Department of Earth and
- Geology -
University of Munich
Luisenstr. 37, 80333 München, Germany
Room A 133
sara.carena *[at]* lmu.de
Phone: +49 (0) 89 2180-6574
in Geology, LMU Munich, Germany.
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
Suppe (University of Houston), Yu-Huan Hsieh (University
of Houston), Ravi
Kanda (Utah State University). DFG
project, 2018 - 2022.
2023 Mw 7.8 Pazarcik earthquake, and large earthquakes in the past
one thousand years in the Turkey-Syria border region, in
collaboration with Anke
(Uni Bochum and McGill University), Beth
Kahle (LMU), Stefanie
Rieger (LMU), and Simon
July 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence: 3D fault geometry and
Coulomb stress modeling, in collaboration with Alessandro
(Uni Bochum and McGill University) and the computational
earthquake physics group of Alice-Agnes
Gabriel (UCSD and LMU).
displacement rates of Basin and Range faults in
collaboration with Anke
motions of the continental lithosphere, in collaboration with
Friedrich (LMU) and Hans-Peter
strength and crustal strength by developing finite element
models of both California and Taiwan, with Christoph Moder. The
purpose of this work was 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 used SKUA-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
were able to determine how faults in the network interact, the role of
small faults, and quantify the typical fault strength in each setting.
2006 - 2013.
controls on earthquake nucleation in subduction zones, with
particular focus on the south American trench.
earthquake data in 3-D structural model building,
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.
Defining the geometry and kinematics of the fault network in
northern Owens Valley, California, USA, and Coulomb
stress history of Owens Valley and of the western Basin and
Range, with Alessandro
deformation of the 2013 Minab earthquake (Iran) from satellite
collaboration with Stefanie
Friedrich, and the German
Aerospace Center (DLR).
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
field trips (VFT), and virtual outcrop resources
Field exercises and
VFT to the volcanics of
Cabo de Gata (southern Spain) - sample
of the trip here. This VFT is dual language
English/German: it will open in the default language of your
VFT to the metamorphic basement of the Sierra Alhamilla
(southern Spain) -
of the trip here . English only.
to the Sorbas sedimentary basin (southern Spain) - sample
of the trip here. English only.
to the Great Unconformity (western USA) - English
All the VFTs have been built using the same environment: the
main difference is that the field trips come with a field trip
guide, exercises, and scenes in a specific order, whereas the
supplement for the mapping course is meant to be used for
exploration and it is unstructured.
All VFTs are free for students and educators to use, but due to
bandwidth limitations I cannot give unrestricted access to the
web-based versions. Students who register with me for one of the
virtual courses will receive the self-contained apps (both
Windows and Mac versions are available) and the password to
access the online version.
If you are not a student registered for a virtual course, but
you would like access to one or more of the apps, please contact
me by email to get the standalone app version.
For the samples above, the guide for each trip can be downloaded
from within the app.
with over 800 3D rock sample
models and 3D outcrop and terrain models.
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
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), or for funding to study abroad from the government of
your own country. 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. 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). I only accept students who have an excellent 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. At the moment, several Bachelor theses are available in
mapping and analysis of structures using remote-sensing techniques.
I expect all students to be able to efficiently use text editors,
spreadsheets and state-of-the-art graphics software. You may have to
learn how to use GlobalMapper/ArcGIS/QGIS, SKUA-Gocad, or Coulomb 3.3
for your project (it depends on the exact topic). Basic knowledge of
Matlab may turn out to be useful as well.
Anastasia Aristou, B.Sc.
Oct. 2022. Thesis title: Creation
of a digital exercise for the practice of rock identification in
entry academic level.
Apoorv Avasthy, M.Sc. Oct.
title: Virtual Field Trips: An
application of photogrammetry and virtual reality in geosciences
for teaching purposes.
This originally started out as a Studi_forscht@GEO
project. Some products from Apoorv's projects can be found on Apoorv's
sketchfab page, and further information is on his Sketchfab
Blog. Apoorv is now a Senior Manager at Endure Air (Noida,
India), and co-founder and CTO of Geovironment3D (Dehradun,
Son: M.Sc. Mar. 2020. Thesis title: Tectono-geomorphic
study of uplifted marine terraces and Quaternary
vertical motion in the coastal Makran, SE Iran.
Now a Customer Support Engineer at UP42 GmbH,
Verdecchia, Ph.D. May 2016. Thesis title: Earthquakes
and Coulomb stress evolution in a diffuse plate boundary: Northern
Basin and Range Province, USA).
Now postdoctoral scholar at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, and
McGill University, Canada.
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 a Senior Product Manager at Swiss Re, Zurich, Switzerland.
Andreas Fina, B.Sc. Nov. 2011.
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.
Rainer 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, and a PhD in
Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering at the National Taiwan University