Earthquakes occurring in Earth’s brittle subsurface are not well understood. These events can be produced by natural tectonic movements and man‐made engineering activities. Observations show earthquakes to be unpredictable and they pose grave threats to the nearby population and infrastructure. A better understanding of the subsurface conditions leading to these events can produce better assessment of seismic hazard and develop more refined engineering techniques – ultimately minimizing risk.
Laboratory studies have proven to be a valuable tool when studying the effects of the variable and changing subsurface conditions that produce earthquakes. I aim to develop novel laboratory facilities and experiments that allow for a systematic and advanced understanding of the physics causing scaled versions earthquakes. My goal of understanding laboratory produced seismicity, and its relation to rock deformation mechanics, is a major concern of the Swiss Seismological Service and the ETH.