Surendra Nadh Somala


Surendra Nadh Somala

Assistant Professor
Department of Civil Engineering
Email: surendra[at]
Phone: +91 (040) 2301-8457

Areas of Interest:

Earthquake Resistant Design of Structures, Inversion and Imaging of Seismic Source & Structure, Probabilistic Seismic & Tsunami Hazard Assessment, Seismology, Computational Fracture Mechanics, Reservoir Induced Microseismicity, Structural Health Monitoring, Performance Based Seismic Design, Earthquake Early Warning, Perturbation in Gravity field due to Seismic Activity


Ph.D. (2013), [Focus on Geophysics & Seismology]
California Institute of Technology, U.S.A.

M.S. (2009), [Focus on Structural & Earthquake Engineering]
California Institute of Tehnology, U.S.A.

B.Tech. (2008), [Civil Engineering]
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, India

Work Experience:

Assistant Professor (2015 – )
Department of Civil Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, India

Visiting Associate (2016 Aug – )
Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune

Senior Scientist – Physics (2014 – 2015)
Pinnacle – A Halliburton Service, U.K.

Graduate Research Assistant (2009 – 2012)
California Institute of Technology, U.S.A

Awards and Honors:

DST-SERB Early Career Research Award, 2016
Keck Institute of Space Studies Graduate Fellowship, 2012
George W. Housner Graduate Fellowship in Earthquake Engineering, 2008
Indian Academy of Sciences Fellowship, 2006

Professional Membership:

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)
Indian Society for Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling Technology (ISRMTT)
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Indian Geophysical Union (IGU)
LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC)


[10] Somala S. N.,  J. P. Ampuero, & N. Lapusta (2018) Finite-fault source inversion using adjoint methods in 3-D heterogeneous media. Geophysical Journal International, 214(1), 402-420.  doi: 10.1093/gji/ggy148

[9] Harris, R. A., M. Barall, B. Aagaard,  S. Ma, D. Roten, K. Olsen, B. Duan, D. Liu, B. Luo, K. Bai, J.-P Ampuero, Y. Kaneko,  A.-A. Gabriel, K. Duru, T. Ulrich, S.  Wollherr, Z.  Shi,  E. Dunham, S. Bydlon, Z. Zhang,  X. Chen,  S. N. Somala, C. Pelties, J. Tago, V. M.  Cruz‐Atienza,  J.  Kozdon, E. Daub, K. Aslam, Y. Kase,  K. Withers, L. Dalguer (2018)  A Suite of Exercises for Verifying Dynamic Earthquake Rupture Codes. Seismological Research Lettersvol. 89 (3), 1146-1162,

[8] Raghucharan, M.C., S. N. Somala (2017) Simulation of strong ground motion for the 25 April 2015 Nepal (Gorkha) Mw 7.8 earthquake using the SCEC broadband platform, Journal of Seismology, 1-32 doi:10.1007/s10950-016-9635-z

[7] Mai, P.M., D. Schorlemmer, M. Page, J.P. Ampuero,  K. Asano, M. Causse, S. Custodio, W. Fan, G. Festa, M. Galis, F. Gallovic, W. Imperatori, M. Käser, D. Malytskyy, R. Okuwaki, F. Pollitz,  L. Passone, H. Razafindrakoto, H. Sekiguchi, S. Song,   S. N. Somala,  K. Thingbaijam,  C. Twardzik, M. van Driel, J. Vyas, R. Wang, Y. Yagi and O. Zielke (2016) The earthquake‐source inversion validation (SIV) project , Seismological Research Letters, 87 (3) 690-708; doi: 10.1785/0220150231

[6] Harms, J., J.-P. Ampuero, M. Barsuglia, E. Chassande-Mottin, J.-P. Montagner, S. N. Somala and B. F. Whiting (2015) Transient gravity perturbations induced by earthquake rupture, Geophysical Journal International, 201 (3), 1416-1425 doi:10.1093/gji/ggv090

[5] Somala, S. N., J.-P. Ampuero and N. Lapusta (2014) Resolution of Rise Time in Earthquake Slip Inversions: Effect of Station Spacing and Rupture Velocity, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 104 (6). pp. 2717-2734, ISSN 0037-1106, doi: 10.1785/0120130185

[4] Galvez, P., J.-P. Ampuero, L. A. Dalguer, S. N. Somala and T. F. Nissen-Meyer (2014) Dynamic earthquake rupture modelled with an unstructured 3-D spectral element method applied to the 2011 M9 Tohoku earthquake, Geophysical Journal International, 198 (2), 1222-1240, doi:10.1093/gji/ggu203

[3] Michel, R., J.-P. Ampuero , J.-P. Avouac, N. Lapusta, S. Leprince, D.C. Redding and S. N. Somala (2013) A Geostationary Optical Seismometer, Proof of Concept, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 51 (1), 695-703, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2012.2201487

[2] Raghu Kanth, S.T.G., Lakshmi Kumari, K. and S.N. Somala (2012), Regional level ground motion simulation for a hypothetical great earthquake in the Garwhal Himalaya, Geomatics and Natural Hazards: 1-24, doi:10.1080/19475705.2012.731658

[1] Raghu Kanth, S.T.G. and S. N. Somala (2009), Modeling of Strong-Motion Data in Northeastern India: Q, Stress Drop and Site Amplification, Bulletin of Seismological Society of America, April 2009, Vol. 99 no. 2A 705-725, doi:10.1785/0120080025


[30] Raghucharan, M.C. and S. N. Somala, Generating site-specific ground motions for Delhi region for seismic vulnerability assessment of buildings, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) India, New Delhi, December 2017

[29] Raghucharan, M.C., D. Srinagesh, and S. N. SomalaSeismic Hazard Evaluation in Central Indo-Gangetic Plains, 54th Indian Geophysical Union (IGU) Convention, NGRI, Hyderabad, India, December 2017

[28] Chanda, S. and S. N. Somala,  Source Inversion Validation for the ICDP project: ‘Drilling into Seismogenic Zone (DSeis) of Earthquakes in South African Gold Mines’, Workshop on Frontiers in Studies of Earthquakes and Faults, Shenzhen, China, November 2017

[27] Ramachandruni, A., V. Chadhari and S. N. SomalaBehavior of tunnels crossing active step-over faults, Seventh Indian Rock Conference (INDOROCK 2017), New Delhi, India, October 2017

[26] Ogasawara, H., Y. Yabe, T. Ito, G. van Aswegen, A. Cichowicz, R. Durrheim, T. Onstott, T. Keift, A. Ishida, HY. Ogasawara, T. Yasutomi, A. Funato, K. Imanishi, M. Okubo, M. Boettcher, P. Moyer, W. Ellsworth, M. Ziegler, S. Wiemer, C. Janssen, S. Shapiro, H. Gupta, P. Dight, N. Wechsler, A.K. Ward, B. Liebenberg, Y. Mukuhira, S.N. Somala , J.P. Hunt, S. Bucibo, N. Berset, R. Harris, E.D. Cason and the ICDP DSeis Team (2017) Drilling to probe quasi-static and dynamic seismic ruptures in deep South African gold mines (DSeis) from cm- to km- scale , Schatzalp 2nd Induced Seismicity workshop, Davos, 14-17 March 2017

[25] Somala, S. N., Towards next generation attenuation relationships for India, 16th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (16WCEE), Santiago, Chile, January 2017

[24] Ramachandruni, A. and S. N. Somala, Jumping Ruptures for Hazard Analysis, Structural Engineering Convention (SEC2016), Chennai, India, December 2016

[23] Somala, S. N., Directivity effects of multiples pulses on peak ground motion, 6th International Conference on Recent Advances in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering (6ICRAGEE), Greater Noida, India, August 2016

[22] Somala, S. N., Infrastructural response to Extreme Speed Ruptures, 1st International Natural Hazards and Infrastructure (ICONHIC2016), Crete Island, Greece, June 2016

[21] Somala, S. N., Numerical simulation of the three component ground velocities from the 25th April, 2015 Nepal Earthquake, International Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Post Disaster Reconstruction Planning (ICEE-PDRP), Bhaktapur, Nepal, April 2016

[20] Somala, S. N., Applicaiton of anti-aliasing filter in seismic source imaging, 6th Annual Conference of the International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM), New Delhi, India, October 2015

[19] Ampuero, J.-P., J. Harms, S. N. Somala, Transient gravity changes induced by earthquake rupture and implications for early warning, SCEC Annual Meeting, Palm Springs, CA, Sept. 2013

[18] Somala, S. N., J.-P. Ampuero, N. Lapusta, Potential resolution of earthquake rupture processes with a block-by-block low-cost strong motion network, IAHS-IAPSO-IASPEI, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2013

[17] Somala, S. N., High-resolution Source Imaging by a space based seismometer, CIG/QUEST/IRIS workshop, Alaska, July 2013

[16] Cubas, N., J.-P. Avouac, N. Lapusta, H. Perfettini, S.N. Somala, Frontal propagation of Megathrust Earthquakes: the role of thermal-pressurization, Tectonics Observatory Annual Meeting, Caltech, Oct 2012

[15] Somala, S. N., J.-P. Ampuero, N. Lapusta, Remote Seismic Imaging of Dynamic Shear cracks with Dense Sensor Networks, Jim Knowles Symposium, Caltech, Jan 2013

[14] Somala, S. N., Z. Duputel, J.-P. Ampuero, N. Lapusta, Quantity Vs. Quality: Effect of Sensor Density and Sensitivity on Earthquake Source Inversion, IUGG Conference on Mathematical Geophysics (CMG), Edinburgh, Scotland, June 2012

[13] Somala, S. N., J.-P. Ampuero, N. Lapusta, Earthquake source inversion with dense networks, SCEC Annual Meeting, Palm Springs, CA, 2012

[12] Somala, S. N., P. Galvez, A. Inbal, J.-P. Ampuero, N. Lapusta, Towards Adjoint Finite Source Inversion: Application to the 2011 M9 Tohoku Earthquake, AGU Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract S43C-2248, 2011

[11] Ampuero, J.-P., L. Meng, P. Galvez, S. Somala, A. Inbal, Y. Luo, L. A. Dalguer,T. Nissen-Meyer, The Great 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake probed the broad spectrum of earthquake behavior at the bottom of a seismogenic zone, AGU Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract U42A-05, 2011

[10] Somala, S. N., J.-P. Ampuero, N. Lapusta, Effects of parameterization on finite source inversions with dense local data, SCEC Annual Meeting Abstract B-057, Palm Springs, CA, Sept. 2011

[9] Harris, R.A., M. Barall, R. Archuleta, B. Aagaard, J.P.Ampuero, D.J. Andrews, V. Cruz-Atienza, L. Dalguer, S.Day, N. DeDontney, B. Duan, E. Dunham, A.A. Gabriel, P. Galvez, Y. Kaneko, Y. Kase, J. Kozdon, N. Lapusta, S.Ma, P.M.Mai, H. Noda, D. Oglesby, K. Olsen, and S.Somala, The SCEC-USGS dynamic rupture code verification excercise, SCEC Annual MeetingAbstract A-115, Palm Springs, CA, Sept. 2011.

[8] Somala, S. N., J.-P. Ampuero, N. Lapusta, Earthquake source inversion with very dense seismic data, “Workshop of quantitative estimation of earth’s seismic sources and structure”, Iceland, July 2011

[7] Somala, S. N., J.-P. Ampuero, N. Lapusta, Dynamic Rupture of Megathrust Earthquakes with Branching on Splay Faults, AGU Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract S43A-2057, 2010.

[6] Ampuero, J.-P., S. N. Somala, N. Lapusta, Adjoint Inversion for Extended Earthquake Source Kinematics from very dense Strong Motion Data, AGU Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract S53C-1992, 2010.

[5] Somala, S. N., B. Aagaard, J.-P. Ampuero, N. Lapusta, Dynamic Earthquake Rupture Modeling with Pylith: SCEC Benchmarks and Application to Tsunamigenic Earthquakes, SCEC Annual Meeting Abstract S2-048, Palm Springs, CA, Sept. 2010.

[4] Aagaard, B.T., C.A. Williams, M. Knepley, S.N. Somala, PyLith: A Finite-Element Code for Modeling Quasi-static and Dynamic crustal deformation, SCEC Annual Meeting Abstract S2-021, Palm Springs, CA, Sept. 2010.

[3] Ampuero, J.-P., R. Michel, S. N. Somala, N. Lapusta, J.-P. Avouac, Towards Earthquake Source Imaging by a Space based Strong Motion Seismometer, Workshop on Earthquake Source Dynamics: Data and Data-constrained Numerical Modeling, Slovak Republic, June 2010

[2] Somala, S. N., B. Aagaard, J.-P. Ampuero, N. Lapusta, Benchmarking PyLith for 2-D and 3-D Spontaneous Rupture Modeling, Crustal Deformation Modeling (CDM) 2010 Workshop, Golden, CO, June 2010.

[1] Ampuero, J.-P., S. N. Somala, N. Lapusta, R. Michel, Proof of Concept for Seismic Wave Imaging, Monitoring Earth Surface Changes from Space II, Caltech, Mar. 2010.

Courses Taught:

Transportation Engineering (CE3810)

Analysis of Indeterminate Structures (CE2110)

Theory of Elasticity and Plasticity (CE6120)

Seminar (CE6006)

Structural Dynamics (CE6140)

Mathematical Methods for Civil Engineers (CE6170)

Computational Methods in Civil Engineering (CE6011)


Radheshyam Yadav

PhD students

M C Raghucharan

Sarit Chanda

Mohammed Khaja Moinuddin

K S K Karthik Reddy

Vasudeo Govind Chaudhary

Rajesh Parla

MTech students

Venkata Kishor Gangapogu (2017 graduated)

Adarsh Dwivedi

Avinash Ramachandruni

Shoaib Ayjaz Mohammed

Sangaraju Srihari