Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Eric Hetland’s research is broadly concerned with lithospheric deformation, principally the inference of the mechanical properties of the crust and upper mantle from observations. He also works on new methods to constrain time dependent deformation from InSAR observations. The problems Dr. Hetland is concerned with cover several spatial and temporal scales, and include:
- Deformation during all phases of the earthquake cycle.
- Deformation of geothermal and volcanic systems.
- Deformation associated with fluids in the crust.
- Deformation of the lithosphere during the development and evolution of fault systems.
The most fundamental aspect of Dr. Hetland’s research is developing analytic and semi-analytic models in order to gain physical intuition into mechanical systems. Additionally, he uses numeric models to explore a wider range of geometries and rheologies than analytic models allow. All of these models can be used to explore the mechanical properties of the lithosphere; however, finite element models that contain the important rheologies and honor the known structure of the lithosphere are needed to infer the mechanical properties from observations. These model-based inferences are most often non-unique, and thus instead of a single preferred model, he pursues a suite of models consistent with the observations. To learn more about Eric’s research and opportunities for students and postdocs, please see his research web site.
Field(s) of Study
- Lithospheric dynamics and crustal mechanics