James Jiro Mori

Earthquake Hazards Division
Disaster Prevention Research Institute
Kyoto University
Gokasho, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011

Phone: 0774-38-4205
Fax:     0774-38-4215

Birthdate: April 22, 1956

1984  PhD   Columbia University, New York, New York
1980  MA    Columbia University, New York, New York
1978  AB    Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio

Career Experience

1999 - Present:

Professor, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto Univ.
1992 - 1998: USGS Southern California Regional Coordinator and Scientist-in-Charge, Pasadena Office, USGS, Pasadena.
Responsible for overseeing the NEHRP program for southern California and coordinating internal and external USGS earthquake research programs. Organized the panel reviews for funding of internal and external USGS projects in southern California. Member of the Board of Directors and Steering Committee for the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) and coordinated USGS seismic monitoring and research activities with SCEC and Caltech. Co-director with Hiroo Kanamori of the Caltech/USGS part of TriNet to upgrade to the seismic network in southern California. The project operates the 220 station Southern California Seismic Network which  respond to current seismic activity by providing quick and accurate information to government, media and the public.

Led the USGS response to the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake, coordinating the seismological, geodetic, and geological investigations that were carried out immediately following the earthquake. Directed and administered the allocation of supplementary funds received by the USGS from FEMA for post-earthquake studies. Chair of advisory committee that oversaw allocation and implementation of the Northridge supplement to upgrade the seismic network and improve strong-motion recording in southern California.

Research interests continued in short-period and broadband waveform data for details of the earthquake source studies, including studies of the initial onset of the Landers and Northridge earthquakes to investigate how ruptures grow into large earthquakes. Examined the spatial extent of the rupture for the 1992 Joshua Tree foreshock and its relation to the subsequent mainshock. Studied the effects of crustal structure on strong-motion amplitudes, showing that the structure in the Mojave desert causes the Moho reflection of the S wave to have larger amplitudes than the direct S.

1988 - 1991: Research Seismologist, USGS, Pasadena

Carried out research on short-period waveform data of the Southern California Network focusing on separating source and propagation effects in the waveforms. Research on source studies used a smaller earthquake as an empirical Green function to remove the complicated propagation and site effects from the seismogram of a larger earthquake. Carried out fault-plane determinations and slip distributions for magnitude 3 to 4 earthquakes and studied stress drop distributions and determination of fault planes for small earthquakes in areas of tectonic interest.

Analysed absolute amplitudes of teleseismic waveforms across the large regional array to study amplitude and waveform variations attributed to site amplifications and upper mantle structures

Developed and implemented automated procedure for calculating the routine magnitudes for M3-5 events recorded by the seismic network, using synthetic Wood-Anderson records derived from the network data.

Developed a computer program to estimate trajectories of super-sonic aircraft from the arrival times of the shock wave on the short-period network. 

1991: Seismologist, USGS, Volcano Crisis Assistance Team, Pinatubo Volcano Observatory, Clark Air Force Base, Philippines.

Helped with analysis and interpretation of seismic activity during climactic eruption. Coordinated re-installation of seismic network. Supervised analysis and interpretation of seismic activity during the month following the main eruption. Provided seismic and eruption information and interpretations to USGS and Philippines scientists, US and Philippine government officials, and TV, radio and newspaper press.

Carried out 3-dimensional velocity inversion of seismic data which provided a location of the large magma reservoir and better resolution of earthquake locations.

1984 - 1988: Seismologist, Rabaul Volcanological Observatory, Geological Survey of Papua New Guinea. Worked as the seismologist in a group of 5 scientists that advised the local and national governments about volcanic hazards in Papua New Guinea. Provided the seismic interpretation for evaluations of potential eruptions at Rabaul Caldera and advisories during eruptions at Bagana, Ulawun, and Manam volcanoes. Supervised 5 staff members analyzing seismic data from network in Rabaul Caldera and stations on 6 other active volcanoes. Operated small seismic arrays for aftershock studies of two magnitude 7 earthquakes. Operated seismic instruments during eruptions at Langila and Manam volcanoes.

1984: Research Associate, Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, Columbia University.
Compiled strong-motion data from Alaska.

1982 - 1984: Fulbright Research Fellowship, Earthquake Research Institute, Univ. of Tokyo, Japan.

Worked on source studies of large Japanese earthquakes. Used short-period body waves to determine high-frequency characteristics of large events. Developed method to invert regional Rayleigh waves for complex fault slip.
1978 - 1984: Graduate student, Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, Columbia University.
Worked on source studies of moderate and large subduction・ zone earthquakes. Investigated various ways to determine stress drops and studied its importance in estimating strong-ground motions.

Summer field seasons spent working on seismic and crustal deformation networks in the Gulf of Alaska and Shumagin Islands, Alaska. Was responsible for installing and maintaining strong-motion network.