John Cassidy - Earthquake Seismology

John Cassidy

Name: John Cassidy
Field of expertise: Earthquake Seismology
Education: Ph.D. in Geophysics, University of British Columbia
Works at: Natural Resources Canada’s Geological Survey of Canada in Sidney, British Columbia

What he studies

Dr. Cassidy studies earthquakes and earthquake hazards across Canada. He is applying new methods to obtain precise earthquake locations by looking for "hidden” faults and is helping to map the forces that cause earthquakes. His research looks at what controls ground shaking, including the earthquake source and rupture characteristics, wave propagation, and local site effects. He works closely with the engineering community and emergency managers and planners.

What is the importance of his research?

Recent global events demonstrate the potential for earthquakes to devastate communities. Dr. Cassidy’s research provides important information to improve national codes and standards, such as building codes and dam codes, which will help to reduce losses and impacts from future earthquakes in Canada. The results of such studies are used on a daily basis for designing earthquake-resistant buildings and related decision-making.

Interesting fact

Dr. Cassidy was a part of the Canadian Association of Earthquake Engineers Reconnaissance Team that travelled to Chile immediately after the devastating 2010 magnitude 8.8 earthquake. There he witnessed first-hand the impact of this earthquake and tsunami and the critical role that earthquake science, engineering, and public education plays in saving lives.

Current research project

Dr. Cassidy and his team are currently studying how ground shaking from wind, waves or traffic can be used to evaluate how earthquake shaking varies with geological conditions and how buildings vibrate during earthquakes, among other projects. Dr. Cassidy is also working closely with international colleagues to learn from recent global earthquakes.

Key publications

Balfour, N. J., Cassidy, J. F., Dosso, S. E. (in press) Identifying active structures using double-difference earthquake relocations in Southwest British Columbia and the San Juan Islands, Washington, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

Balfour, N. J., Cassidy, J. F., Dosso, S. E., Mazzotti, S. (2011). Mapping crustal stress and strain in Southwest British Columbia, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, 11 p.

Cassidy, J. F., Rogers, G. C., Lamontagne, M., Halchuk, S., Adams, J. (2010). Canada's Earthquakes: "the good, the bad, and the ugly", Geoscience Canada, 37, (1), 1-16.

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