River Kwai, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Matthew Herman

Assistant Professor
Department of Geological Sciences
California State University, Bakersfield

Welcome

Hello visitor! I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at California State University, Bakersfield. I got my Ph.D. in 2017 from Penn State, then I did my postdocĀ at Utrecht University ebefore coming to Bakersfield.

Very broadly, I am interested in lithospheric deformation processes (basically, how the upper ~100 km of the Earth bends, breaks, and flows), and particularly how this deformation relates to earthquake cycles and seismic hazards.

If you are interested in these topics, I am looking for motivated master's and undergraduate students to work on research projects with me! Email me at mherman2 (at) csub (dot) edu for more information!

CV Hdef Tutorials

I also enjoy sharing my science as widely as possible (if you ever sit next to me on a plane, you will find that out quickly). Check out my Meet the Expert talks on earthquake magnitudes and earthquake triggering at the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Science in Bakersfield, or my talk on historical records of earthquakes at the Ridge Route Museum in Frazier Park!

Latest Research

Extreme Deformation Above a Megathrust Earthquake — The 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake

On July 21, 2020, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake occurred in the Aleutian subduction zone. This earthquake was not surprising - it was located within the inferred rupture zone of a great megathrust earthquake that occurred in 1938. The event ruptured across the edge of the rupture zone into the "Shumagin Gap," a section of the plate boundary that is thought to be uncoupled and incapable of hosting a large plate interface earthquake.

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake inside the Shumagin Gap on October 19, 2020, put that interpretation into question. However, this event was a strike-slip earthquake inside the subducting Pacific plate. Our modeling of the stresses in this region suggest that this earthquake paradoxically is more likely to occur when the Shumagin Gap is poorly coupled. The July event and its aftershock sequence helped to trigger the October earthquake.

More about the Kaikoura earthquake and its implications...

The 2020 Shumagin Islands Earthquake Sequence

On July 21, 2020, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake occurred in the Aleutian subduction zone. This earthquake was not surprising - it was located within the inferred rupture zone of a great megathrust earthquake that occurred in 1938. The event ruptured across the edge of the rupture zone into the "Shumagin Gap," a section of the plate boundary that is thought to be uncoupled and incapable of hosting a large plate interface earthquake.

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake inside the Shumagin Gap on October 19, 2020, put that interpretation into question. However, this event was a strike-slip earthquake inside the subducting Pacific plate. Our modeling of the stresses in this region suggest that this earthquake paradoxically is more likely to occur when the Shumagin Gap is poorly coupled. The July event and its aftershock sequence helped to trigger the October earthquake.

More about the 2020 Shumagin Islands earthquake sequence...