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Interaction between fluid flow and stress fields from seismicity

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 03, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project Rationale:
The flow of high-pressure fluids in the Earth’s crust commonly causes rocks to fracture, thereby causing measurable small magnitude earthquakes (micro-seismicity) to occur. Capturing the microseismicity at high resolution is therefore a powerful tool for mapping out the spatial and temporal migration of fluids. In addition, earthquake source parameters such as focal mechanisms, as well as properties of the rock sampled by the earthquake rays such as anisotropy, provide valuable clues regarding the state of stress of the fracturing rock. There is however, ongoing controversy regarding how and where fluids are focused and migrate in natural settings such as volcanoes [1] and fault zones [2], as well as in settings of human-induced seismicity such as wastewater disposal and fracking [3] . It also remains unclear how migrating fluids modify the stress state of the Earth [1], and what conditions are required to generate fluid related earthquakes [3]. Answering these questions are important for understanding the behavior of volcanoes and geothermal systems, and also for evaluating the spatial and temporal link between of human sourced geofluids and induced earthquakes, and the causal mechanisms.

Funding Notes

You can apply for fully-funded studentships (stipend and fees) from INSPIRE if you:
Are a UK or EU national.
Have no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK.
Have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the project.

Please click View Website for more information on eligibilty and how to apply


• [1] Greenfield, T., Keir, D., Kendall, J-M., & Ayele, A. (2019). Seismicity of the Bora–Tullu-Moye volcanic field, 2016-2017. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. DOI: 10.1029/2018GC007648
• [2] Illsley-Kemp, F., Greenfield, T., & Keir, D. (2018). Seismic anisotropy reveals a dynamic link between adjacent magmatic segments prior to dyke Intrusion. Journal of Geophysical Research, 123, 1-17. DOI: 10.1029/2018JB016420
• [3] Hincks, T., Aspinall, W., Cooke, R., & Gernon, T. (2018). Oklahoma’s induced seismicity strongly linked to wastewater injection depth. Science, 359(6381), 1251-1255. [aap7911]. DOI: 10.1126/science.aap7911

How good is research at University of Southampton in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 68.62

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