EOSC 562 · Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting

This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.

Course Availability & Schedule

Course Description

In this course, we will review key concepts that relate to our understanding of earthquakes and faulting as revealed by seismology, rock mechanics and geology. Topics will encompass: > the brittle fracture of rocks including pore fluid effects and the brittle-plastic transition; > rock friction including rate and state friction laws; > the mechanics of faulting including fault growth, rheology and morphology; > the mechanics of earthquakes including earthquake phenomenology and earthquake interactions; > the seismic cycle and earthquake recurrence models; > seismotectonics; and, time permitting, earthquake prediction and hazard analysis. Particular focus will be directed toward understanding of subduction zone seismicity in the Cascadia context.


Michael Bostock


The Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting, Christopher H. Scholz, second edition (2002)

Lecture Topics

Week Topic
1 Introduction
2 Elasticity review
3 Source kinematics
4 Brittle fracture
5 Fault friction
6 Geology of faults
7 Observations of earthquakes
8 More phenomenology and response spectra
9 The earthquake cycle
10 Prediction (or lack thereof)
11 Student presentations
12 Student presentations