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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

United States

Project Description

Understanding the complex relationship between earthquakes and volcanic processes is crucial to improve our knowledge of the geological phenomena but also to reduce the risks of seismic and volcanic hazards in vulnerable regions. Therefore, the primary objective of this hosting opportunity is to advance our understanding of the interactions between subduction zone earthquakes and volcanic activity in Chile. This hosting opportunity involving Leoncio Cabrera (an early career scientist from Universidad de Chile) visiting William Frank (an early career scientist at MIT), aligns seamlessly with SZNet (Subduction Zone Network) and geohazard science by addressing critical questions such as how volcano unrest can be triggered by megathrust and intraplate intermediate depth earthquakes?

During the stay at MIT, Cabrera will use Chilean seismic and geodetic data to identify patterns and correlations between subduction earthquakes and volcanic eruptions by implementing cutting-edge detection and analysis techniques. With a target stay of one month, we will focus on the Copahue Volcano using data from broadband instruments and GNSS networks provided by the Centro Sismológico Nacional (CSN) and the Observatorio Volcanológico de los Andes del Sur (OVDAS). This volcano is especially interesting because it has long-term data (e.g., seismic and GNSS since 2012 and 2015, respectively) during which large earthquakes (e.g., Mw 8.3 Illapel earthquake, Farias & Basualto, 2020) have been recorded as well as several phreatic-to-phreatomagmatic eruptive episodes (e.g., Hantusch et al., 2021). Cabrera will learn how to implement advanced data analysis techniques developed and used in our group, including machine learning algorithms, template matching, GNSS decomposition, among others. This will allow the team to gain meaningful insights from this vast dataset using an approach that can be replicable and scaled by the visitor to the whole Chilean volcanic system in the future.

In addition, the visitor will work closely with our interdisciplinary team of geoscientists, seismologists, and volcanologists at MIT to foster a collaborative research environment, engaging in regular discussions and seminars, to share findings and insights within the research community.

Proposed Hosting Period

During MIT’s fall semester (September to December) would be the ideal timing, when most students, postdocs, and faculty will be present on campus, making Cabrera’s visit the most effective.


At MIT, we will be able to host Cabrera, providing him everything essential to conduct the proposed research during his visit, including but not limited to space, internet, and access to computing and library resources.

Additional Comments

I realize that this is an already decided host-visitor setup, so I am unsure of how best to handle this within the framework of the program.

PI Name & email: 

Frank William

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