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Wrong Thomas Jordan?

Dr. Thomas Jordan H.

Board Member

Southern California Earthquake Center

HQ Phone: (213) 740-0011

Southern California Earthquake Center

3651 Trousdale Parkway Suite 169

Los Angeles, California 90089

United States

Company Description

The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) is a community of over 600 scientists, students, and others at over 60 institutions worldwide, headquartered at the University of Southern California. SCEC is funded by the National Science Foundation and t... more

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Background Information

Employment History

Director of the Southern California Earthquake Center

University of Southern California


University of Southern California


University of Southern California


Seismological Society of America


Board Member
Seismological Society of America



California Institute of Technology


California Institute of Technology


California Institute of Technology

Web References (200 Total References)

"We are fortunate that seismic activity ...

patch.com [cached]

"We are fortunate that seismic activity in California has been relatively low over the past century," according to Tom Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center.

M8 Simulation

www.scec.org [cached]

"Petascale simulations such as this one are needed to understand the rupture and wave dynamics of the largest earthquakes, at shaking frequencies required to engineer safe structures," said Thomas Jordan, director of SCEC and Principal Investigator for the project.

"The problem we face in earthquake science is that we actually don't have recordings of very large earthquakes needed to predict the ground motions of the next one," Jordan said. The best option is then to create scenarios of such earthquakes based on as many details of the earth and the physics involved as possible, and for a broader a range of frequencies, as was done in the M8 simulation. The results are both broadly useful data as well basic research insights into earthquake processes.
"Earthquakes have a lot of variability," Jordan said.
"Based on our calculations, we are finding that deep sedimentary basins, such as those in the Los Angeles area, are getting larger shaking than are predicted by the standard methods," Jordan said.
In addition to Cui, Olsen, Jordan, and Maechling, other researchers on the Scalable Earthquake Simulation on Petascale Supercomputers project (which resulted in the M8 simulation) include Amit Chourasia, Kwangyoon Lee, and Jun Zhou from SDSC; Daniel Roten and Steven M. Day from SDSU; Geoffrey Ely and Patrick Small from USC; D.K. Panda and his team from OSU; and John Levesque, from Cray Inc.

SCEC People

www.scec.org [cached]

Tom Jordan, Chair

Tom Jordan Center Director

"This would be the earthquake from ...

www.redbluffdailynews.com [cached]

"This would be the earthquake from hell, because it's right beneath Los Angeles," said Tom Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California.

"We've all been taken aback by ...

www.sciencenews.org [cached]

"We've all been taken aback by what happened in L'Aquila," says Thomas Jordan, a seismologist at the University of Southern California and chairman of an international commission on earthquake forecasting that was set up after the disaster.

Jordan says that the convicted researchers got distracted from their main job, which should have been advising the public about measures they could take to protect themselves from ground shaking. Commission members "got snookered into answering a kind of simple yes-or-no question: 'Will we be hit by a large earthquake?' " Jordan says.
Jordan and his colleagues proposed some ways to improve operational earthquake forecasting, such as providing the public with openly available information about short-term seismic risks. That could be as simple as a regularly updated website, which people could get familiar with well before a big earthquake strikes. "You don't want to just strike up a new conversation with the public in times of seismic crisis," Jordan says.

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