Elizabeth Cochran

Elizabeth Cochran

Res. Geophysicist

Email: ecochran@usgs.gov
Phone: 626-583-7238
Fax: 626-583-7827

525 535 South Wilson Street
Pasadena, CA 91106



Dr. Elizabeth Cochran is a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey in Pasadena, California. As an observational seismologist, her research ranges from studying the detailed behavior of fault slip to developing new techniques to densely observe earthquakes. 

Dr. Cochran conducts detailed studies of aftershock behavior, fault zone properties, and deep seismic slip (tremor). After a large earthquake, large numbers of seismic stations are installed in near the mainshock to record the hundreds to thousands of aftershocks that will occur over the subsequent months. These data are then used to image fault structure and study the small-scale details of fault complexity and damage zones around faults. The work has shown that fault structures can exhibit highly complex slip behavior. And, faults tend to localize on zones that are 100m - 1 km wide and severely damaged compared to surrounding, intact rock. 

She is also currently investigating new techniques to densely monitor strong ground motions in urban areas. The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative research effort that uses low-cost MEMS sensors connected to personal computers or other devices in homes, offices, and schools. The data collected by these sensors may be used to augment the exisiting seismic networks to aid in the study of earthquake rupture processes, block-by-block variations in ground motion, and may even provide useful data for earthquake early warning systems currently being developed for California and the Pacfic Northwest. 



2011 – Present            Research Geophysicist, US Geological Survey

2011 – Present            Visiting Associate in Geophysics, California Institute of Technology

2007 – 2011                Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside          

2005 – 2007                Postdoctoral Scholar, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Scripps

2000 – 2005                Research Assistant and Research Associate, Department of Earth and Space Science, University of California, Los Angeles



University of California, Santa Barbara      Geophysics                                         B.S., 2000              

University of California, Los Angeles        Geophysics and Space Physics             M.S., 2003             

University of California, Los Angeles        Geophysics and Space Physics             Ph.D., 2005           


Honors and Activities

·  Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2010

·  NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, 2010

·  Geological Society of America, Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science Award, 2006

·  Young Fellow of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, 2004.

·  Southern California Earthquake Center Seismology Discipline Co-Chair, 2009-present

·  IRIS Standing Committee Member; Data Management (2008-2010), Education and Public Outreach (2012-present

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Harrington, R.M., Cochran, E.S., Griffiths, E.M., Zeng, X., and Thurber, C.H., Along-Strike Variations in Fault Frictional Properties along the San Andreas Fault near Cholame, California, from Joint Earthquake and Low-Frequency Earthquake Relocations, Bull. Seis. Soc. Am., 106, doi: 10.1785/0120150171. [Link]

Cochran, E.S. and Kroll, K.A., 2015. Stress- and structure-controlled anisotropy in a region of complex faulting -- Yuha Desert, California, Geophys. J. Int., 202 (2): 1109-1121, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv191.[Link]

Dixit, A.M., Ringler, A.T., Sumy, D.F., Cochran, E.S., Hough, S.E., Martin, S.S., Gibbons, S., Luetgert, J.H., Galetzka, J., Shrestha, S.N., Rajaure, S., and McNamara, D.E. (2015). Strong-Motion Observations of the M 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal, Earthquake Sequence and Development of the N-SHAKE Strong-Motion Network, Seis. Res. Letts., 86(6), 1533-1539, doi: 10.1785/0220150146. [Link]

Neighbors, C., Liao, E.J., Cochran, E.S., Funning, G.J., Chung, A.I., Lawrence, J.F., Christensen, C., Miller, M., Belmonte, A., and Sepulveda, H.H.A., 2015. Investigation of the high-frequency attenuation parameter, kappa, from aftershocks of the 2010 Mw8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake, Geophys. J. Int., 200, 200-215, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggu390. [Download File]

Chung, A.I., Cochran, E.S., Kaiser, A.E., Christensen, C.M., Yildirim, B., and Lawrence, J.F., 2015. Improved rapid magnitude estimation for a community-based, low-cost MEMS accelerometer network,Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 105, doi: 10.1785/0120140232. [Download File]

Dominguez, L.A., Yildirim, B., Husker, A.L., Cochran, E.S., Christensen, C.M., Cruz-Atienza, V.M., and Lawrence, J.F., 2015. The Red Atrapa Sismos (Quake Catcher Network in Mexico): Assessing performance during large and damaging earthquakes, Seis. Res. Letts., 86, 848-855. [Download File]

Yildirim, B., Cochran, E.S., Chung, A.I., Christensen, C.M., and Lawrence, J.F., 2015. On the reliability of Quake Catcher Network earthquake detections, Seis. Res. Letts., 86, 856-869. [Download File]

Hauksson, E., Goebel, T., Ampuero, J.-P., Cochran, E.S., 2015. A century of oilfield operations and earthquakes in the greater Los Angeles basin, southern California, The Leading Edge, 34, 650-656, doi: 10.1190/tle34060650.1. [Download File]

Horstmann, T., Harrington, R.M., Cochran, E.S. (2015). Reverse imaging technique to locate low-frequency earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault near Cholame, California, Geophys. J. Int., 203, 1207-1226, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv337. [Download File]

Given, D.D., Cochran, E.S., Heaton, T., Hauksson, E., Hellweg, P., Vidale, J., and Bodin, P. (2014). Technical Implementation Plan for the ShakeAlert Production System: An Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast of the U.S., USGS Open File Report 2014-1097. [Link]

Sumy, D.F., Cochran, E.S., Keranen, K.M., Wei, M., Abers, G.A., 2014. Observations of static Coulomb stress triggering of the November 2011 M5.7 Oklahoma earthquake sequence, J. Geophys. Res., 119, 1904-1923, doi: 10.1002/2013JB010612. [Download File]

Lawrence, J.F., Cochran, E.S., Chung, A., Kaiser, A., Christensen, C.M., Allen, R., Baker, J.W., Fry, B., Heaton, T., Kilb, D., Kohler, M.D., Taufer, M., 2014. Rapid Earthquake Characterization Using MEMS Accelerometers and Volunteer Hosts Following the M 7.2 Darfield, New Zealand, Earthquake, Bull. Seis. Soc. Am., 104, 184-192. [Download File]

Evans, J.R., Allen, R.M., Chung, A.I., Cochran, E.S., Guy, R., Hellweg, M., Lawrence, J.F., 2014. Performance of Several Low-Cost Accelerometers, Seism. Res. Letts., 85, 147-158. [Download File]

Benson, K., Schlachter, S., Estrada, T., Taufer, M., Lawrence, J., Cochran, E., 2013. On the powerful use of simulations in the Quake-Catcher Network to efficiently position low-cost earthquake sensors, Future Generation Computer Systems, 29, 2128-2142

Neighbors, C.J., Cochran, E.S., Cara, Y., and Noriega, G.R., 2013. Sensitivity analysis of FEMA HAZUS earthquake model: A case study from King County Washington, Natural Hazards Review, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)NH.1527-6996.0000089. [Download File]

Keranen, K., Savage, H.M., Abers, G.A., and Cochran, E.S., 2013. Potentially induced earthquakes in Oklahoma, USA: Links between wastewater injection and the 2011 Mw 5.7 earthquake sequence, Geology, doi: 10.1130/G34045.1, 2013. [Download File]

Wang, T.-H., Cochran, E.S., Agnew, D., and Oglesby, D.D., 2013. Infrequent triggering of tremor along the San Jacinto Fault near Anza, California, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 103, 2482-2497, doi: 10.1785/0120120284. [Download File]

Horstmann, T.; Harrington, R.M.; Cochran, E.S., 2013. Semiautomated tremor detection using a combined cross-correlation and neural network approach, J. Geophys. Res., 118, doi:10.1002/jgrb.50345.[Download File]

Kroll, K.A., Cochran, E.S., Richards-Dinger, K.B., Sumy, D.F., 2013. Aftershocks of the 2010 Mw 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake reveal complex faulting in the Yuha Desert, California, J. Geophys. Res., 118, 6146-6164. [Download File]

Li, Y.-G., Malin, P.E. and CochranE.S., 2012. Fault-Zone Trapped Waves: High Resolution Characterization of the Damage Zone of the Parkfield San Andreas Fault at Depth, In: Y.G. Li (Ed.), Imaging, Modeling, and Assimilation in Seismology, 107-150, Higher Education Press and Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston. [Link]

Yang, H., Zhu, L. and CochranE.S., 2011. Seismic Structures of the Calico Fault Zone Inferred From Local Earthquake Travel Time and Waveform Modelling, Geophys. J. Int., doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05055.x. [Download File]

Aly, M., and CochranE.S., 2011Spatio-Temporal Evolution of the Yellowstone Deformation from 1992 to 2009: InSAR and GPS Observations. Bull. Volc., doi: 10.1007/s00445-011-0483-y. [Download File]

Chung, A.I., Neighbors, C.J., Belmonte, A., Miller, M., Sepulveda, H.H., Christensen, C., Jakka, R., CochranE.S. and Lawrence, J.F., 2011. The Quake-Catcher Network Rapid Aftershock Mobilization Program Following the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile Earthquake, Seism. Res. Lett., 82, 526-532. [Download File]

Cochran, E.S., Lawrence, J.F., Kaiser, A., Fry, B., Chung, A., Christensen, C., 2011. Comparison between low-cost and traditional MEMS accelerometers: a case study from the M7.1 Darfield, New Zealand, aftershock deployment. Annals of GeophysicsVol. 54 (6), 728-737, doi:10.4401/ag-5268. [Download File]

Jakka, R.S., CochranE.S. and Lawrence, J.F., 2010. Earthquake source characterization by the isochrone back projection method using near-source ground motions, Geophys. J. Int., doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04670.x. [Download File]

Cochran, E.S., Lawrence, J.F., Christensen, C., Chung, A., 2009. A Novel Strong-Motion Seismic Network for Community Participation in Earthquake Monitoring. IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine, Vol. 12 (6), 8-15. [Download File]

Cochran, E.S., Li, Y.-G., Shearer, P.M., Barbot, S., Fialko, Y., and Vidale, J.E., 2009. Seismic and geodetic evidence for extensive, long-lived fault damage zones, Geology, 37, 315-318. [Download File]

Cochran, E.S., Lawrence, J.F., Christensen, C. and Jakka, R.S., 2009. The Quake-Catcher Network: Citizen science expanding seismic horizons, Seism. Res. Letts., 80, 26-30. [Download File]

Li, Y.-G., Chen, P., CochranE.S., and Vidale, J.E., 2007. Seismic variations on the San Andreas fault caused by the 2004 M6 Parkfield earthquake and their implications, Earth Planets Space, 59, 21-31.[Download File]

Cochran, E.S., Li, Y.-G. and Vidale, J.E., 2006. Anisotropy in the shallow crust observed around the San Andreas Fault before and after the 2004 M6 Parkfield earthquake, Bull. Seis. Soc. Am., 96, S364-S375. [Download File]

Cochran, E.S., and Shearer, P.M., 2006. Infrasound events detected with the Southern California Seismic Network, Geophys. Res. Letts., 33, L19803, doi:10.1029/2006GL026951. [Download File]

Li, Y.-G., Chen, P., CochranE.S., Vidale, J.E., and Burdette, T., 2006. Seismic evidence for rock damage and healing on the San Andreas fault associated with the 2004 M6 Parkfield earthquake, Bull. Seis. Soc. Am., 96, S349-S363. [Download File]

Cochran, E.S., Vidale, J.E. and Tanaka, S., 2004. Earth tides can trigger shallow thrust fault earthquakes, Science, 306, 1164-6. [Download File]

Li, Y.G., Vidale, J.E. and CochranE.S., 2004. Low-velocity damaged structure of the San Andreas Fault at Parkfield from fault-zone trapped waves. Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2003GL019044.[Download File]

Li, Y.G., Vidale, J.E., Day, S.M., Oglesby, D.D., and CochranE.S., 2003. Postseismic fault healing on the rupture zone of the 1999 M7.1 Hector Mine, California, earthquake. Bull. Seis. Soc. Am., 854-869.[Download File]

Li, Y.G., Vidale, J.E., Oglesby, D.D., Day, S.M. and CochranE.S., 2003 Multiple-fault rupture of the M7.1 Hector Mine, California, earthquake from fault zone trapped waves. J. Geophys. Res., 108, doi:10.1029/2001JB001456 p.2165. [Download File]

Cochran, E.S., Vidale, J.E., and Li, Y.-G., 2003. Near-fault anisotropy following the Hector Mine earthquake, J. Geophys. Res., 108, 2436, doi:10.1029/2002JB002352. [Download File]