UCL Earth Sciences


Scientist Spotlight: Lucia Andreuttiova

5 November 2021

Hi, I’m Lucia! I am currently a third year PhD student at the Department of Earth Sciences at UCL.

Lucia Andreuttiova sitting at her computer desk

Hi, I’m Lucia! I am currently a third year PhD student at the Department of Earth Sciences at UCL. My research aims to understand the evolution of faults and the effect of the rock properties on the fracture distribution around normal faults. To do this, I use optical image correlation of historical aerial photographs. Historical imagery is a great source of data which spans beyond the last 30 years of the satellite era. Applying modern techniques (such as structure-from-motion), developed as a response to the current explosion of the satellite data, to the historical images allows us to explore earthquakes even 50 years after the event. These data are valuable because earthquakes on normal faults which rupture the surface are rare and fault scarps which these earthquakes initiate are degraded or non-existent. Using historical images which were captured shortly before and after the earthquake preserve the displacement which we can then quantify with image correlation. Since aerial imagery has a large ground footprint, we can estimate the ground displacement everywhere in the earthquake area. Information of the ground motion are valuable because they are used as an input into probabilistic seismic hazard forecasts and help to characterise old earthquakes which contribute to the expansion of the earthquake catalogue. 

As a child I never aspired to study science and instead was encouraged to choose Economics, Business, or Law. A search for applicable degrees I may enjoy led me to study Environmental Geoscience at The University of Edinburgh. After my first year I swiftly switched to Geology and never looked back. I become fascinated by the complex systems and the rock-formation process and decided that, if possible, I would like to find a career which would allow me to look at rocks. After my undergraduate degree I applied for a MSc course at UCL where I have been ever since. Geology is a fascinating subject with a large range of applications which contribute to understanding of past and current environmental, economic, and societal problems. I am very excited to be part of this dynamic field! 

When not doing my PhD, I like cycling, swimming, hiking, or reading.