MIT EAPS Directory

Germán Prieto

Visiting Assistant Professor

Germán Prieto's main interest is in the use of seismic records to understand earthquake sources, the interior of the Earth, and how each affects the ground motions that we feel on the Earth's surface.

Seismological observations are affected by the internal structure of the Earth, for example amplification of seismic waves in sedimentary basins. The nature of the earthquake source also has a significant impact on ground motions, and Prieto is interested in a better understanding of earthquake ruptures, i.e., are large earthquakes different from the more common small ones?

A particular interest is whether the earthquake process is self-similar, i.e. is an M = 8.0 earthquake simply an M = 2.0 earthquake scaled by a large factor or is the physics of the two processes different?

After receiving his bachelor degree in geology from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Prieto obtained his doctorate in earth sciences from Scripps (UC San Diego). Since 2009 Prieto was an assistant professor in the physics department at the Universidad de los Andes. He joined EAPS in July 2013.


P Poli, GA Prieto, CQ Yu, M Florez, H Agurto-Detzel, TD Mikesell, G Chen, V Dionicio, P Pedraza (2016), Complex rupture of the M6. 3 2015 March 10 Bucaramanga earthquake: evidence of strong weakening process, Geophys. J. Int., 205 (2): 988-994., doi: 10.1093/gji/ggw065

Aurélien Mordret, Dylan Mikesell, Christopher Harig, Brad Lipovsky & German Prieto (2016), Monitoring South-West Greenland’s ice sheet melt with ambient seismic noise, Science Advances 06 May 2016:, Vol. 2, no. 5, e1501538, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1501538

P. Poli, G.A. Prieto, C.Q. Yu, M. Florez, H. Agurto-Detzel, T.D. Mikesell, G. Chen, V. Dionicio and P. Pedraza (2016), Complex rupture of the M6.3 March 10, 2015 Bucaramanga earthquake: evidence of strong weakening process, Geophys. J. Int. (2016), doi: 10.1093/gji/ggw065

Chierabba et al. (2016), Subduction system and flat slab beneath the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, doi: 10.1002/2015GC006048

Google Scholar Profile


Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Chair (2014-2017) | Editors Citation for Excellence in Refereeing, JGR-Solid Earth, AGU (2011) | Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award, AGU-Seismology Section (2010) | Thompson Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Geophysics, Stanford University (2007)

Contact Information

t: 617 324 7279





Ph.D., Earth Sciences, University of California, San Diego, 2007
M.S., Earth Sciences, University of California, San Diego, 2004
B.S., Geology, Universidad Nacional, Colombia