Geologist awarded Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship

Dan Faulkner

Professor Dan Faulkner, from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences, has been awarded a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship to further his research into the mechanics of earthquakes.

The prestigious award is for scientists who would benefit from a period of full-time research without teaching and administrative duties, and Professor Faulkner is one of only seven new Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship holders appointed.

Professor Faulkner’s research aims to better understand the physical processes that take place when earthquakes happen.

Precursory signals

Using unique laboratory equipment developed at Liverpool, he will replicate conditions during earthquakes to measure the physical response of earthquake slip.

These results will be used alongside large-scale models to aid what is known about earthquake nucleation, and whether or not there are precursory signals associated with this phase that could be monitored in the future.

This research will also improve what is known about rupture propagation, which dictates if a small earthquake will grow into a larger event and what the properties will be, such as how fast it will travel and how much stress might be released – both of which influence how destructive the earthquake will be.

Great forces

Professor Faulkner said: “I am delighted to receive this Fellowship which provides a unique opportunity to capitalise on my research into the physical properties of fault zones and the mechanics of earthquakes.

“Learning how the Earth works and understanding one of the great forces of nature is truly exciting. More realistic measurements of simulated laboratory earthquakes coupled with better measurements of real earthquakes are needed in order to improve our scientific understanding.

“This research will feed into our knowledge of the earthquake process and our ability to predict earthquake behaviour.”


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