Dr. Ylona van Dinther

Earth Simulation Lab
Princetonlaan 4
Kamer 1.42
3584 CB Utrecht

Dr. Ylona van Dinther

Associate Professor
+31 30 253 8154

I am associate professor in earthquake physics and tectonics at Utrecht University. Before my arrival in Utrecht in October 2018 I was at ETH Zurich (Switzerland) for almost 10 years as PhD student, post doc and senior scientist / lecturer, where I lead the group on earthquake physics consisting of 6 PhD students and a post doc. I pioneered the bridging of time scales from tectonic time scales (millions of years) down to earthquake time scales (milliseconds to years) in numerical models. For this I was awarded the Jason Morgan Early Career Award from the Tectonophysics section of the American Geophysical Union and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) Early Career Award.

My research interests span the fields of tectonics; seismology; tectonophysics; earthquake, fault and rock mechanics; mantle dynamics; and structural geology. My research principally aims at better understanding the tectonic and rheological controls governing the spatiotemporal occurrence of fault slip, ranging from earthquakes to slow slip and continuous creep. The main methods we use are the cross-scale numerical models my team and I developed and applied, so called seismo-thermo-mechanical models. We combine these and other earthquake or tectonics numerical or analytical models with geological and geophysical observations in various ways ranging from using predicting new, verifiable observations; to loose or tight data constraints; to integrating them tightly in a statistically meaningful way. The current and future outcomes are important to improve natural and induced earthquake and tsunami hazard assessment. 

To explore the opportunities and limitations for earthquake hazard assessment and combine physics-based models with observations I also work on applying ensemble data assimilation, a statistical method adopted from weather forecasting. I use this to estimate and forecast the state of stress and slip on the fault. Following a successful synthetic proof of concept, my team and I are currently exploring these methods on laboratory experiments in the context of DeepNL.

Research of my group in one figure

Bestowal of 2018 Jason Morgan Early Career Award from American Geophysical Union