P. Martin Mai

Principal Investigator

‪Professor of Geophysics, 

Associate Dean, 

Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering‬




Research Interests

·  Multi-scale earthquake phenomena: from data-driven experimental studies to HPC-enabled forward simulations
·  Physics-based ground-motion simulations for seismic & tsunami hazard applications
·  Seismic waves in inhomogeneous media: scattering simulations and imaging Earth structure 
·  Engineering seismology, seismic hazard assessment, and coupled natural hazards (tsunamis, landslides)
·  Geothermal energy for Saudi Arabia: low-enthalpy geothermal energy system in Red Sea rift basins​

Selected Publications

for a complete list, click here!

  • Palgunadi, K. H., A.-A. Gabriel, T. Ulrich, J. Á. López-Comino, and P.M. Mai (2020).  Dynamic Fault Interaction during a Fluid-Injection-Induced Earthquake: The 2017 Mw 5.5 Pohang Event, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., doi: 10.1785/120200106
  • Mai, P.M. (2019). Supershear tsunami disaster, Nature Geoscience, Feb 04, 2019,  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0308-8
  • Tang, Z., P. M. Mai, S.-J. Chang, H. Zahran(2018). Evidence for crustal low shear-wave speed in western Saudi Arabia from multi-scale fundamental-mode Rayleigh-wave group-velocity tomography, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 495 (2018) 24–37, doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2018.05.011
  • Galis, M., J.-P. Ampuero, P. M. Mai, F. Cappa (2017). Induced seismicity provides insight into why earthquake ruptures stop, Science Advances, 2017; Vol. 3, no12, eaap7528
  • Thingbaijam, K.K.S., P.M. Mai and K. Goda (2017). New empirical earthquake source-scaling laws, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 107, No. 5, pp. 2225–2246, September 2017, doi: 10.1785/0120170017.
  • Mai, P.M., M. Galis, K. Thingbaijam, J. Vyas, and E. Dunham (2017). Accounting for fault roughness in pseudo-dynamic ground-motion simulations, Pure and Applied Geophysics, published online April 03, 2017, DOI 10.1007/s00024-017-1536-8
  • Zielke, O., M. Galis, and P. M. Mai (2017). Fault roughness and strength heterogeneity control earthquake size and stress drop, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44,doi:10.1002/2016GL071700.
  • Mai, P.M.,and  K.K.S Thingbaijam (2014). SRCMOD: An online database of finite-fault rupture model,Seis. Res. Lett., Vol 85, No 6, p 1348 -1357, doi: 10.1785/0220140077
  • Missimer, T.M., P. M. Mai & N. Ghaffour (2014). A new assessment of combined geothermal electric generation and desalination in western Saudi Arabia: targeted hot spot development, Desalination andWater Treatment, DOI: 10.1080/19443994.2014.939868.    
  • Gabriel, A.A., J.-P. Ampuero, L.A. Dalguer, and P.M.Mai (2012). The Transition of Dynamic Rupture Stzles in Elastic Media under velocity-weakening friction,  J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 117, B09, doi:10.1029/2012JB009468, 2012
  • Hillers, G., P.M. Mai, Y. Ben-Zion, and J.-P. Ampuero (2007). Statistical properties of seismicity of fault zones at different evolutionary stages,  Geophys. J. Int., Geophys. J. Int.,169 (2), 515–533 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03275.x
  • Mai, P.M., and G.C. Beroza (2002). A spatial random field model to characterize complexity in earthquake slip,  J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 107 (B11), 2308, doi:10.1029/2001JB000588


  • 2001 Ph.D., Stanford University, USA
  • 1995 M.Sc., University of Karlsruhe, Germany 
  • 1991 B.Sc., University of Karlsruhe, Germany

Professional Profile

  • 2011–present: Professor of Earth Science and Engineering, KAUST, KSA
  • 2009–2011: Associate Professor of Geophysics, KAUST, KSA
  • 2006–2009: Senior Scientist and Lecturer, ETH Zurich, Institute of Geophysics, Switzerland
  • 2004–2006: Research Scientist and Lecturer, Institute of Geophysics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2002–2004: Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Geophysics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland


August-Wilhelm Scheer Visiting Professor, TU Munich, Dept. of Informatics (Jul-Sep 2015)

Visiting Research Fellow at the Center of Advanced Studies (CAS), LMU Munich (Oct-Dec 2015)

Visiting Research Scientist at the Earthquake Research Institute (ERI), Univ. Tokyo (Sep-Nov 2006)