Dom Tower, Utrecht, Netherlands

Matthew Herman

Postdoctoral Researcher
Tectonophysics Research Group
Utrecht University

About Me

Hi! I am Matt, and I am a postdoc at Utrecht University. I grew up in St. Louis and went to Amherst College and then Penn State for grad school.

I study the processes through which the Earth deforms, especially those that cause earthquakes.

I also like to cook.

Research Interests

Lithospheric Applications of Finite Elements

The Earth is a complicated place, with mechanical and rheological heterogeneity that is often ignored in favor of a conceptually or computationally simpler model. I use finite element models developed at Utrecht University to understand subduction zone earthquake cycles, with a focus on determining when in the earthquake cycle it is okay to simplify and when more complex models are required.

Stress Changes and Earthquake Triggering

Earthquakes (and other events such as wastewater injection) change the forces acting on nearby faults. I am interested in how these events promote or inhibit seismic activity on these nearby structures, and whether such analysis can be used to anticipate seismic hazards.

Seismo-Geodesy

With improvements in the precision, accuracy, and sampling rate of both seismometers and geodetic tools, both sets of observations are increasingly necessary for a complete description of deformation throughout the earthquake cycle. I am interested in where these observation tools overlap, where they are complementary, and what these different techniques can tell us about earthquake processes.

Regional Seismic Source Characterization

Earthquakes are commonly analyzed using observations from 3,000-10,000 km away ("teleseismic" distances), which works great for events magnitude 5.5 and larger. But what about those finicky smaller earthquakes? I have worked with colleagues at the USGS and Saint Louis University using regional (less than 1000 km away) observations to constrain earthquake source parameters for much smaller events. These little earthquakes can reveal a lot about deformation processes.

Experience

Professional

2017 -
Utrecht University
Postdoctoral Researcher

Education

2012-2017
The Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D. Geosciences

2010-2012
The Pennsylvania State University
M.S. Geosciences

2005-2009
Amherst College
B.A. Geology and Physics

Websites of Interest

Personal

Scientific/Computing

For Fun