Christine J. Ruhl

Post doc in Earthquake Early Warning Group

Research Interests:
Testing and development of Geodetic Alarm System (G-larmS), finite fault inversion, synthetic rupture simulations, earthquake source physics, and earthquake relocation.

About Me

I am a postdoctoral researcher within the Earthquake Early Warning group at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory. Before moving to California, I earned a BS from Radford University (Radford, Virginia), an MS from New Mexico Tech (Socorro, New Mexico), and a PhD from the University of Nevada, Reno (Reno, Nevada).

Graph showing Geodetic Alarm System (G-larmS) magnitude error estimates as a function of time for 1300 synthetic earthquakes (fakequakes) on the Cascadia subduction zone.

Geodetic Alarm System (G-larmS) magnitude error estimates as a function of time for 1300 synthetic earthquakes (fakequakes) on the Cascadia subduction zone. Each curve represents the magnitude evolution for one fakequake, colored by moment magnitude increasing from green (M7.5-8.0) to pink (M9.0+). The solid and dotted lines show magnitude errors (MwG-larmS - MwFakequake) of zero and plus or minus 0.3 magnitude units, respectively. We find that over 99% of events are within 0.3 magnitude units by 3 minutes (180 s) past the origin time.

Research Interests

I am interested in many aspects of earthquake source processes, with particular interest in source physics and geometry of complex earthquake sequences, swarms, and persistent microseismicity, earthquake triggering and interaction, rapid response to earthquake and tsunami hazards, and finite fault modeling. My dissertation research focused on charactering physical and statistical properties of moderate earthquake swarms and microseismicity in extensional, transtensional, and strike-slip faulting regimes to better understand their spatiotemporal evolution. My current research focuses on testing and developing geodetic-based earthquake early warning finite-fault algorithms using data from synthetic earthquakes and large earthquakes worldwide.


  • Ruhl, C. J., R. E. Abercrombie, K. D. Smith, and I. Zaliapin (2016), Complex spatiotemporal evolution of the 2008 Mw 4.9 Mogul earthquake swarm (Reno, Nevada): interplay of fluid and faulting, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 121, doi:10.1002/2016JB013399.

  • Ruhl, C. J., T. C. Seaman, K. D. Smith, and G. M. Kent (2016), Seismotectonic and seismic hazard implications for the Reno-Tahoe area of the Walker Lane in Nevada and California from relocated seismicity, first-motion focal mechanisms, moment tensors, and variations in the stress field, in Applied Geology in California, AEG Special Volume, eds. R. Anderson and H. Ferriz.

  • Pursley, J., S. L. Bilek, and C. J. Ruhl (2013), Earthquake catalogs for New Mexico and bordering areas: 2005- 2009. New Mexico GEOLOGY, 35 (1).

  • Ruhl, C., S. L. Bilek, and J. Stankova-Pursley (2010), Relocation and Characterization of the August 2009 microearthquake swarm above the Socorro magma body in the central Rio Grande Rift, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2010GL045162.

  • Ruhl, C. J., (2007) “Chapter 5 Introduction from a Peer,” UNIV 100: Investing in Your Lifetime 2007-2008, p. 168.