Department of Earth and
- Geology -
University of Munich
Luisenstr. 37, 80333 München, Germany
sara.carena *[at]* lmu.de
Phone: +49 (0) 89 2180-6574
Fax: +49 (0) 89
in Geology, LMU Munich
2003 Ph.D. Princeton University, USA.
(M.Sc.) in Geology, State University of Milano, Italy.
Defining the lithospheric structure and the kinematics of the plate
boundary near Taiwan by combining geology, earthquake data and crustal
tomography. In collaboration with John
Wu, Ravi Kanda, and Kamil
Defining the geometry and kinematics of the fault network in northern
Owens Valley, California, USA.
Coulomb stress history in the western Basin and Range, USA.
also interested in working on any kind of project that requires 3-D
structural modeling, like structures in the Alpine and Apenninic
foreland and other sedimentary basins. Student theses are available
upon request on these topics.
Determining fault strength and crustal strength by developing finite
element models of both California and Taiwan, with Christoph
Moder. The purpose of this work is to find out what is a
realistic range of fault friction in a transform margin setting and in
a convergent margin setting. The work is based on a coarse global
grid, with local high-resolution representation of actual faults
obtained from published 3-D fault maps. We use GOCAD
to do most of the grid construction and optimization (an
example can be found here).
comparing the simulation results with data on fault-slip rates, we can
determine how faults in the network interact, the role of small
faults, and quantify the typical fault strength in each setting.
Possible structural controls on earthquake nucleation in subduction
zones, with particular focus on the south American trench.
earthquake data in 3-D structural model building, with GOCAD
as the main fault model building tool. I
have modeled fault surfaces in 3-D using the aftershocks from the
1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the 1994
allowed me to image in detail not only the faults that generated
these two large earthquakes, but also nearby faults. This method is
especially useful for imaging the 3-D geometry of blind thrusts, for
which there is usually little other information available.
I have also
worked on structural models for several other regions:
- Taiwan, where the
earthquake produced a large number of aftershocks, making it
possible to identify a decollement horizon below the orogen.
- San Gorgonio Pass - San
Bernardino Mountains area, southern California, resulting in
the definition of the fault geometry in the San Gorgonio Pass region.
- San Andreas fault near
Parkfield and other faults in its vicinity.
this link for images and movies
classes & field exercises
the links below to get information and to download material for class.
Always enter class pages from the main links here, and access my
homepage by using the link I have given you, or by coming from the
main Geology pages. Pages move around and change host from time to
time. Searching for pages on the internet may result in you hitting an
old, cached copy. Students who fail to recognize obsolete cached
copies are well on their way to failing the course. If there is no
link on this page, it means that the course page is not active yet, or
the link has been deactivated because the course is over.
P1.1 Field Seminar, and P1.2 Field
Mapping and Exploration
P14.1 Scientific Writing; P14.2 Scientific Presentations
P6.0.3 Advanced Active Tectonics 1, and P12.0.3 Advanced
Active Tectonics 3
P4.0.1 / WP7.0.3 Modern Active Tectonics
- WP9.0.5 / WP4.0.4 Geological Computer Modeling
- Field Exercise Berliner Huette (Zillertal), Kurs B (Bachelor's)
& field exercises
If you have questions about missing grades or signatures for any of
the courses below, please contact me directly. Material for past
courses will not be made available online.
2014-2015 - P1.1 Field Seminar (Master's)
WS 2014-2015 - P6.0.3 Advanced Active Tectonics 1, and P12.0.3
Advanced Active Tectonics 3 (Master's)
WS 2014-2015 - P4.0.1 / WP 7.0.3 Modern Active Tectonics
SS 2014 - Field Exercise Berliner Huette, Kurs B (Bachelor's)
- WP9.0.5 / WP4.0.4 Geological Computer Modeling: Gocad Workshop
SS 2014 - Mapping course Spain (Master's)
WS 2013-2014 - P4.0.1 Modern Active Tectonics (Master's)
SS 2013 - Gocad Workshop (Master's)
SS 2013 - Field exercise Berliner Huette, Kurs B (Bachelor's)
SS 2013 - Mapping course Spain, Kurs A (Bachelor's)
WS 2012-2013 - Physics
of Geological Processes (Active Tectonics) (Master's)
2012 - Field exercise
Berliner Huette, Kurs A, B (Bachelor's)
2012 - Tektonik Uebung (Structural Geology Lab), Kurs A1, A2 (Bachelor's)
2011-2012 - Mapping course Spain, Kurs A
2011-2012 - Physics
of Geological Processes (Active Tectonics) (Master's)
2011-2012 - Tektonik
2011 - Field exercise
Berliner Huette (Bachelor's)
2011 - Bachelor's Seminar
2011 - Tektonik Uebung (Structural Geology Lab), Kurs A1 (Bachelor's)
2010-2011 - Tektonik
Vorlesung (Structural Geology) (Bachelor's)
2010 - Tektonik Uebung (Structural Geology Lab), Kurs A2
2009-2010 - Seminar:
Geology and Tectonics of Taiwan (Master's)
2009 - Block course "Introduction to Gocad"
2009 - Field
2008 - Block course "Introduction to Gocad"
2008 - Excursion W USA
2006-2007 - Tektonik II Vorlesung (Diplom)
2006-2007 - Tektonik II Uebung (Diplom)
for Ph.D. student positions are always welcome. We do
not have a formal application process, you simply contact the person
you would like to work with (or the Geology Chair if you have no idea
with whom you would like to work).
If you are a foreign student, the best option is for you to first
apply for a DAAD scholarship for
6 or 12 months (which you can do only as long as you are still outside
of Germany). Obtaining a scholarship would increase your chances of
being accepted. Our funding is exclusively through research grants and
it is difficult to match precisely grant availability with
availability of good student candidates. If you can manage to have
your own funding for 6 to 12 months and basically stick around earlier
on, that makes it easier to match you (rather than another random
person who happens to email us at the right time) to the next
available grant. The DAAD also offers some scholarships specifically
to pursue PhD studies.
Regardless of whether you get DAAD or other funding, if you apply for
a Ph.D. student position with me you should always send by email your
CV, statement of purpose, pdf of your Master's thesis, copy of your
M.Sc. Degree and transcripts (with grading scale clearly defined
somewhere), and one or two letters of recommendation sent directly to
my email address by the person/s writing them. At this stage your
documents can be in any of the following languages: English, Italian,
Spanish, French, German. However, if you are admitted, the LMU
administration will only accept official documents in German or
English. So be prepared to get certified copies and translations in
I only accept students who have a good command of English, both
written and spoken. Knowledge of German is not necessary for Ph.D.
work in Geosciences, though you may want to learn some to get around
in stores and offices.
I also usually have Bachelor's and Master's thesis topics
available for students in the respective programs at
LMU. The specific topics can be decided together with the students and
my general range of topics is listed in "Research" above. At the
moment, theses are available especially in 3-D fault mapping (W
USA or Taiwan) and in Coulomb stress modeling (W USA or New Zealand).
I expect students to be able to efficiently use text editors,
spreadsheets and state-of-the-art graphics software without any help
from me (your "help" is called "Google Search" or "Software Manual").
You may have to learn how to use GlobalMapper, Gocad, or Coulomb 3.3
for your project (it depends on the exact topic). Basic knowledge of
Matlab may turn out to be useful. ArcGIS is not required. If you can
use it, good for you. If not, GlobalMapper is much more
straightforward to learn and more useful for what we need to do. If
you like to play with computers, especially graphics, you will likely
do ok on any project. If you hate touching a keyboard, or cannot tell
valleys from mountains on a topo map, none of my projects is for you.
I do not hand out field-only theses, though your own project may
contain field work as an element. Field work is therefore more likely
for M.Sc. theses, as B.Sc. thesis periods are too short to combine
Verdecchia, Ph.D. student
Coulomb stress modeling in the western USA.
Sundermann, M.Sc. Dec. 2012 (Thesis title: Deformation of
the 760 ka northern Volcanic Tableland: implications for the
kinematic evolution of northern Owens Valley, California, USA).
Now working at Swiss Re, Zurich, Switzerland.
Andreas Fina, B.Sc. Nov. 2011 (Thesis
title: 3D-imaging of the fault
network in northwestern Owens Valley, California)
Moder, Ph.D. Feb. 2011 (Thesis title: From
Faults to Plate Boundaries: Insights from Computer Models)
Wunderlich, B.Sc. Jan. 2011 (Thesis title: 3D
Fault Plane Modeling of the 1986 Chalfant Valley Earthquake Sequence)
Rainer has gone on to obtain a
Master's degree in
Natural Resource Management at
James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. He is now a PhD student in
Biodiversity at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.