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Schools in Science

The group uses passive seismic surface-wave methods to assess thickness and softness of upper layers of the earth (2m thick to 2km thick) in order to compute ground-motion amplification in the event of an earthquake, or to map thickness of soft sediments as an aid to engineering design studies.  Other methods used by the group include ground-probing radar, electrical resistivity and electromagnetic sounding methods.
At a site west of Erzincan (eastern Turkey)  Prof Michael Asten (at right) of Monash University stands on the Eurasian geotectonic Plate, while graduate students Fatma Nurten Sisman and Shaghayegh Karimzadeh (at far left) of the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, stand on the Anatolian Plate.  The North Anatolian Fault dividing the hills underlies the highway and is one of the most earthquake-active plate boundaries on Earth.

Research Team

Prof Michael Asten – seismic surface-wave methods.

Past students at Monash

Dr James Roberts

Dr Maxime Claprood

Dr Zara Dennis

Janenie Moghan


Prof Sebastiano Foti and Dr Flora Garofalo - Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy

Prof Nelson Lam & Ryan Hoult – University of Melbourne

Prof Aysegul Askan, Nurten Sisman, Shaghayegh Karimzadeh – Middle Eastern Technological University, Ankara, Turkey

Dr Theodora Volti, Clive Collins – Geoscience Australia

Prof Anya Reading and Nick Smith – University of Tasmania

Dr Bill Stephenson & Dr Stephen Hartzell, US Geological Survey, Golden CO.



Garofalo, F.,  S. Foti, F. Hollender, P.Y. Bard , C. Cornou, B.R. Cox , M. Ohrnberger , D. Sicilia , M. Asten , G. Di Giulio , T. Forbriger  , B. Guillier  , K. Hayashi  , A. Martin , S. Matsushima  , D. Mercerat , V. Poggi  , H. Yamanaka,            2016,  InterPACIFIC project: Comparison of invasive and non-invasive methods for seismic site characterization. Part I: Intra-comparison of surface wave methods: Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 82,  222–240.


Asten, MW, W.J. Stephensonand S. Hartzell, The Use of Wavenumber Normalization in Computing Spatially Averaged Coherencies (krSPAC) of Microtremor Data from Asymmetric Arrays, Proceedings of the  6th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, 1-4 November 2015, Christchurch,            New Zealand.

ASKAN, A,  Shaghayegh KARIMZADEH, Michael ASTEN, Nazan KILIÇ, Fatma Nurten ŞİŞMAN, Cenk ERKMEN, 2015,  Assessment of seismic hazard in the Erzincan (Turkey) region: construction of local velocity models and evaluation of potential ground motions, , Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences  24,            529-565.


Asten, M., Askan, A., Ekincioglu, E.E., Sisman, F.N., and Ugurhan, B., 2014, Site Characterization in Northwestern Turkey Based on SPAC and HVSR analysis of microtremor noise:  Exploration Geophysics, v.45, pp.74-85,

Volti, T., Collins, C., Asten, M. & Burbidge, D., 2014. The 2012 Newcastle-Sydney SPAC microtremor surveys. Record  2014/054. Geoscience Australia, Canberra.

Hoult, R. D., Amirsardari, A., Sandiford, D., Lumantarna, E., Goldsworthy, H. M., Gibson, G., & Asten, M. (2014). The 2012 Moe Earthquake and Earthquake Attenuation in South Eastern Australia. Paper presented at the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society 2014 Conference, Lorne, Victoria.

Asten, M.W., 2014, UNCOVER – Progress in the vision for  exploration geosciences and mineral discovery in Australia, Preview, no. 172, 25-26.

Asten, M.W., 2014, UNCOVER Stakeholders, Preview, no. 172, online supplement.

Asten, M.W., 2014, Passive shallow seismic methods, Preview, no. 172, online supplement.

Recent Grants-collaborative research with Industry

Microtremor methods in the Chilean desert applied to mineral exploration, funded by Quantum Pacific Exploration SpA, Republic of Chile.

The Newcastle-Sydney SPAC micro tremor project, funded by Geoscience Australia.