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Eric Dunham

Eric Dunham

Associate Professor, Geophysics
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, Physics (2005)
B.S., University of Virginia, Physics (2000)


(650) 725-6989

Population growth is increasingly bringing more people into areas prone to natural hazards, especially earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions—as the events of the past few years have demonstrated. Motivated by both the desire to reduce risk and an innate curiosity about how the natural world operates, my personal research focuses on the development and use of physics-based computational simulations to characterize and understand earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, and similar phenomena. With a background in theoretical physics and mathematics, my approach is to identify the fundamental mechanical processes governing the system, develop numerical models incorporating these processes, validate them using geophysical observations, and then use the models to predict system behavior. Specific research areas include earthquake rupture dynamics, tsunami generation, volcano seismology and infrasound, ice stream stick-slip events and flexural-gravity waves in ice shelves, and numerical methods for wave propagation