Ignite Talks

New this year… Ignite Talks!

Ignite talks are quick, five-minute presentations of 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. A special evening plenary of Ignite Talks promises fun and thought-provoking ideas, drawn from the range of sessions at this year’s meeting. To learn more, see this video presented by Ignite Talks: www.ignitetalks.io

The following 12 Ignite Talks are currently planned for the SSA Annual Meeting in Denver.


The Boom-Glider: A Dispersed Acoustic Wave from the 2014 Antares Rocket Explosion

Frequency dispersion, while common in seismology, is rarely observed in geocoustics. However, the 2014 Antares rocket explosion generated a dispersive infrasound wave that traveled almost 1,000 kilometers along the Eastern seaboard. This was likely the most extensive recording of dispersive infrasound in history due to the dense Transportable Array microbarometer network in place at the time. Using inversion techniques derived from seismology and the high resolution Hilbert-Huang Transform, we investigate the atmospheric structure that gave rise to this unique wave form.

Presenting Author:

Daniel Bowman <dbowma@sandia.gov>


How Stochastic Modeling is Driving the Next Generation of Resilience

Microinsurance for natural disasters can build lasting social impact and financial resilience, but it’s only feasible with comprehensive understanding of the probabilities and uncertainties of the payout triggers. This presentation shows an example of how stochastic modeling underpins the development of a parametric earthquake policy for California, which has the potential to speed up recovery for both individuals and the affected region as a whole. We will describe the process and lessons learned in applying model outputs for practical development of an insurance product.

Presenting Author:

Kate Stillwell <kstillwell@jumpstartrecovery.com>


“Earthquake Desks” for Bhutan’s Schools: An Affordable, Technologically Feasible, Interim and Yet Controversial Method of Improving School Earthquake Safety

The right way to provide school earthquake safety is with seismically resistant school buildings, but this takes human and financial resources and time that many countries at risk from earthquakes don’t have. We offered Bhutan an affordable, technologically feasible, interim solution. An Israeli-designed “Earthquake Desk” can withstand vertical loads up to one ton dropped from a height of 3.5 meters, which is significantly stronger than common desks. By training Bhutan furniture manufacturers, we created a low cost, local supply of these desks, and by involving the nation’s Ministry of Education, we created a sustainable demand for them.

Presenting Author:

Brian Tucker <tucker@geohaz.org>


Communicating the Quakes in New Zealand

How do we talk about earthquakes in New Zealand? With numerous large earthquakes in the country since 2009, public interest in geological hazards has grown at an astounding rate. So how do we, as a science agency (GeoNet and GNS Science) in New Zealand, effectively communicate about earthquakes? Hint: it involves a lot of social science research combined with savvy communication practice.

Presenting Author:

Sara McBride <s.mcbride@gns.cri.nz>


Earthquakes in the Anthropocene

Human activities including the injection and withdrawal of subsurface fluids, mining, and the impoundment of surface waters can influence the rates and locations of earthquakes. Through infrastructure development and land use changes, humans can also change the way that earthquake-induced phenomena such as surface ruptures, rockfalls, landslides, liquefaction features, flooding, and subsidence are expressed relative to their pre-Anthropocene counterparts. In using geologic analogues to forecast the effects of future earthquakes, one must be mindful of intervening anthropogenic modifications to the region of interest.

Presenting Author:

Mark Quigley <mark.quigley@unimelb.edu.au>


Access and Integration of Geodetic Data to Enhance Hazard Preparedness, Response, and Mitigation

UNAVCO, the community and the facility, provide critical services for natural hazards preparation, response and mitigation efforts. Geodetic data such as GPS/GNSS, SAR satellite imagery and ground-based and airborne Lidar imagery are becoming a more integral part of hazard resiliency, hazard forecasts and/or hazard early warning. Geodetic data is valuable for helping with many hazards, such as earthquakes, volcanic unrest, tsunamis, floods, fires, droughts, severe weather, hurricanes, sea level rise, glacial changes, avalanches and even space weather. Now it is important to provide more access to geodetic data and to fully integrate geodetic data into resiliency, forecasts and warning systems.

Presenting Author:

Linda Rowan <rowan@unavco.org>


2,000 Years of Earthquake Sounds in 5 Minutes

“. . . previous to an earthquake, a roaring is usually heard,” wrote Lucius Annaeus Seneca, circa 65 CE, in “Naturales Quaestiones.” From there, I will tour through historical catalogs of earthquake sounds, personal experience, how sounds are produced, and the use of sonified seismograms in education and art. This history includes seismological greats such as Mallet, Ewing, and Benioff, along with our contemporaries. Along the way, we will listen to recordings of sounds from the free field, people reacting to earthquakes, sonified seismograms, and snippets of music and art pieces, only some of which were created by seismologists.

Presenting Author:

Andrew Michael <michael@usgs.gov>


Citizen Seismology in Taiwan: Why We Failed and What Is the Future?

The citizen seismic network in Taiwan is dying. Despite lots of workshops and activities, even with a near-real time earthquake game competition and board game (quake-nopoly) developed along the way, we came to realize the huge gap between what people need and what we do. And to bridge the gap, a new generation of the citizen seismic network is needed. Imagine at work you receive the alarm from sensors at home that tells you the location, size and type of anomalous shaking events in the neighborhood. Can this future warning system happen, allowing citizens to perform emergency response? This is a story about facing the challenge, and transforming the doubt of “why do I care?” toward action in a future Internet-based world.

Presenting Author:

Kate Huihsuan Chen <katepili@gmail.com>


Emerging Opportunities in Planetary Seismology

In the coming years NASA will launch missions to explore Mars, our Moon, and the Ocean Worlds of the Solar System. The seismological community is faced with multiple challenges in introducing seismological exploration to such missions: Most landed missions are focused on the near surface; seismometers are perceived as complex and adding risk to inherently complicated lander missions; and finally, due to the long breadth required in the planning and execution of planetary seismology missions, it is challenging for many to invest in an endeavor that may not materialize for decades. We will discuss these challenges and approaches to overcoming them.

Presenting Author:

Sharon Kedar <Sharon.Kedar@jpl.nasa.gov>


Temblors and Tweets

Vast numbers of people immediately turn to social media and apps in the seconds following earthquakes. Information on social media travels faster than seismic waves can reach globally distributed seismic instruments. Here are some ways our community capitalizes on the free, ubiquitous, and independent data from crowd-sources.

Presenting Author:

Michelle Guy <mguy@usgs.gov>


Managing the Explosion of High-Resolution Topography for Active Fault Research

Centimeter to decimeter-scale 3D sampling of the Earth surface topography coupled with photorealistic coloring of point clouds and texture mapping of meshes enables a wide range of science applications. The configuration and state of the surface is valuable, and repeat surveys enable quantification of topographic change. I will present recent updates to the OpenTopography system and discuss opportunities for the community.

Presenting Author:

Ramon Arrowsmith <ramon.arrowsmith@asu.edu>


Dark Energy and Earthquakes: Elastic Strain Invisible to Geodesy

Geodesy has great utility where strain changes are rapid, but less so where they are slow. It is useless where strain is stagnant, yet most of the world’s earthquakes draw wholly or in part on this invisible reservoir of dark strain energy. Is there a fix?

Presenting Author:

Roger Bilham <bilham@colorado.edu>