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Benchun Duan
(979) 845-3297
Hallbouty 153

Texas A&M University

Department of Geology & Geophysics

MS 3115

College Station, TX 77843


Ph.D. Geological Sciences, University of California, Riverside, 2006.

M.S. Applied Geophysics, Ocean University of China, 1994.

B.S. Applied Geophysics, Ocean University of China, 1991.

  • NSF Career Award, 2013 (National awards given to early and mid-career researchers)
  • Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty Research, 2010 (College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University)
  • GEOP 611: Geomechanics
  • GEOL 101: Principles of Geology
  • GEOP 689: Finite Element Methods in Geophysics
  • GEOP 660: Physics of the Earth's Interior
  • GEOP 689: Earthquake Physics

Benchun Duan

Associate Professor
Earthquake source physics, computational seismology, geomechanics

Research Interests

Dr. Duan's current research interests focus on earthquake source physics, particularly earthquake rupture dynamics on geometrically complex fault systems within complex geologic structures, and extend to physics-based strong ground motion prediction and seismic hazard analysis. He has developed an explicit Finite Element Method code (EQdyna) and has applied it to explore physical controls on earthquake dynamic rupture propagation, response of fault zones to nearby earthquakes, and physical limits on ground motion. Collaborating with colleagues in computer science, he parallelizes EQdyna using a hybrid MPI/OpenMP approach to make use of modern computer clusters. He is also interested in unifying the dynamic model and the quasi-static deformation model to study earthquake cycles in realistically complex fault systems, and seismic & geomechanical modeling for reservoir characterization.

Selected Publications


  • Liu*, Z., and B. Duan (2014), Dynamics of parallel strike-slip faults with pore fluid pressure change and off-fault damage,  Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 104(2), doi:10.1785/0120130112.
  • Kang*, J., and B. Duan (2014), Inelastic response of compliant fault zones to nearby earthquakes in three dimensions, Tectonophysics, 612-613: 56-62, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2013.11.033.
  • Duan, B. (2012), Dynamic rupture of the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake: Roles of a possible subducting seamount, J. Geophys. Res., 117, B05311, doi:10.1029/2011JB009124.
  • Wen, Y.-Y., D. O. Oglesby, B. Duan, and K.-F. Ma (2012), Dynamic rupture simulation of the 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake with heterogeneous initial stress, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 102 (4), 1892-1898, doi:10.1785/0120110153.
  • Duan, B. (2011), Reply to comment by Y. Fialko on "Deformation of compliant fault zones induced by nearby earthquakes: Theoretical investigation in two dimensions", J. Geophys. Res., 116, B12302, doi:10.1029/2011JB008567.
  • Duan, B., J. Kang*, and Y. Li (2011), Deformation of compliant fault zones induced by nearby earthquakes: Theoretical investigation in two dimensions, J. Geophys. Res., 116, B03307, doi:10.1029/2010JB007826.
  • Wu, X., B. Duan, and V. Taylor (2011), Parallel simulations of dynamic earthquake rupture along geometrically complex faults on CMP systems, J. Algorithm and Computational Technology, 5(2), 313-340.
  • Lozos*, J. C., D. D. Oglesby, B. Duan, and S. G. Wesnousky (2011), The effects of double fault bends on rupture propagation: A geometrical parameter study, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 101(1), 385-398, doi:10.1785/0120100029.
  • Harris, R. A., M. Barall, D. J. Andrews, B. Duan, S. Ma, E. M. Dunham, A. -A. Gabriel, Y. kaneko, Y. Kase, B. T. Aagaard, D. D. Oglesby, J. -P. Ampuero, T. C. Hanks, and N. Abrahamson (2011), Verifying a computational method for predicting extreme ground motion, Seismol. Res. Lett., vol. 82, No. 5, 638-644, doi:10.1785/gssrl.85.5.638.
  • Duan, B., and S. M. Day (2010), Sensitivity study of physical limits on ground motion at Yucca Mountain, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 100 (6), 2996-3019, doi:10.1785/0120090372.
  • Duan, B. (2010b), Inelastic response of compliant fault zones to nearby earthquakes, Geophys. Res. Lett., L16303, doi:10.1029/2010GL044150. (Chosen by AGU editors as an AGU "Research Spotlight".)
  • Duan, B. (2010a), Role of initial stress rotations in rupture dynamics and ground motion: A case study with implications for the Wenchuan earthquake, J. Geophys. Res., 115, B05301, doi:10.1029/2009JB006750.
  • Wu, X., B. Duan, and V. Taylor (2009), An OpenMP approach to modeling dynamic earthquake rupture along geometrically complex faults on CMP systems, in Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Parallel Processing Workshops, Edited by L. Barolli and W.-C.Feng, pp.146-153,IEEE Comput. Soc., Washington, D. C.
  • Harris, R. A., M. Barall, R. Archuleta, E. Dunham, B. Aagaard, J. P. Ampuero, H. Bhat, V. Cruz-Atienza, L. Dalguer, P. Dawson, S. Day, B. Duan, G. Ely, Y. Kaneko, Y. Kase, N. Lapusta, Y. Liu, S. Ma, D. Oglesby, K. Olsen, A. Pitarka, S. Song, and E. Templeton (2009), The SCEC/USGS dynamic earthquake-rupture code verification exercise, Seismol. Res. Lett., Vol. 80, No. 1, 119-126, doi:10.1785/gssrl.80.1.119.
  • Duan, B., and S. M. Day (2008), Inelastic strain distribution and seismic radiation from rupture of a fault kink, J. Geophys. Res., 113, B12311,doi:10.1029/2008JB005847.
  • Duan, B. (2008b), Asymmetric off-fault damage generated by bilateral ruptures along a bimaterial interface, Geophy. Res. Lett., 35, L14306, doi:10.1029/2008GL034797.
  • Duan, B. (2008a), Effects of low-velocity fault zones on dynamic ruptures with nonelastic off-fault response, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L04307, doi:10.1029/2008GL033171.
  • Duan, B., and D. D. Oglesby (2007), Nonuniform prestress from prior earthquakes and the effects on dynamics of branched fault systems, J. Geophys. Res., 112, B05308, doi:10.1029/2006JB004443.
  • Duan, B., and D. D. Oglesby (2006), Heterogeneous fault stresses from previous earthquakes and the effect on dynamics of parallel strike-slip faults, J. Geophys. Res., 111, B05309, doi:10.1029/2005JB004138.
  • Duan, B., and D. D. Oglesby (2005), Multicycle dynamics of nonplanar strike-slip faults, J. Geophys. Res., 110, B03304, doi:10.1029/2004JB003298.
  • Duan, B., and D. D. Oglesby (2005), The dynamics of thrust and normal faults over multiple earthquake cycles: Effects of dipping fault geometry, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 95(5), pp.1623-1636, doi:10.1785/0120040234.
  • Xu, S., B. Duan, and D. Zhang (2000), Selection of the wavenumbers k using an optimization method for the inverse Fourier transform in 2.5D electrical modeling, Geophysical Prospecting, 48(5), 789-796.

Additional Information

Professional Associations

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • Seismological Society of America (SSA)
  • Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)
  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)
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