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Michael L Blanpied

Michael L. Blanpied, Ph.D., is a geophysicist serving as Associate Coordinator of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program.

His duties include oversight of the Program’s earthquake hazards assessments and its research on earthquake physics, occurrence and effects. He serves as executive secretary to the National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council (NEPEC), an expert group that advises USGS on earthquake predictions and forecasting methods. 

Dr. Blanpied graduated from Yale University in 1983 with major in Geology and Geophysics, and completed a PhD at Brown University in 1989, with a focus on experimental rock mechanics applied to fault friction and earthquake initiation. He joined the USGS earthquake research group in Menlo Park, CA in 1989, where his research focused on the physics of earthquakes, including experimental investigations of the physics of fault slip and frictional properties of fault surfaces; applications of laboratory data to earthquake occurrence and the deformation of the continental crust; computer and laboratory modeling of earthquake interactions; and the development and application of probabilistic assessments of earthquake likelihood. He served as co-chair of the Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities, which developed a new methodology for forecasting the likelihood of damaging earthquakes and published 30-year forecasts for the San Francisco Bay Region in 1999 and 2003. He served as Deputy Director of the Earthquake Science Center for four years before relocating to USGS headquarters in Reston, Virginia in 2003 to join the Earthquake Hazards Program office.