I am passionate about improving earthquake resilience in the developing world. To do so, I aim to provide better estimates of earthquake magnitudes and frequencies for the continental interior, through an interdisciplinary approach that combines geodesy, seismology, geology, geomorphology, and historical literature. My study area has been along the Hexi Corridor portion of the ancient Silk Road, where I re-estimated the magnitude of the 1920 Haiyuan Earthquake by modelling the 100-year old analogue seismograms. and measuring offsets from the high-resolution Pleiades satellite data. In my current project, working with Barry Parsons and Tim Wright, I focus on the seismic hazard across the NE Tibetan Plateau, where the ∼1000-km-long strike-slip Kunlun and Haiyuan Faults and the thrust belt in the Qilianshan accommodate the ~15mm/yr shortening across the region. By mapping the crustal strain in high resolution using 5 years of Sentinel InSAR data, we aim to generate new insights about the seismogenic potential of faults and to derive the earthquake frequency-magnitude relationship with the constraint of the re-estimated magnitude of the largest recorded earthquake (Mw 7.9 ± 0.2 instead of previously reported M 8.7 or Mw 8.5 for the 1920 Haiyuan Earthquake).

Ou, Q., Kulikova, G., Yu, J., Elliott, A., Parsons, B., & Walker, R. (2020). Magnitude of the 1920 Haiyuan Earthquake Reestimated Using Seismological and Geomorphological Methods. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 125(8). https://doi.org/10.1029/2019jb019244