Enhancing the Community Fault Model (CFM) to support SCEC science, community model development, and hazard assessment

Award Period: 

Thursday, February 1, 2018 to Thursday, January 31, 2019

Award Amount: 

$20 000

Agency Name: 

Univeristy of Southern California

Award Number: 


PI First Name: 


PI last name: 


Area/s of Research: 


We propose a series of enhancements to the SCEC Community Fault Model (CFM) and Statewide Community Fault Model (SCFM) (Plesch et al., 2007, 2016; Nicholson et al., 2017) to support their use in new community modeling efforts (e.g., Community Rheologic Model, CRM), fault systems studies, earthquake simulators, and hazard assessment. The CFM is one of the most mature modeling efforts within SCEC, and has seen widespread use in many aspects of our science (e.g., UCERF3). Nevertheless, it remains critical that the CFM and SCFM continue to be updated, expanded, improved, assessed, and validated – so that they can effectively support a wide range of community modeling activities targeted by SCEC5. Thus, we propose to:


  1. Work with the new CXM Model manager to support their development and implementation of a database and web-based graphical interface that can be used to help access the CFM models and supporting information.
  2. Generate map trace representations and metadata tables for CFM5.2 and SCFM 3.0 faults, including area, Qfault ID, Qfault link, and Qfault/UCERF slip rate ranges. This includes fault map surface traces and map tiplines for buried or blind faults.
  3. Develop a complete collection of alternative fault representations and supporting metadata for CFM 5.2, and organize these into viable alternative models.
  4. Make a series of additions and improvements to SCFM fault representations, based on recommendations outlined at northern California workshop. 
  5. Generate regular gridded representations of the SCFM as well as alternative faults for the CFM 5.2 (remeshed versions of preferred CFM 5.2 faults are already available on the CFM website). 
  6. Coordinate activities with other community modeling projects in SCEC that will benefit from CFM representations, including the Geologic Framework and the Community Rheologic Model TAG. This will involve targeted enhancements to the CFM for these groups, as well as greater user accessibility.


Based on feedback from the panel, we will focus on improving and expanding access to the current model, while continuing to develop CFM enhancements, and coordinating efforts with other groups in SCEC to facilitate and encourage greater use of this important SCEC resource. This proposal represents a collaborative effort between the lead development teams for the CFM at Harvard University (John Shaw & Andreas Plesch) and University of California-Santa Barbara (Craig Nicholson). The attached budget reflects only the UCSB portion of the project. UCSB will collaborate with Harvard on these project elements, including helping to coordinate CFM activities with various model user groups, and will take the lead on some of the recommended targeted improvements to the CFM database and—together with Andreas—will continue to maintain, update and populate the CFM metadata tables, and to register CFM entries to their corresponding Qfault ID equivalents. Both Harvard and UCSB CFM developers will coordinate their activities with the CXM leadership group and new community models manager.