Research Interests | Current and Former Students | Teaching | Selected Publications | Curriculum Vitae
Dr. Aaron A. Velasco
Earthquake and Treaty Verification Seismology
Phone: (915) 747-5101
Fax: (915) 747-5073


      Over my career, my research has spanned a variety of seismological subjects, including earthquake source modeling, seismotectonics, earthquake hazards, and nuclear treaty monitoring research (seismic event detection, location, and discrimination). I have also studied hydroacoustic wave propagation and explored military applications of seismology. Since arriving at the University of Texas at El Paso in January 2002, I have been able to expand my research goals and pursue projects that were inconceivable to me just a few years ago.

      My current projects include: seismic hazard analyses through the study of historic and recent earthquakes in the Bhutan Himalayas and Cape Mendocino, California; determining Earth structure from analysis of a data recorded by a temporary seismic network in Bhutan; studying the earthquake rupture processes of the Nov. 8, 2002 Denali Fault, Alaska earthquake; and studying regional wave propagations from mining explosions in eastern Arizona for nuclear explosion monitoring. I plan to continue developing a strong research program at UTEP. Thus, I am also seeking funding for the following: improving seismic techniques utilizing Wavelet Transforms; studying earthquake rupture processes of large earthquakes to understand the earthquake cycle; improving regional seismic detection, location, and discrimination; studying the evolution of the Rio Grande Rift near El Paso, TX using both passive seismic data and geological investigations; increasing field capabilities through the purchase of broadband seismometer systems; and further developing field projects in the Bhutan Himalayas and in the Alps in Austria.

      Committee Chair, Masters Thesis

    • Vicki Gee, Geological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP),2003-present
    • Todd Theiner, Geological Sciences, UTEP 2003-present
    • Marina Rodriguez-Moya, Computer Sciences, UTEP 2003-present

    • Committee Chair, Ph.D. Thesis

    • Eva Rumpfhuber, Geological Sciences, UTEP 2003-present
    • Cleit Zeiler, Geological Sciences, UTEP 2004-present

    • Committee Member, Masters Thesis

    • Katy Wiest, Geological Sciences, UTEP 2003-present
    • Cara Schiek, Geological Sciences, UTEP 2003-present
    • Claudia Flores, Geological Sciences, UTEP 2002-2003
    • Roberto A. Saenz, Mathematical Sciences, UTEP 2003

    • Committee Member, Ph.D. Thesis

    • Wesley Brown, Geological Sciences, UTEP 2003-2004
    • Annette Veilleux, Geological Sciences, UTEP 2003-present
    • Nicholas Mariita, Geological Sciences, UTEP 2003-2004

    • Mentored Research

    • Leandro Trevino Graduate Student, UTEP 2003-present
    • Daniel Hernandez, Undergraduate Student, UTE 2002-present
    • Thomas VanDeMark, Undergraduate Student, UTEP 2002-present
    • Monica Maceira, Graduate Student, Penn. State University/Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)2000-present
    • Matt Averill, Graduate Student, UTEP 2003
    • Tiffini Bond, Graduate Student, UTEP 2003
    • Eric Hernandez, High School Student, UTEP 2003
    • Melissa Brophy, Undergraduate Student, UTEP 2003
    • Dowchu Drukpa, Graduate Student, UTEP 2002
    • Jill Franks, Undergraduate Student, University of Saint Louis/LANL 2002
    • Claudia Flores, Graduate Student, UTEP/LANL 2001-2002
    • Moira Pyle, Undergraduate Student, University of Saint Louis/LANL 2001
    • Claudia Aprea, Postdoctoral Researcher, LANL 2000
    • Michael Begnaud, Postdoctoral Researcher, LANL 1999-2000
    • Craig Whitted, Graduate student, University of Arizona 1999
    • Brett Ketter, Graduate student, University of Saint Louis 1998



    • Digital Signal Processing, (GEOP 5460), 4 hours, Graduate, Lecture/Lab, Spring 2004
    • Principles of Earth Science (GEOL 1303), 3 hours, Undergraduate, Lecture, Fall 2003, Spring 2004
    • Advanced Physical Geology (GEOL 4315/5315), 3 hours, New Course, Lecture co-taught with C. Andronicos, Fall 2003
    • Advanced Seismology (GEOP 5356), 3 hours, Graduate, Lecture, Spring 2003
    • Introduction to Physical Geology (GEOL 1301), 3 hours, Undergraduate, Lecture, Spring 2002, Spring 2003, Fall 2004
    • Seismology, (GEOP 5354), 3 hours, Graduate, Lecture, Fall 2002, Fall 2004
    • Pathways Summer Camp, High School Students, 2-days of Geophysics, Summer 2002, 2003, 2004
    • Introduction to Seismology and Nuclear Explosion Monitoring, 2-day workshop, LANL, Summer 2002
    • Schiek, C., J. M. Hurtado, and A. A. Velasco, 2004, Fourier analysis terrain change detection using ASTER optical satellite imagery along the Kunlun fault, Tibet, J. Photogrammetry Remote Sensing, submitted.
    • VanDeMark, T., W. Brown, D. I. Doser, A. A. Velasco, 2004, Regional wave propagation in the Lybia region, Bull. Seis. Soc. Am., submitted.
    • Drukpa, D., A. A. Velasco, and D. I. Doser, 2004, Seismicity of the Bhutan region (1937-2003): Evidence for deep transcurrent deformation, J. Geophys. Res., submitted.
    • Maceira, M., S. R. Taylor, C. J. Ammon, X. Yang, A. A. Velasco, 2004, High resolution surface wave slowness tomography in central Asia, J. Geophys. Res., accepted upon revision.
    • Andronicos, C. L., and A. A. Velasco, 2004, Large scale deformation in the India-Asia collision constrained by earthquakes and topography, GSA Bull., accepted upon revision.
    • Ketter, B., A. A. Velasco, C. J. Ammon, and G. E. Randall, 2003, Path specific velocity structure of western China from surface-wave dispersion, Pure App. Geophys., accepted upon revision.
    • Velasco, A. A., C. J. Ammon, J. Farrell, and K. Pankow, 2004, Rupture directivity of the November 3, 2002 Denali fault earthquake determined from surface waves, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., in press.
    • Velasco, A. A., H. E. Hartse, and G. E. Randall, 2003, Propagation or source? Analysis of a moderate sized event in the Qinghai Province, China, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 93, 2281-2288.
    • Taylor, S. R., A. A. Velasco, Hartse, W. S. Phillips, and W. R. Walter, 2002, Amplitude corrections for regional seismic discriminants, Pure App. Geophys., 159, 623-650.
    • Steck, L. K., A. A. Velasco, A. H. Cogbill, and H. J. Patton, 2001, Improving regional seismic event location in China, Pure and Appl. Geophys., 158, 211-240.
    • Phillips, W. S., H. E. Hartse, S. R. Taylor, A. A. Velasco, and G. E. Randall, 2001, Amplitude tomography for regional seismic verification, Pure and Appl. Geophys., 158, 1189-1206.
    • Velasco, A. A., C. J. Ammon, and S. L. Beck, 2000, Broadband source modeling of the November 8, 1997 Tibet (Mw = 7.5) earthquake and its tectonic implications, J. Geophys. Res., 105, 28065-28080.
    • Whitted, C. A., S. R. Taylor, A. A. Velasco, H. E. Hartse, and G. Zandt, 2001, A path specific crustal study in central Asia from group velocity inversions and full waveform modeling, submitted to Geophys. Res. Lett.
    • Velasco, A. A., C. J. Ammon, T. Lay, and M. Hagerty, 1996, Rupture process of the 1990 Luzon, Philippines (Mw = 7.7) earthquake, J. Geophys. Res., 101, 22419-22434.
    • Velasco, A. A., T. Lay, and J. Zhang, 1996, Long period surface observations of the October 18, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake, in The Loma Prieta, California, earthquake of October 17, 1989--Main-shock characteristics, U. S. G. S. Loma Prieta professional paper 1550-a, ed. Paul Spudich, A209-A214.