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 - ongoing.
July 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence: 3D fault geometry and
Coulomb stress modeling, in collaboration with Alessandro
(McGill University) and the computational earthquake physics group
displacement rates of Basin and Range faults in
collaboration with Anke
motions of the continental lithosphere, with a focus on
Africa, in collaboration with Anke
Friedrich (LMU) and Hans-Peter
deformation of the 2013 Minab earthquake (Iran) from satellite
collaboration with Stefanie
Friedrich, and the German
Aerospace Center (DLR).
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
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. If there is no link on this page, it means that
the course page is not active, or the link has been deactivated
because the course is over.
field trips (VFT), and virtual outcrop resources - NEW, 2020-2021
P14.1 Scientific Writing; P14.2 Scientific Presentations (SS
/ WP4.0.4 Geological Computer Modeling: Gocad (SS 2021)
P11.0.1/WP6.0.3 Photogrammetry and Remote sensing (WS
2020-21): designed specifically for geological
applications (software: Metashape, GeoVis3D or Lime 2.0)
P11.0.6 Mathematical Geology 2 (WS 2020-21):
designed specifically for geological mapping applications
(software: GMDE, GeoVis3D, GIS, Google Earth)
Field exercises and
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.
Students who register with me for one of the virtual courses
will receive the self-contained apps (both Windows and Mac
versions are available) after registration.
If you are not a student registered for the virtual course, but
you would like one or more of the apps, please contact me by
with over 600 3D rock sample
models and 3D outcrop and terrain models.
& field exercises
If you have questions about missing grades or signatures for any of
the courses below, please contact me directly.
2014 to SS 2020 - P14.1 Scientific Writing; P14.2 Scientific
2013 to WS 2021- P4.0.1 / WP7.0.3 Modern Active Tectonics
SS 2019 - Field Exercise Berliner Huette, Kurs B
2016 - Field Exercise Berliner Huette, Kurs B (Bachelor's)
WS 2013 to WS 2020 - P6.0.3 Advanced Active Tectonics 1, and
P12.0.3 Advanced Active Tectonics 3 (Master's)
SS 2014 - Field Exercise Berliner Huette, Kurs B
- 2020 - WP9.0.5 / WP4.0.4 Geological Computer Modeling:
Gocad Workshop (Master's)
WS & SS 2013 to 2020 - P1.1, P1.2 Field Seminar and
Field Mapping & Exploration - Spain (Master's)
SS 2013 - Field exercise Berliner Huette, Kurs B
SS 2013 - Mapping course Spain, Kurs A (Bachelor's)
WS 2012 - Physics
of Geological Processes (Active Tectonics)
2012 - Field exercise
Berliner Huette, Kurs A, B (Bachelor's)
2012 - Tektonik Uebung (Structural Geology Lab), Kurs A1, A2
2011/12 - Mapping course Spain, Kurs A
2011/12 - Physics
of Geological Processes (Active Tectonics) (Master's)
2011/12 - Tektonik
2011 - Field exercise
Berliner Huette (Bachelor's)
2011 - Bachelor's Seminar
2011 - Tektonik Uebung (Structural Geology Lab), Kurs A1 (Bachelor's)
2010/11 - Tektonik
Vorlesung (Structural Geology) (Bachelor's)
2010 - Tektonik Uebung (Structural Geology Lab), Kurs A2
2009/10 - Seminar:
Geology and Tectonics of Taiwan (Master's)
2009 - Field
2008, 2009 - Block course "Introduction to Gocad"
2008 - Excursion W USA
2006/07 - Tektonik II Vorlesung (Diplom)
2006/07 - 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
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. If you can manage to have
your own funding for 6 to 12 months, 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). 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, 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.
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.
Avasthy, master student
topic (and originally a Studi_forscht@GEO
project): Applications of virtual technology in geosciences
teaching, from drone scanning to 3D outcrop models to virtual
field trips and field exercises. Some preliminary products from
Apoorv's projects can be found on Apoorv's
sketchfab page, and further information is on his Sketchfab
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
Customer Support Engineer at UP42 GmbH, Berlin, Germany.
Verdecchia, Ph.D. May 2016 (Thesis title: Earthquakes
and Coulomb stress evolution in a diffuse plate boundary: Northern
Basin and Range Province, USA).
Now posdtoctoral 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 at 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).
Now researcher and microkernel developer at Genua GmbH, Munich,
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. He is currently a PhD
student in Biodiversity at the National Taiwan University in Taipei.