• Organization
    University at Buffalo

  • Employment Status
    University / College Faculty

  • Residency
    (not set)

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  • Biography

    Dr. Estelle Chaussard is a Geophysicist specialized in Space Geodesy and Geohazards who joined the UB Geology faculty in August 2015. Her research focuses on the development and usage of geodetic techniques, such as the GPS and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), to measure crustal deformation near active faults, volcanoes, landslides, and associated with human activity, and develop mechanical models of crustal and lithosphere deformation to understand the processes governing the dynamics of our planet. Estelle received a M.Sc. in Geophysics (2008) from the University of Montpellier II (France), a Ph.D in Geophysics (2013) from the University of Miami, and completed her postdoc in the Active Tectonic group of the University of California, Berkeley (2015).

    Estelle’s research on volcanism demonstrated that at dangerous explosive arc volcanoes, space-derived ground deformation data can contribute to the early warning of unrest. Modelling of those volcanic systems illuminated the existence of trends in the worldwide depths of magma storage, highlighting parameters that control magma ascent and storage. Her work on hydrology led to the detection of many undocumented areas experiencing ground subsidence and to alarming revelations on the status of urban hazards and water resources in Indonesia and Mexico. Her recent and ongoing work in the field of hydrology demonstrated that ground deformation can be used to estimate aquifer properties and characterize water dynamics, providing critical data for mitigation of land subsidence-associated risks (fracturing, infrastructure damage, and flooding) and necessary information to design sustainable groundwater use strategies. Her research on crustal faulting in the East San Francisco Bay Area showed that two major faults are directly connected, revealing the potential for larger earthquakes than previously considered.

    Her ongoing and future research agenda considers the integration of multiple methods and datasets to tackle topics of Active Tectonics and Climate Change. She currently works on refining regional strain maps, which is necessary to constrain inter- and intra-continental deformation and improve seismic hazard assessment. She is actively developing the usage of remote sensing for hydrology to reach universal aquifer parameterization where surface deformation occurs and to explore how pore-water pressure changes, driven by climatic or human events influences hazards (landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions). Her work is motivated by pushing the applications of remote sensing of ground deformation to new fields, such as regional estimation of CO2 emissions from peatland oxidation through measurements of land subsidence to improve climate change models.

    Estelle actively integrates her research with education and contributes to improving learning opportunities for underprivileged communities by participating in international efforts such as Teachers Without Borders. In 2016 she became part of the Board of Directors of UNAVCO, a university-governed consortium that facilitates geoscience research and education using geodesy. She was awarded the 2014 UC Berkeley Center for Effective Global Action Award, received several presenter awards at workshop and conferences, and received the NASA Earth Space and Science Fellowship in 2011-2013.  Check out her website for more information.