The Cascadia Subduction Zone is around ~1200 km in length, and it has the ability to host very large earthquakes. Accurate estimations of ground motions along the subduction zone are needed in order to predict potential damage, and incorporating complex friction behaviors into rupture models can allow us to better understand said ground motions. By using strongly velocity-weakening friction behaviors to simulate ruptures in the subduction zone, we hope to have more accurate ground motion estimations than the previous Cascadia models that involved slip-weakening friction behaviors.
Hello, world! For the last time!
It's my final (official) week! I will still be working on this project off and on and working toward AGU, but it is my last official week as an IRIS intern.
It's been a crazy summer- I've really enjoyed everything that I've learned throughout my time as an intern. It's been great learning more about geophysics, getting to know my fellow interns, and figuring out how to better myself as a researcher- as well as getting to continue summer research even during these crazy times!
Thank you to all that have continued to read my blog. Have a great day (whatever day you're reading this), and I'll see some of you at AGU!
Hard to believe that next week is my last official week as an IRIS intern...even harder to believe that the following week, I start my senior year of undergrad. And what comes with that is grad school applications, senior thesis work, and getting a much more specific view of what my future looks like and what I'll be doing.
Luckily, doing this internship has been helpful in more ways than one in helping me through that process! I feel more confident as a researcher, and that was what I hoped to gain more than anything. I feel like I have a good grasp on the research process, as well as how scientific research progresses over time from the beginning to the end of a project.
I have also learned how to be way more organized than I was in the past, and I know that will help greatly...truthfully, I haven't always been great about even using a planner, and it took me a while to get used to regularly commenting code, keeping a solid to do list, ect. But, although I feel like I've been slowly getting better at this throughout undergrad as a whole, this internship helped to teach me how to be more organized in all aspects of my work. And, as you can imagine, this made my life so much easier- I no longer had to hope I remembered what my past self was thinking when I wrote that line of code, or hope I could remember what I was supposed to complete for the week, or anything along those lines. Although this seems fairly basic, this is a pretty big deal to me. I feel like since I was able to succeed in undergrad for so long without being so organized, it was hard to really get into that habit. But I feel like now that I've developed the habit, it'll be easier to continue into my senior year and beyond.
Again, hard to believe I only have a week and a half left! I have no idea what my life will look like in a year, but regardless, I'm excited for what the future holds, and to see how this research experience helps me in the long term.
Until next week,
I'm officially in the last third of my 9-week internship! I will continue working on the project a bit and being in contact with my mentor so that we can prepare for AGU, but it's still hard to believe that the bulk of my work on this project is coming to a close!
For this blog post, I'm meant to go into some challenges that I've faced during the internship- I have chosen to zone in on 2 of them for this week.
The first one is one that I was able to figure out fairly quickly, with the help of my mentor- I've always struggled in research with finding the balance between asking questions and figuring things out on my own. Because on one hand, you don't want someone "holding your hand" throughout every step, and you would like to complete some research tasks on your own and personally contribute to the project. But on the other hand, if you genuinely can't figure something out, you don't want to wait until the last minute to ask for help and risk falling behind. Luckily, over the past few weeks, I feel like I've improved upon this and struck the right balance!
The second challenge, I think, is one that I feel like goes along with the weirdness that has ensued over the past year and a half. Focusing during online research during a pandemic has not been easy, and it has not been easy during any of my research experiences (whether that relates to this internship, the internship I did last summer, or the research I do during the academic year). However, as time has gone on, I've found some ways to combat this and keep my motivation high. One of the ways I've dealt with this is by giving myself a schedule (and actually sticking to it). Forcing myself to work between certain hours not only forces me to actually get stuff done during that time, but also allows me to rest when I am no longer within that time frame. My issue is that I have a hard time seperating my work and home life, and when I give myself all day to work on and off, I have a tendency to essentially just never really stop working, burn out, stop working entirely, panic, go back to working nonstop, and repeat. Luckily, I was able to get this in check for the most part, but keeping myself to a schedule has still been a bit of a struggle some days. Another thing that has helped is honestly just remembering why I love this work- with everything happening in the past ~1.5 years, it's easy to lose sight of why I fell in love with geology in the first place. But keeping that in mind keeps my motivation and hopes high, and lets me not only get things done, but enjoy doing them.
I'm excited to see where this project ends up in the next few weeks, and I'm excited for AGU! Until next week,
Hello, world! (Everyone tired of that joke yet?)
This week I will be sharing an important figure to my work so far, as well as an important paper. Luckily, they are closely related, as the figure that I created was meant to look similar to a figure in a paper that was sent to me by my mentor!
This is a plot made in Matlab from a simulation I ran of Cascadia. From this plot, I was able to better understand the outputs that the program I'm using (sem2dpack) creates as I run simulations. A paper sent to me before my internship started, "How the Transition Region Along the Cascadia
Megathrust Influences Coseismic Behavior:Insights From 2‐D Dynamic Rupture Simulations," includes a similar figure to the middle subplot, along the same area of the subduction zone. Luckily, after a few tries, I was able to get the figure above to look similar to the figure in the paper. Then, once I got that figured out, I was able to create the same plot (although each one looked slightly different, of course) on other examples and compare them to each other.
The paper itself goes into specifics regarding another Cascadia rupture model. This model specifically focuses on what is referred to as the "gap"- which is a region that seperates a shallow part of the subduction zone that slips during large earthquakes from a deeper part that slips between large earthquakes. The paper argues that this should be included in subduction modeling in order to get a better picture of the potential ground motions along the subduction zone, in the event of a large earthquake.
It was exciting to see things begin to work while creating the plot, and be able to visualize exactly what it was that I have been doing while running the simulations. I'm excited about the progress I've made, but I'm even more excited to see where this project goes!
Ramos, M.D., & Huang. Y. (2019). How the transition region along the Cascadia megathrust influences coseismic behavior: Insights from 2-D dynamic rupture simulations. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 1973-1983. [url=https://https//doi.org/10.1029/2018GL080812 ]https://https//doi.org/10.1029/2018GL080812 [/url];
This week, I used generic mapping tools to create a map of the area I am studying this summer. It's the general area of the cascadia subduction zone, and I added a dot showing where Seattle is, just so that you can kind of get an idea of where this is in the country.
...Fun fact, I learned how to use GMT when I was first learning how to code! If I remember correctly, creating an x-y plot in GMT freshmen year was the first script I had ever written! I was just figuring out if I wanted to go into geophysics around that time...and now I'm looking at graduate schools to get a PhD in that exact subject, and doing an internship in the field. Crazy how life works out!
We are studying this area to see how fault-friction behaviors impact ground motion and rupture propagation. I definitely feel like I have a better grasp on what that means, after a few weeks of actually using scripts and running simulations. By using different parameters on different simulations, and creating plots from those simulations, I've been able to see how said parameters impact the fault/model behavior. Cool stuff, and I look forward to getting further in this project!
Besides creating a map, our other assignment for the fourth week is to talk about a challenge and a success so far. For me, I'd say the biggest challenge is just being unsure if I'm doing things correctly, honestly. My mentor is awesome about giving feedback, though- so as time has gone on, I feel a lot more sure of myself, and I feel more and more confident that I'm doing things correctly. A success, for me, is honestly being able to create plots from the example simulations I've run. It helps me know that I'm running the simulations correctly, and I'm a very visual person, so I like seeing how the plots differ from example to example. And, besides my own learning, plots are great to show others actual results from what it is that I'm researching (whether that be during a poster presentation, or just talking to someone who is curious about my project). I'm learning more every week, and I'm very excited to see where this project goes.
ps very unrelated, but thought I'd include it anyway, because I'm excited...but my birthday is Friday! Between turning 22 and this internship, I'd say it's shaping up to be a great summer!
This week I have an assignment to create a specific plot, and I think soon I'll be working with Cascadia data. Exciting times!
Until next week,
Hello, world! It's been a while!
Although I've been writing blog posts for around 4 weeks now, I'm just now entering the third week of my internship- so, I decided to take a week off from writing entries last week, just so I can kind of catch up in my project. So far, things are going great! We were tasked with writing an elevator pitch, and I feel like doing that kind of forced me to look at the bigger picture in regards to what my research project is about.
The assignment also took me out of my comfort zone and made me reflect on one of the improvements I'd like to make during this internship- it made me become (...or at least act) more confident in my research. In order to explain a research project thoroughly, you have to feel like you have a good idea of what's going on. I genuinely feel like through figuring out what to say in my pitch, I became better at explaining my project to others, and I gained a deeper understanding of what it is that I'm doing this summer. I was worried that my pitch was a little too broad or simplistic, but I have heard from others that this doesn't seem to be the case.
Besides that- I feel like the project is going super well so far! I've spent the past 2 weeks going through the scripts that I'll be using for the summer, and this week I have a more specific assignment to create a plot with several of said scripts. I'm super excited, and I feel like the elevator pitch assignment was nicely timed in my progress- as I start to get into the details of things, it was cool to look at the bigger picture and remember what these tasks will lead to.
Until next week!
Hello, world (again)!
This week I'll be detailing what kinds of data I'll be using for this project, as well as reflecting on one of the skills that I hope to gain throughout this experience.
Monday was my first official day as an intern, and I began the project by looking through the files that I will be using, and running example simulations. I did this by using something called sem2dpack, and although it took a while to kind of figure out the ins and outs of how to use it, it was cool seeing things finally start to work! The simulations incorporate several friction laws, with parameters that can be changed in order to run the simulation and see how different changes produce different results. So, on that note, I guess that I would say that the data I'll be using is really just the different parameters that can be applied to the simulations. I'm excited, as the internship progresses, to learn more about the specifics and see how the simulation progresses!
As far as a skill that I'd like to reflect on, I'd like to focus on figuring out the next step in a research project...this one caught my attention, mainly because I feel so far from being able to properly implement this skill. And yet, with graduate school just around the corner, I know that I will soon have to do this. I just feel like that takes such a deep understanding of the project. In order to figure out the next step, you have to understand so many things about the research: what has been done so far, what still needs to be done, how the project is paced (so you don't move to quickly or too slowly), and why the next step would be useful at this time. I don't know, maybe I'm overthinking things- but that is a little overwhelming to think about. But honestly, if I didn't want to challenge myself, I wouldn't be doing this internship, and I wouldn't be interested in research...maybe a skill like that, that seems just a little overwhelming, is exactly what I need to focus on in order to improve my research skills. Regardless, I'm excited to see where this summer goes!
See you next week!
My name is Savannah Devine, and this summer I will be working on a rupture model of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. I'm a quantitative geoscience major at Appalachian State University, and I've known that I want to do something relating to geophysics for around 2-3 years now. I'm super excited to get started on this project (my first official day is this Monday, the 14th!) and learn all that I can. Today, I'm going to expand on a few goals I have for the summer:
1. Gain confidence in research.
This is something that I honestly struggle with- but as I move from undergrad to grad school and beyond, I'd like to feel confident enough in doing research to be able to make decisions throughout the project, explain my research to others without feeling like I'm getting something wrong, and just generally gain confidence when speaking to other geologists about my work. I feel like this internship, by allowing me to find that balance between asking questions and working through issues myself, will be a great help.
2. Learn more about earthquakes!
This one is a given, but I absolutely love earthquake science and geophysics as a whole. Therefore, any chance to learn more about the field is a chance I will take. I feel like this project is different enough from anything I've done before that it will help to give me a broader view of the kinds of topics that geophysicists explore.
3. Work toward applying to grad schools!
This fall, I will be applying to grad schools. This is definitely nervewracking, but I feel like this internship may help me narrow down exactly what I want to do, and what types of research topics to look for. At the very least, I believe that by accomplishing the above 2 goals, it will allow me to feel less stressed and more confident while applying and reaching out to potential schools. I know that I definitely want to go into geophysics, so that isn't what I'm worried about- but I feel like everything that this internship has to offer will definitely be helpful as I begin applying to places in the fall.
Feel free to keep up with this blog if you'd like to see how this project goes! I'm very excited for this summer, and I'll be sure to post here frequently as I continue my research.