Mark Germain Alvarez

Mark "Marcos" Alvarez manages the field operations for the Southern California Seismic Network at Caltech from the USGS field office in Pasadena CA.  His interests lie in seismic instrumentation, experimentation, data processing and project management.  


Selected Projects

  • Earthquake Early Warning: SCSN site design, permitting, installation and operation
  • Trimble combined GNSS-Accelerometer instrument (SG160-09): testing, modification and validation
  • Deep borehole (5Km) seismic string, DongHai China: Design, design, manufacuture and installation
  • Geothermal seismic monitoring and sensor design,  New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Kenya, Indonesia, USA
  • USArray, Flexible and Transportable Array:  NSF funded facility, early startup design and management
  • Lithoprobe, active seismic source experiements accross Canada
  • InDepth, active seismic experiments accross Tibetean Plateau
  • Parkfield Earthquake Prediction Experiement
  • Aftershock deployments,  Loma Prieta, Kobe, Landers, Hector Mines, Chile, Chi Chi, Ridgecrest

Work Experience

  • USGS , Supervisory Geophysicist, Pasadena California . 2016 - Present
  • Trimble Navigation, Engineer, 2013 -2016
  • Institute of Earth Science and Engineering (IESE), Director of Commercial Operations, Auckland New Zealand, 2008 - 2013
  • Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismology (IRIS), Deputy Program Manager, 2003 -2009
  • New Mexico Tech, Director of the IRIS-PASSCAL Instrument Center, 1998 -2003
  • Stanford University, Director of Operation IRIS-PASSCAL, 1992-1998
  • Marine Science Institute, UC Santa Barbara, Research Associate, 1986-1987
  • Martin Marieta Aerospace, Vandenburg AFB, Associate Engineer, 1985 -1986


Duke University, Durham North Carolina, M.S. Geophysics - 1992

University of California, Santa Barbara,  B.S. Mech. Engineering, Geology 1985


Stubailo I., M. Alvarez, G.Biasi, R. Bhadha, Hauksson E., (2020). Latency of Waveform Data Delivery from the Southern California Seismic Network during the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence and Its Effect on ShakeAlert, Seismol. Res. Lett. XX, 1–17, doi: 10.1785/0220200211.

Cochran E., Wolin e., McNamara D., Yong A., Wilson D.,  Van Der Elst N., McClain A., Steidl J., (2020) The U.S. Geological Survey’s Rapid Seismic Array Deployment for the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence, Seismol. Res. Lett.

Hauksson E. , C. Yoon, E. Yu, J. Andrews, M. Alvarez, R. Bhadha, V. ThomasCaltech/USGS Southern California Seismic Network (SCSN) and Southern California Earthquake Data Center (SCEDC):  Data Availability for the 2019 Ridgecrest Sequence,  Submitted to Seis. Res. Let. Fall 2019.

Boese C., M. Alvarez, L. Wotherspoon, P. Malin, Analysis of Anthropogenic and Natural Noise from Multilevel Borehole Seismometers in an Urban Environment, Auckland, New Zealand, Bul Seism Soc Am, 2015, 105(1):285-299

Dickson M., M.Alvarez, R. Pentney, P. Malin, Spatial Patterns of Wave Energy Delivery to Coastal Cliffs, AGU presentation, Fall Meeting 2010 EP31D-05

Alvarez M., If Seismograms Could Talk, How That Wiggle Came To Be, Seismological Society of America, 2009 Annual Meeting Monterey, Invited Talk 2009

Alvarez M., Observations Using PDF Analysis of Ambient Noise across Western Washington, Seismological Society of America, 2009 Annual Meeting Monterey, Invited Talk 2009

Alvarez M., Evaluation of Flexible Array Station Performance and Ambient Noise Analysis Using 500 Days of Continuous Recordings, Eos Trans, AGU, 89(53) Abs 533B-1945, 2008

Alvarez M., Y. Li, J. Vidale, and E. Cochran, Depth-Dependent Low-Velocity Structure of the San Andreas Fault near the SAFOD Drilling Site at Parkfield from Fault Zone Seismic Waves, EOS, 2004, 69:44, p. 1344

Brocher T., T. Pratt, K. Miller, A. Trehu, C. Snelson, C. Weaver, K. Creager, R. Crosson, ten Brink U., M. Alvarez, S. Harder, I. Asudeh, REPORT FOR EXPLOSION AND EARTHQUAKE DATA ACQUIRED IN THE 1999 SEISMIC HAZARDS INVESTIGATION OF PUGET SOUND (SHIPS), WASHINGTON, USGS Open FIle Report 00-3188, 2000

Frez J., J. Gonzalez, M. Alvarez, A Detailed Microseismicity Study and Current Stress Regime in the Peninsular Ranges of Northern Baja California, Mexico: The Ojos Negros Region, BSSA ,2000, v.90,p. 1133-1142

Li Y., K. Aki, J. Vidale, M. Alvarez,A delineation of the Nojima fault ruptured in the M7.2 Kobe, Japan, earthquake of 1995 using fault zone trapped waves, J. Geophys. Res., 103,B4, 7247-7263,1998

Alvarez, M.A. Seismotectonics of the Coso Geothermal Field CA, from near source recordings by a downhole microearthquake network., Masters Thesis, Duke University Press, 1992

R.Evans, M. Alvarez, Strong Scattering Observed at Dept in the Varian A-1 Well, Geophys. Jour. Int. Vol. 101, No. 1, 269 , 1990

J.M. Murphy, G.S. Fuis, Trond Ryberg, D.A. Okaya, E.E. Criley, M.L. Benthien, Marcos Alvarez, Isa Asudeh, W.M. Kohler, G.N. Glassmoyer, M.C. Robertson, Report for explosion data acquired in the 1994 Los Angeles Region Seismic Experiment (LARSE 94), Los Angeles, California, Open-File Report 96-536

1995 Alvarez M., J. Fowler, S. Klemperer, W. Koperwhats, S. Michnick, A. Wei, The Stanford PASSCAL Instrument Center: A resource for the Crustal Imaging Community, submitted for publication to EOS 9/95

1993 Alvarez M., J. Fowler, S. Klemperer, Field Results from the Cooperative PASSCAL, USGS, GSC Continental Dynamics Instrument Groups; Deployment Techniques, Data Reduction and Instrument Responses, EOS 74:43

1992 Malin P.,M. Alvarez, Stress diffusion along the San Andreas fault at Parkfield, CA., Science; 256, 1005-1007

1989 Blakeslee, S., P. Malin, M. Alvarez, Fault-Zone Attenuation of High-Frequency Seismic Waves, Geophysical Research Letters, 16, 1321-1324

1989 Alvarez, M. G., and P.E. Malin, Microearthquake seismicity patterns for the Parkfield region as monitored by the downhole network., EOS 70:43,121 ,1988 Alvarez, M., P. Malin, S. Blakeslee. Microearthquake Imaging of the Parkfield Asperity, Part I: methods, EOS, 69:44, 1310.

1988 Malin, P., S. Blakeslee, M. Alvarez. Microearthquake Imaging of the Parkfield Asperity, Part II: results, EOS, 69:44, 1311.

1988 Alvarez, M. G., S. Blakeslee, P. Malin, J. Fowler, T. Ahern. Field Testing of the PASSCAL Prototype Recording and Field Computer Systems at Parkfield CA. EOS, 69:44, 1323.

1988 Malin, P., S. Blakeslee, M. Alvarez and A. Martin. Microearthquake Imaging of the Parkfield Asperity, Science , May 19989, Vol. 244, p.557-559.

1988 Alvarez M.,Malin, P., S. Blakeslee, A. Martin. Trial Field Deployment of PASSCAL Prototype Instruments at Parkfield, CA. Report submitted to IRIS/PASSCAL Standing Executive Committees on Sept. 21, 1988. 308 pp,

1987 Alvarez, M., P. Malin, S. Blakeslee, A. Martin, T. McEvilly, W. Foxal, R. Clymer, D. Lippert, R. Dollar, T. Burdette, W. Bakun, A. Lindhe and T. Moses. The Parkfield Cooperative UCSB-UCB-USGS Downhole Digital Seismic Network. EOS, 68:44, 1357