Kerry Sieh studies the geological record to understand the geometries of active faults, the earthquakes they generate, and the crustal deformation their movements produce. His early work studying geological layers and landforms along the San Andreas fault led to the discovery of how often and how regularly it produces large earthquakes in southern California. A few years ago, he investigated Taiwan's multitude of active faults and figured out how their earthquakes are continuously creating that mountainous island. Currently, he and his colleagues are studying the active faults Myanmar and the surrounding region.
One of Sieh’s long-standing research interests is the subduction megathrust that has been producing great earthquakes offshore Sumatra throughout the past decade. His and his students' and colleagues' paleoseismic work has led to an understanding of the repeating nature of such earthquakes. He also instigated the creation of the Sumatran GPS Array, a network of continuously recording GPS stations, to record deformations during and in between large earthquakes.
- 1977 Ph.D. (Geology), Stanford University, “Late Holocene Displacement History along the South-Central Reach of the San Andreas Fault"
- 1972 A.B. with highest honors (Geology), University of California, Riverside
- 2012-present AXA-Nanyang Chair in Natural Hazards
- 2008-present Director, Earth Observatory of Singapore
- 2008-present Professor, Nanyang Technological University
- 2003-2009 Robert P. Sharp Professor of Geology, Caltech
- 1977-2009 Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Caltech
- Member, Local Evaluation Panel (LEP) for Singapore NRF Fellowship Award (June 2012–May 2014)
- Member, International Scientific Advisory Panel (ISAP), Centre for Climate Research
- Singapore (CCRS) (1 October 2011-September 2013)
- Member, Committee on Sustainable Earth, NTU (21 Dec 2009-present)
- Member, Advisory Panel, Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (2000-2013)
- Member, Assessment Committee, Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University,Taiwan (2004)
- Chair, Division GIS Committee (1996-2000; 2005-2008)
- Member, Geology Search Committee (1998- 2005)
- Chair, Division Visiting Professor Committee (2003-2004)
- Division Post-doctoral Fellowship Committees (1995-2003)
- Caltech Faculty Board, (2000-2001)
- U.S. National:
- Member, U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (2000-2003)
- Member, Committee on the Science of Earthquakes, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences (1996-1998)
- Testimony before U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Basic Research, Committee on Science (April 24, 1997)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Fellow, American Geophysical Union
- Fellow, Geological Society of America
- Seismological Society of America
- National Academy of Sciences
- ES7001 - Natural Hazards, Climate Change and Society
ES8001 - Natural Hazards, Climate Change and Society
- 2012 Best Paper Award, Geological Society of America, Structural Geology Divison (for Yule and Sieh, 2003)
- 2006 National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals GLBT Scientist Award
- 2001 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union
- 1999 Member of the National Academy of Sciences
- 1998 Outreach Award for Knowledge Transfer, Southern California Earthquake Center
- 1997 Commendation for Public Service, City of West Hollywood
- 1996 Fellow of the Geological Society of America
- 1988 Honoree, Los Angeles Times, "88 in 88": Los Angeles Times Magazine, IV, January 10, 1988, p.23.
- 1982 National Academy of Sciences Award for Initiatives in Research, for development and application of innovative field techniques for studying active faults to identify and date paleo-earthquakes, thereby providing quantitiative asessment of earthquake hazards.
- 1978 E.B. Burwell, Jr., Memorial Award of the Engineering Geology Division, Geological Society of America. In recognition of published paper, Sieh 1978
- 1972 Gordon Watkins Award from Chancellor, University of California at Riverside for Community Service
A 15-year slow slip event on the Sunda megathrust offshore Sumatra. Geophysical Research Letters. (2015).
Validation of linearity for tsunami waves in joint inversion of kinematic rupture models: Application to the 2010 Mentawai Mw 7.8 tsunami earthquake. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 120(3), (2015).
The 2012 Mw 8.6 Wharton Basin sequence: A cascade of great earthquakes generated by near‐orthogonal, young, oceanic‐mantle faults. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 120(5), 3723–3747. (2015).
Time-varying interseismic strain rates and similar seismic ruptures on the Nias–Simeulue patch of the Sunda megathrust. Quaternary Science Reviews. 258–281. (2015).
Deposits of the most recent eruption in the Southern Mono Craters, California: Description, interpretation and implications for regional marker tephras.. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 114-131. (2014).
Active tectonics and earthquake potential of the Myanmar region.. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 119(4), 3767–3822. (2014).
Rupture process of the 2010 Mw 7.8 Mentawai tsunami earthquake from joint inversion of near-field hr-GPS and teleseismic body wave recordings constrained by tsunami observations.. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 119(7), 5574–5593. (2014).
Ambiguous correlation of precisely dated coral detritus with the tsunamis of 1861 and 1907 at Simeulue Island, Aceh Province, Indonesia.. Marine Geology. 375, 384-391. (2014).
Rupture and variable coupling behavior of the Mentawai segment of the Sunda megathrust during the supercycle culmination of 1797 to 1833.. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 119(9), 7258–7287. (2014).
Surface Ruptures of the Mw 6.8 March 2011 Tarlay Earthquake, Eastern Myanmar. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 104(6), 2915-2932. (2014).
Permanent upper plate deformation in western Myanmar during the great 1762 earthquake: Implications for neotectonic behavior of the northern Sunda megathrust. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 118, 1277-1303. (2013).
Persistent termini of 2004- and 2005-like ruptures of the Sunda megathrust. Journal of Geophysical Research. 117, (2012).
The 2010 Mw 7.8 Mentawai earthquake: Very shallow source of a rare tsunami earthquake determined from tsunami field survey and near-field GPS data. Journal of Geophysical Research. (2012).
Partnerships for outreach: earthquake and tsunami hazard in West Sumatra. AOGS-AGU Joint Assembly. (2012).
An ancient shallow slip event on the Mentawai segment of the Sunda megathrust, Sumatra. Journal of Geophysical Research. 117, (2012).
Earthquake and tsunami hazard in West Sumatra: integrating science, outreach, and local stakeholder needs. EGU General Assembly. (2012).
Tsunami-induced coastal change: scenario studies for Painan, West Sumatra, Indonesia. Earth, Planets and Space. 64, 799-816. (2012).
Source model of the 2009 Mw 7.6 Padang intraslab earthquake and its effect on the Sunda megathrust. Geophysical Journal International. 190, 1710-1722. (2012).
Another potential source of destructive earthquakes and tsunami offshore of Sumatra. Geophysical Research Letters. 38, (2011).
Userdriven science: earthquake and tsunami scenarios for Mentawai Islands, western Sumatra. AGU Fall Meeting. (2011).
Earthquakes and slip rate of the southern Sagaing fault: insights from an offset ancient fort wall, lower Burma (Myanmar). Geophysical Journal International. 185, 49-64. (2011).
Submarine landslides along the Malacca Strait-Mergui Basin shelf margin: Insights from sequence-stratigraphic analysis. Journal of Geophysical Research. 115, (2010).