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RAP opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory     AFRL

Numerical modeling of seismic generation by underground explosions


Space Vehicles Directorate, RV/Battle Space Environment

opportunity location
13.40.12.C0502 Kirtland Air Force Base, NM 871175776


name email phone
Glenn Eli Baker 505.846.6070


Compared with other geophysical monitoring research, explosion dynamics studies are sparse with respect to varied source parameters (e.g., depth, yield, topography, source geometry, source media material properties, and prestress) and the corresponding wave fields. There have also been a limited number of modeling studies that investigate the effects of varied source generation on local and regional seismic waveforms (e.g. Stevens and O’Brien, 2018). Elucidating such cause and effect relationships will require sophisticated modeling techniques including time-dependent approaches such as finite element or finite difference methods. Some recent studies have made significant progress on numerical modeling efforts with regard to the Source Physics Experiment (SPE) (e.g., Steedman et al., 2016; Ford and Vorobiev, 2020). Also, with recent improvements in computing power and expanding access to high performance computing resources, large-scale parameter space studies are possible and currently developing. However, such modeling studies are still spatiotemporally limited due to the specific computer code, the physics within the code, and/or the computer architecture utilized. Additionally, integrating observed data (e.g., topography, tomography) into these models can be challenging and time consuming. 

Application of advanced time-dependent numerical models to problems in seismic monitoring is a continuously developing area of research. Applications encompass, but aren’t limited to, advanced numerical modeling techniques, physics of seismic source generation and propagation, machine learning in seismology, and large-scale parameter space studies. Numerical modeling skills that could build on these efforts, or combine them with wave propagation models and/or machine learning techniques, are sought.

Ford, S. R., and Vorobiev, O. Y. (2020). Characterization of Spall in Hard Rock from Observations and Simulations of the Source Physics Experiment Phase I. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America110(2), 596-612.

Steedman, D. W., Bradley, C. R., Rougier, E., and Coblentz, D. D. (2016). Phenomenology and modeling of explosion-generated shear energy for the source physics experiments. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America106(1), 42-53.

Stevens, J. L., and O'Brien, M. (2018). 3D nonlinear calculation of the 2017 North Korean nuclear test. Seismological Research Letters89(6), 2068-2077.

key words
Numerical Modeling; Explosion Source Physics; Seismic Source Generation; Explosion Monitoring


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$80,000.00 $5,000.00

$3,000 Supplement for Doctorates in Engineering & Computer Science

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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