Daniel E McNamara


Daniel McNamara is a Research Geophysicist at the USGS Geologic Hazards Science Center, in Golden, Colorado.

Currently working in the National Seismic Hazard Modeling Project on induced earthquake forecasts, ground motion modeling and hazard forecast validation with an amphasis on Oklahoma and the central US. In addition I work on improving earthquake and tsunami monitoring at the USGS National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) using the global network of permanent seismic stations (ANSSGSN). This includes quantitative assessment of individual seismic station noise characteristics, understanding the nature of seismic noise sources, and optimizing seismic network design. In recent years I've been involved in improving the USGS rapid response to aftershock sequences in places such as Samoa, Haiti, and the continental US (Virginia, Colorado, Oklahoma) in order to measure needed shaking hazard mitigation parameters such as ground motion attenuation and site amplification.

Employment History


Memberships and Service

  • team teach Introduction to Global Geophysics at the Colorado School of Mines
  • member of the UNESCO-IOC working group charged with designing a tsunami warning system for the Caribbean region
  • serve on the IRIS data management system standing committee
  • member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • member of the Seismological Society of America (SSA)


(71) McMahon, N. D., H.  M. Benz, C. E. Johnson, R. C. Aster1 , W. L., Yeck, and D. E. McNamara, (2017). Application of subspace detection to the 6 November 2011 M5.7 1 Prague, Oklahoma aftershock sequence, Geophys. Res. Lett., in press.

(70) Petersen, Mark, D., Charles S. Mueller, Morgan P. Moschetti, Susan M. Hoover, Allison M. Shumway, Daniel E. McNamara, Robert A. Williams, Andrea L. Llenos, William L. Ellsworth, Andrew J. Michael, Justin L. Rubinstein, Arthur F. McGarr, and Kenneth S. Rukstales (2017). 2017 One-Year Seismic Hazard Forecast for the Central and Eastern United States from Induced and Natural Earthquakes, Seism. Res. Lett., 88, 4, 1-12. doi: 10.1785/0220170005.

(69) Boyd, O.S., D. E. McNamara, S. Hartzell, and G. Choy (2017). Influence of Lithostatic Stress on Earthquake Stress Drops in North America, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 107, 2, 856-868. doi: 10.1785/0120160219.

(68) Yeck, W., G. Hayes, D. McNamara, J. Rubinstein, H. Benz, P. Earle (2017). Oklahoma experiences the largest earthquake despite reductions in wastewater injection, Geophys, Res. Lett. 44, 2, 711-717. DOI: 10.1002/2016GL071685.

(67) McNamara, D.E., W. Yeck, W. Barnhart, V. Schulte-Pelkum,E. Bergman, L. B Adhikari, A. Dixit, S. Hough, H. Benz, P. Earle (2016). Source Modeling of the 2015 Mw 7.8 Nepal (Gorkha) Earthquake Sequence: Implications for Geodynamics and Earthquake Hazards, Tectonophysics, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2016.08.004

(66) Yeck, W. L., M. Weingarten, H. M. Benz, D. E. McNamara, E. Bergman, R. B. Herrmann, J. Rubinstein, and P. S. Earle (2016), Far-field pressurization likely caused one of the largest injection induced earthquakes by reactivating a large pre-existing basement fault structure, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, doi:10.1002/2016GL070861.

(65) Choy, G. L., J. L. Rubinstein, W. L. Yeck, D. E. McNamara, C. S. Mueller, O. S. Boyd, A Rare Moderate‐Sized (Mw 4.9) Earthquake in Kansas: Rupture Process of the Milan, Kansas, Earthquake of 12 November 2014 and Its Relationship to Fluid Injection (2016).  Seism. Res. Lett., 87, 5. DOI: 10.1785/0220160100

(64) Leith W., David Wald, Daniel McNamara, Rob Williams and Vince Quitoriano (2016). An Earthquake Scenario for Cushing, Oklahoma, USGS-AR.

(63) McNamara, D.E., Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade, Jean-Marie Saurel, V. Huerfano, L. Lynch (2016). Quantifying 10 years of Improved Earthquake Monitoring Performance in the Caribbean RegionSeism. Res. Lett., 87, 1, 26-36. doi: 10.1785/0220150095 [Link]

(62) Johnson, Kendra, L., Gavin P. Hayes, Robert B. Herrmann, Harley M. Benz, Daniel E. McNamara and Eric Bergman (2016). RMT focal plane sensitivity to seismic network geometry and faulting style, Geophys. J. Int., 206 (1): 525-556. [Download File]

(61) McNamara, D.E., J. L. Rubinstein, E. Myers, G. Smoczyk, H.M. Benz, R.A. Williams, G. Hayes, D. Wilson, R. Herrmann, N.D. McMahon, R.C. Aster, E. Bergman, A. Holland, P. Earle, (2015), Efforts to monitor and characterize the recent increasing seismicity in central Oklahoma, The Leading Edge, Special Section: Injection-induced seismicity, June 2015, 936-943. [Link]

(60) McNamara, D.E., H. M. Benz, R. B. Herrmann, E.A. Bergman, P. Earle, A. Holland, R. Baldwin, and A. Gassner, (2015), Earthquake hypocenters and focal mechanisms in central Oklahoma reveal a complex system of reactivated subsurface strike-slip faulting, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 2742-2749, doi: 10.1002/2014GL062730. [Link]

(59) McNamara, D.E., G.P. Hayes, H.M. Benz, R.A. Williams, N.D. McMahon, R.C. Aster, A. Holland, T. Sickbert, R. Herrmann, R. Briggs, G. Smoczyk, E. Bergman, P. Earle, (2015), Reactivated faulting near Cushing Oklahoma: increased potential for a triggered earthquake in an area of United States strategic infrastructure, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 20, 8328–833. DOI: 10.1002/2015GL064669[Link]

(58) Hayes, G. P., W. Barnhart, R. Briggs, W. Yeck, D.E. McNamara, D. Wald, J. Nealy, H. Benz, R. Gold, K. Jaiswal, K. Marano, P. Earle, M. Hearne, G. Smoczyk, L. Wald, and S. Samsonov (2015). Rapid Characterization of the 2015 Mw 7.8 Nepal (Gorkha) Earthquake, Seism. Res. Lett., 86, 6, 1557-1567. doi: 10.1785/0220150145. [Link]

(57) Dixit, Mani, A., Shrestha, S.N., Rajaure, S., Ringler, A., Sumy, D.F., Cochran, E. Hough, S.E., Martin, S.S., S Gibbons, S., Luetgert, J.H., Galetzka, J. and McNamara, D., (2015). Strong Motion Recordings of the M7.8 Gorkha, Nepal Earthquake Sequence from Low-Cost, Quake Catcher Network Accelerometers, Seism. Res. Lett., 86, 6, 1533-1539. doi: 10.1785/0220150146 [Link]

(56) McNamara, D.E., Stephenson, W.J., Odum, J.K., Williams, R.A., and Gee, L., (2015), Site response in the eastern United States: A comparison of Vs30 measurements with estimates from horizontal:vertical spectral ratios, in Horton, J.W., Jr., Chapman, M.C., and Green, R.A., eds., The 2011 Mineral, Virginia, Earthquake, and Its Significance for Seismic Hazards in Eastern North America: Geological Society of America Special Paper 509, doi:10.1130/2015.2509(04). [Download File]

(55) Stephenson, W.J., Odum, J.K., McNamara, D.E., Williams, R.A., and Angster, S.J., (2015), Ground-motion site effects from multimethod shear-wave velocity characterization at 16 seismograph stations deployed for aftershocks of the August 2011 Mineral, Virginia, earthquake, in Horton, J.W., Jr., Chapman, M.C., and Green, R.A., eds., The 2011 Mineral, Virginia, Earthquake, and Its Significance for Seismic Hazards in Eastern North America: Geological Society of America Special Paper 509. [Download File]

(54) Horton, J.W., Shah, A.K., McNamara, D.E., Snyder, S.L., and Carter, A.M., (2015), Aftershocks illuminate the 2011 Mineral, Virginia, earthquake causative fault zone and nearby active faults, in Horton, J.W., Jr., Chapman, M.C., and Green, R.A., eds., The 2011 Mineral, Virginia, Earthquake, and Its Significance for Seismic Hazards in Eastern North America: Geological Society of America Special Paper 509, doi:10.1130/2015.2509(14). [Download File]

(53) Pratt, T.L., Horton, J.W., Jr., Spears, D.B., Gilmer, A.K., and McNamara, D.E., (2015), The 2011 Virginia Mw 5.8 earthquake: Insights from seismic reflection imaging into the influence of older structures on eastern U.S. seismicity, in Horton, J.W., Jr., Chapman, M.C., and Green, R.A., eds., The 2011 Mineral, Virginia, Earth- quake, and Its Significance for Seismic Hazards in Eastern North America: Geological Society of America Special Paper 509, p. 1–10, doi:10.1130/2015.2509(16). [Download File]

(52) Benz, H., N. McMahon, R. Aster, D.E. McNamara and D. Harris, (2015), Hundreds of Earthquakes per Day: The 2014 Guthrie, Oklahoma earthquake sequence, Seism. Res. Lett., 86,5, 1-8.[Download File]

(51) Hayes, G.P., Jones, E.S., Stadler, T.J., Barnhart, W.D., McNamara, D.E., Benz, H.M., Furlong, K.P., and Villaseñor, Antonio, (2014), Seismicity of the Earth 1900–2013 East African Rift: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1083-P, 1 sheet, scale 1:8,500,000 [Link]

(50) Hayes, G.P., Smoczyk, G.M., Ooms, J.G., McNamara, D.E., Furlong, K.P., Benz, H.M., and Villaseñor, Antonio, (2014), Seismicity of the Earth 1900–2013 Offshore British Columbia–southeastern Alaska and vicinity: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1083–O, 1 sheet, scale 1:3,500,000 [Link]

(49) McNamara, D.E, Benz, H.M., Herrmann, R.B., Bergman, E.A., and Chapman, M., (2014), The Mw 5.8 Central Virginia seismic zone earthquake sequence of August 23, 2011: Constraints on earthquake source parameters and fault geometryBull. Seism. Soc. Am., 104, 1. [Download File]

(48) Hartzell, S., M. Meremonte, L. Ramirez-Guzman, and D. McNamara (2014), Ground motion in the presence of complex topography: Earthquake and ambient noise sources, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 104, doi: 10.1785/0120130088. [Download File]

(47) McNamara, D. E., L. Gee, H. Benz, and M. Chapman, (2014), Frequency dependent seismic attenuation in the eastern US as observed from the 2011 central Virginia earthquake and aftershock sequenceBull. Seism. Soc. Am., 104, 1. [Download File]

(46) Hayes G. P., D. E. McNamara, L. Seidman, and J. Roger (2013), Quantifying potential earthquake and tsunami hazard in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone of the Caribbean Region,Geophys. J. Int.,196, 510–521, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt385. [Download File]

(45) Petersen, M.D., Harmsen, S.C., Rukstales, K.S., Mueller, C.S., McNamara, D.E., Luco, Nicolas, and Walling, Melanie, (2012), Seismic hazard of American Samoa and neighboring South Pacific Islands—Methods, data, parameters, and results: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1087, 98 p. [Link]

(44) Pazzaglia, F., A. Meltzer, C. Berti, N. Barstow, D. McNamara, A. Leeds, M. Meremonte, J. Luetgert, J. Hole, M. Chapman, L. Brown, Won-Young Kim, S. Horton, B. Herrmann, and S. Stein (2012),Mineral, VA Earthquake Demonstrates the Passive Aggressive Margin of Eastern North AmericaEarthscope Insights Newsletter. [Link]

(43) McNamara, D.E., M. Meremonte, J. Z. Maharrey, S-L. Mildore, J. R. Altidore, D. Anglade, S. E. Hough, D. Given, H. Benz, L. Gee, and A. Frankel (2012), Frequency-Dependent Seismic Attenuation within the Hispaniola Island Region of the Caribbean SeaBulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), Vol. 102, No. 2, doi: 10.1785/0120110137 [Download File]

(42) Rastin, S. R., C.P.Unsworth, K.Gledhill, D.E. McNamara (2012), A Detailed Noise Characterization and Sensor Evaluation of the North Island of New Zealand using a PQLX Ambient Noise Model, The Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), Vol. 102, No. 1, pp. 98–113, doi: 10.1785/0120110064. [Download File]

(41) McNamara, D.E., and Boaz, R.I., 2011, PQLX: A seismic data quality control system description, applications, and users manual: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1292, 41 p.[Link]

(40) McNamara, D. E., A. T. Ringler, C. R. Hutt, and L. S. Gee (2011), Seismically observed seiching in the Panama Canal, J. Geophys. Res., 116, B04312, doi:10.1029/2010JB007930. [Download File]

(39) Tsai, V. C. and D. E. McNamara (2011), Quantifying the influence of sea ice on ocean microseism using observations from the Bering Sea, Alaska, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L22502, doi:10.1029/2011GL049791. [Download File]

(38) Aster, R. C., D. E. McNamara, and P. D. Bromirski, (2010) Global trends in extremal microseism intensity, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L14303, doi:10.1029/2010GL043472, 2010. [Download File]

(37) Ringler, A.T., L. S. Gee, C. R. Hutt, D. E. McNamara (2010), Temporal variations in global seismic station ambient noise power levels, Seis. Res. Lett., 81(4) pp.605-613, 2010. [Download File]

(36) Walter, F., S. O'Neel, D. McNamara, W. T. Pfeffer, J. N. Bassis, and H. A. Fricker (2010), Iceberg calving during transition from grounded to floating ice: Columbia Glacier, Alaska, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L15501, doi:10.1029/2010GL043201. [Download File]

(35) Aster, R., D.E. McNamara, P. Bromirski, Studying Earth's Ocean Wave Cimate Using Microseisms, IRIS 2009 Annual Report, IRIS Consortium, 2009. [Link]

(34) McNamara, D.E., C.R. Hutt, L.S. Gee, R.P. Buland, and H.M. Benz (2009). A method to establish seismic noise baselines for automated station assessment, Seis. Res. Lett., 80, 4, 628-637.[Download File]

(33) Boaz, R.I., and D.E. McNamaraPQLX: A Data Quality Control System, Uses and Applications, ORFEUS Newsletter, June 2008. [Link]

(32) Gee, L., D. McNamara, J. Weaver, H. Benz, D. Ford, G. Gyure, The USGS Caribbean Seismic Network, IRIS 2008 Annual Report, 2008. [Link]

(31) Aster, R., D. McNamara, P. Bromirski, Multi-Decadal Climate-Induced Oceanic Microseism Variability, Seismo. Res. Lett., 79, 2, 2008. [Download File]

(30) O’Neel S., H.P. Marshall, D.E. McNamara, and W.T. Pfeffer, Detection and analysis of icequakes at Columbia glacier, AK , J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf., 112, 2007. [Download File]

(29) McNamara, D. E., L. Gee, C. Hutt, H. Benz, and J. Weaver, Improving global earthquake and tsunami monitoring: The USGS response to a Presidential initiative, IRIS Newsletter, issue 2, 2006. [Link]

(28) O'Neel, S., McNamara, D. E.and Pfeffer, T., Geophysical Investigations of Rapid Tidewater Glacier Retreat, IRIS Newsletter, issue 1, 2006. [Link]

(27) McNamara, D. E., McCarthy, J. and H. Benz, Improving Earthquake and Tsunami Warning for the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet, NO. 2006-3012, 4p., 2006. [Link]

(26) McNamara, D. E., and R.I. Boaz, Seismic Noise Analysis System, Power Spectral Density Probability Density Function: Stand-Alone Software Package, United States Geological Survey Open File Report, NO. 2005-1438, 30p., 2005. [Link]

(25) McNamara, D. E., R.P. Buland, and H.M. Benz, An Assesment of the high-gain STS2 seismometer for earthquake monitoring in the United StatesUSGS Open-File Report, NO. 2005-1437, 25p., 2005. [Link]

(24) McNamara, D. E., H.M. Benz and W. Leith, An Assessment of Seismic Noise Levels for the ANSS Backbone and Selected Regional Broadband StationsUnited States Geological Survey, Open-File Report, NO. 2005-1077, 19p., 2005. [Link]

(23) Erickson, D., D. E. McNamara and H. M. Benz, Frequency dependent Lg Q within the continental United States, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 94,5,1630-1643, 2004. [Download File]

(22) McNamara, D. E., and R.P. Buland, Ambient Noise Levels in the Continental United States, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 94, 4, 1517-1527, 2004. [Download File]

(21) McNamara, D. E., and M. Pasyanos, Seismological evidence for a sub-volcanic mantle wedge beneath the Denali volcanic gap, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29,16, 61-64, 2002. [Download File]

(20) McNamara, D. E., and W. R. Walter, Mapping crustal heterogeneity using Lg propagation efficiency throughout the middle east, Mediterranean, southern Europe, and northern Africa, PAGEOPH, 158, 1165-1188, 2001. [Download File]

(19) Hazler, S. E., A. F. Sheehan, D. E. McNamara, and W. R. Walter, One-dimensional shear velocity structure of Northern Africa from Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion, PAGEOPH, 158, 1475-1493, 2001. [Download File]

(18) McNamara, D. E.Frequency dependence of Lg attenuation in south-central Alaska, Geophys., Res., Lett., 23, 3949-3952, 2000. [Download File]

(17) Vernon, F.,L., G. L. Pavlis, T. J. Owens, D. E. McNamara, P. N. Anderson, Near-surface scattering effects observed with a high-frequency phased array at Pinyon Flats, California, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 88, 1548-1560, 1998. [Download File]

(16) McNamara, D.E., C. Schultz, and R.A. Hansen, Pn velocity structure from south western Europe to western Asia, LLNL-UCRL-JC-129300, 1998. [Download File]

(15) McNamara, D.E., and W.R. Walter, Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion across Northern Africa, Southern Europe and the Middle East, LLNL-UCRL-JC-128102, 1997. [Link]

(14) McNamara, D. E., W. R. Walter, T. J. Owens and C. J. Ammon, Upper mantle structure beneath the Tibetan Plateau from Pn travel time tomography, Journal of Geophysical Research, 102, 493-505, 1997. [Download File]

(13) Pasyanos, M. E., W.R. Walter, S. E. Hazler, and D. E. McNamaraSurface wave research in the middle east and north Africa, LLNL-UCRL-JC-130747, 1997. [Download File]

(12) McNamara, D. E., T. J. Owens and W. R. Walter, Propagation characteristics of Lg across the Tibetan Plateau, Bull. Seis. Soc. Am., 86, 457-469, 1996. [Download File]

(11) McNamara, D. E.Lithospheric structure of the Tibetan Plateau, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 1995. [Link]

(10) McNamara, D.E., and W.R. Walter, Lithospheric structure of the Tibetan Plateau from relocation of local and regional earthquakes, LLNL-UCRL-JC-111111, 1995.

(9) McNamara, D. E., T. J. Owens and W. R. Walter, Observations of regional phase propagation across the Tibetan Plateau, Journal of Geophysical Research, 100, 22,215-22,229, 1995. [Download File]

(8) McNamara, D. E., T. J. Owens and W. R. Walter, Propagation characteristics of Lg across the Tibetan Plateau, LLNL-UCRL-JC-121522, 1995. [Download File]

(7) McNamara, D. E., T. J. Owens, F. T. Wu and P. G. Silver, Shear wave anisotropy beneath the Tibetan Plateau, Journal of Geophysical Research, 99, 13,655-13,655, 1994. [Download File]

(6) McNamara, D. E., T. J. Owens and W. R. Walter, Observations of regional phase propagation across the Tibetan Plateau, LLNL-UCRL-JC-118928, 1994. [Download File]

(5) McNamara, D. E., and T. J. Owens, Azimuthal shear wave velocity anisotropy in the Basin and Range province using Moho Ps converted phases, Journal of Geophysical Research, 98, 12,003-12,017, 1993. [Download File]

(4) Owens, T.J., G.E. Randall, D.E. McNamara and F.T. Wu, Data Report for the 1991-92 Tibetan Plateau passive-source seismic experiment, PASSCAL Data Rep. #93-005, IRIS, Wash. DC, 1993.[Download File]

(3) Owens, T. J., P. N. Anderson, and D. E. McNamaraData report for the 1990 Pinyon Flat high frequency array experiment, An IRIS seismic studies program passive source experiment, PASSCAL Data Report #91-002, 1991. [Download File]

(2) McNamara, D. E.Evidence for azimuthal seismic anisotropy in the Basin and Range province: implications for middle to lower crustal tectonic processes, M.S. Thesis, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO,1990. [Link]

(1) Owens, T. J., and D. E. McNamaraData report for the 1988-89 PASSCAL Basin and Range Passive-source Seismic Experiment Part II: small aperture array data, PASSCAL Data Report #90-002, 1990. [Download File]