Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Erin Wirth Moriarty

Professional name: Erin A. Wirth

My research focuses on earthquake hazards, specifically in subduction zone settings. I am currently using 3-D numerical simulations to predict earthquake ground motions associated with large earthquakes in the Cascadia subduction zone, as well as on crustal faults systems. I integrate my work with geologic and geophysical observations from previous earthquakes, and work closely with engineers and social scientists to improve earthquake resilience in the Pacific Northwest. I am also interested in the generation of strong ground motions by distinct patches on the megathrust (i.e., as observed in the 2011 M9.0 Tohoku, Japan earthquake) and the amplification of ground motions by deep sedimentary basins (e.g., the Seattle basin).

My other research interests focus on using seismic observations and numerical modeling to characterize the structure and dynamics of Earth’s interior. Previously, I have used seismological techniques (such as receiver functions and shear wave splitting) to interrogate deformational processes and the extent of hydration in subduction systems worldwide.


2014                    Ph.D. Geology & Geophysics, Yale University
2011                    M.Phil. Geology & Geophysics, Yale University
2009                    B.S. Physics, New York University


2017-Present      Research Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey, Seattle, WA
2017-Present      Affiliate Assistant Professor, University of Washington
2014-2018          Duty Seismologist, Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, University of Washington
2014-2017          Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Earth & Space Sciences, University of Washington
2009-2014          Graduate Student Researcher, Department of Geology & Geophysics, Yale University