiang, S. E. Owen, L. Meng, J.-P. Ampuero, S. Wei, R. Chu, D. V. Helmberger, H. Kanamori, E. Hetland, A. W. Moore, and F. H. Webb (2011), The 2011 magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake: mosaicking the megathrust from seconds to centuries, Science, 332, 1421-1425, doi:10.1126/science.1206731. PDF DOI [22] K. Ariyoshi, T. Matsuzawa, J.-P. Ampuero, R. Nakata, T. Hori, Y. Kaneda, R. Hino and A. Hasegawa (2011), Migration process of very low-frequency events based on a chain-reaction model and its application to the detection of preseismic slip for megathrust earthquakes, Earth, Planets and Space, 64 (8), 693-702, doi:10.5047/eps.2010.09.003. PDF Abstract DOI [21] A. Rubin and J.-P. Ampuero (2009), Self-similar slip pulses during rate-and-state earthquake nucleation, J. Geophys. Res., 114, B11305, doi:10.1029/2009JB006529. PDF DOI [20] Y. Ben-Zion and J.-P. Ampuero (2009), Seismic radiation from regions sustaining material damage, Geophys. J. Int., 178 (3), 1351-1356, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04285.x. PDF DOI [19] J. De La Puente, J.-P. Ampuero and M. Kaeser (2009), Dynamic rupture modeling on unstructured meshes using a discontinuous Galerkin method, J. Geophys. Res., 114, B10302, doi:10.1029/2008JB006271. PDF DOI
[18] V. Lyakhovsky, Y. Hamiel, J.-P. Ampuero and Y. Ben-Zion (2009), Nonlinear damage rheology and wave resonance in rocks, Geophys. J. Int., 178 (2), 910-920, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04205.x.
PDF DOI [17] K. Ariyoshi, T. Hori, J.-P. Ampuero , Y. Kaneda, T. Matsuzawa, R. Hino and A. Hasegawa (2009), Influence of interaction between small asperities on various types of slow earthquakes in a 3-D simulation for a subduction plate boundary, Gondwana Research, 16 (3-4), 534-544, doi:10.1016/j.gr.2009.03.006. PDF DOI [16] R. A. Harris et al. (2009), The SCEC/USGS dynamic earthquake-rupture code verification exercise, Seism. Res. Lett., 80 (1), 119-126, doi:10.1785/gssrl.80.1.119. PDF DOI [15] H. Perfettini and J.-P. Ampuero (2008), Dynamics of a velocity strenghtening region: implications for slow earthquakes and postseismic slip, J. Geophys. Res., 113 (B9), B09411, doi:10.1029/2007JB005398. PDF DOI [14] Y. Kaneko, N. Lapusta and J.-P. Ampuero (2008), Spectral-element modeling of spontaneous earthquake rupture on rate and state faults: Effect of velocity-strengthening friction at shallow depths, J. Geophys. Res., 113 (B9), B09317, doi:10.1029/2007JB005553. PDF DOI [13] J. Ripperger, P. M. Mai and J.-P. Ampuero (2008), Variability of near-field ground motion from dynamic earthquake rupture simulations, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 98 (3), 1207-1228, doi:10.1785/0120070076. PDF DOI [12] J.-P. Ampuero and Y. Ben-Zion (2008), Cracks, pulses and macroscopic asymmetry of dynamic rupture on a bimaterial interface with velocity-weakening friction, Geophys. J. Int., 173 (2), 674-692, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03736.x. PDF DOI [11] J.-P. Ampuero and A. M. Rubin (2008), Earthquake nucleation on rate-and-state faults : aging and slip laws, J. Geophys. Res., 113, B01302, doi:10.1029/2007JB005082. PDF DOI [10] M. Haney, R. Snieder, J.-P. Ampuero and R. Hofmann (2007), Spectral element modeling of fault-plane reflections arising from fluid pressure distributions, Geophys. J. Int., 170 (2), 933-951, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03437.x. PDF DOI [9] L. Boschi, J.-P. Ampuero, D. Peter, P. M. Mai, G. Soldati, D. Giardini (2007), Petascale computing for future breakthroughs in global seismology, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 163 (1-4), 245-250, doi:10.1016/j.pepi.2007.02.011. PDF DOI [8] A. M. Rubin and J. P. Ampuero (2007), Aftershock asymmetry on a bimaterial interface, J. Geophys. Res., 112, B05307, doi:10.1029/2006JB004337. PDF DOI [7] J. Ripperger, J.-P. Ampuero, P. M. Mai and D. Giardini (2007), Earthquake source characteristics from dynamic rupture with constrained stochastic fault stress, J. Geophys. Res., 112, B04311, doi:10.1029/2006JB004515. PDF DOI [6] G. Hillers, P. M. Mai, Y. Ben-Zion and J.-P. Ampuero (2006), Statistical properties of seismicity of fault zones at different evolutionary stages, Geophys. J. Int., 169 (2), 515-533. doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03275.x. PDF DOI
[5] R. Madariaga, J.-P. Ampuero and M. Adda-Bedia (2006), Seismic radiation from simple models of earthquakes, "Radiated Energy and the Physics of Earthquakes", AGU Monograph; A. McGarr, R. Abercrombie, H. Kanamori and G. di Toro, Eds. PDF [4] J.-P. Ampuero, J. Ripperger and P. M. Mai (2006), Properties of dynamic earthquake ruptures with heterogeneous stress drop, "Radiated Energy and the Physics of Earthquakes", AGU Monograph; A. McGarr, R. Abercrombie, H. Kanamori and G. di Toro, Eds. PDF [3] A.M. Rubin and J.-P. Ampuero (2005), Earthquake nucleation on (aging) rate-and-state faults J. Geophys. Res., 110, B11312, doi:10.1029/2005JB003686. PDF DOI [2] J.-P. Ampuero and F.A. Dahlen (2005), Ambiguity of the moment tensor, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 95 (2), 390-400, doi:10.1785/0120040103. PDF DOI
[1] J.-P. Ampuero, J.-P. Vilotte and F.-J. Sánchez-Sesma (2002), Nucleation of rupture under slip dependent friction law: simple models of fault zone, J. Geophys. Res., 107 (B12), 2324, doi:10.1029/2001JB000452. PDF DOI

Synergistic activities

- Associate Editor for Journal of Geophysical Research.
- Co-leader of the Fault and Rupture Mechanics group of the Southern California Earthquake Center.
- Co-organizer of the first ERI/SCEC International Summer School on Earthquake Science, Japan, September 2013
- Co-organizer of the 2013 IRIS/EarthScope workshop on arrays in global seismology .
- Co-organizer of AGU 2012 session on Earthquake dynamics and fault zone structure.
- Co-ordinated the rapid mobilization of Caltech seismic equipment for the 2010 Maule, Chile post-earthquake deployment
- Development, support and training for open source software for the simulation of earthquake rupture, earthquake cycle and wave propagation: SEM2DPACK and QDYN.
- Co-developer of SPECFEM3D, a spectral element software for 3D wave propagation and earthquake rupture dynamics on non-planar fault systems and complex media
- Co-leader of the Earthquake Dynamics working group in the European Research and Training Network SPICE (Seismic wave Propagation and Imaging in Complex media, 2004-2008).
- Fostering earthquake hazards awareness and Earth science literacy in the Hispanic community and media.
- Reviewer for JGR, GRL, BSSA, PAGEOPH, GJI, Tectonophysics, Geophysics, EPS, EPSL, Wave Motion, Geology, PRL, NSF, IODP
- AGU outstanding reviewer award
- Review panelist for SCEC and USGS


Current graduate students:

Yihe Huang, Yingdi Luo, Asaf Inbal, Bryan Riel, Franklin Koch, Kangchen Bai, Xiaoling Mao (Caltech)
Percy Galvez (ETH Zurich)
Current postdoctoral researchers:
Jessica Hawthorne, Thomas Goebel
Former graduate students:
Lingsen Meng (Caltech 2012, Assistant Professor at UCLA, Knopoff Chair in Physics & Geophysics)
Surendra Somala (Caltech 2013)
Alice Gabriel (ETH Zurich 2012, now postdoc at LMU Munich)
Johannes Ripperger (ETH Zurich 2006, Research & Innovation manager at Accelopment AG, Zurich)
Former postdoctoral researchers:
Zacharie Duputel (faculty at IPG Strasbourg, France)
Olivier Lengline (faculty at IPG Strasbourg, France)
Gregor Hillers (DFG Heisenberg Fellow at ISTerre, Grenoble, France)
Javier Ruiz (faculty at Universidad de Chile)
Jean Elkhoury (researcher at Schlumberger)
Justin Brown (NSF Postdoctoral Fellow)