California Institute of Technology
Seismological Laboratory Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences


Thomas Goebel

Thomas Goebel

Post Doctoral Scholar in Geophysics

Ph.D., 2013, University of Southern California

California Institute of Technology
Seismological Laboratory
1200 E. California Blvd., MS 252-21
So. Mudd Building, Rm 262
Pasadena, CA 91125

Phone: (626) 395-3825
Fax: (626) 564-0715


My research focuses on the analysis of seismicity, i.e., the location, size, origin-time and source characteristics of seismic events, from the micro-scale of laboratory analog experiments to the plate boundary scale. I am interested in understanding how the interplay of loading stresses and fault structure lead to the creation of distinct populations of seismic events. Seismic events tend to cluster in both space and time. This clustering can be described empirically by a range of relationships from Omori-Utsu and Gutenberg-Richter to fractal descriptions of hypocenter locations in space and as function of distance to the nearest fault. However, much of the underlying processes that lead to systematic variation of the involved statistical parameters are insufficiently understood. My research has the aim to integrate results from the analysis of seismicity in Southern California with previous laboratory experiments to better understand the creation of seismic event populations over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales.

Here is a list of some things I have worked on in the past and some of my on-going research efforts: The quantification of fault roughness, fault stresses and structures; the statistics of acoustic emissions during earthquake analog experiments; preparatory processes before the onset of stick-slip; seismic off-fault activity distributions, spatial and temporal b-value variations and their connection to stress; repeating earthquakes and earthquake relocations; fault evolution during repeated stick-slip on structurally complex faults; source parameter scaling; earthquake stress-drops; seismic source spectra and moment estimates.