Research

I study the way that the Earth's crust responds to tectonic stress. I am currently pursuing four topics, ranging from measuring the stress field itself to piecing together tectonic history.

 
 

Crustal stress & geodynamics

I am working with Professor Mark Zoback to map the state of tectonic stress across the south-central USA. Our new map of the relative principal stress magnitudes (faulting regime) and 300+ new orientations of the maximum horizontal stress magnitude reveals a remarkably variable stress field across this area.

 

Induced & triggered seismicity

Since 2009, the rate of seismicity has increased significantly across the central and eastern USA. Much of this increase has been attributed to deep injection of saltwater produced together with oil and gas. I developing tools and knowledge that companies can apply to reduce the chance of triggering earthquakes.

 

Tectonic history of the western United States

I study the Cenozoic geologic history and the evolution of crustal thickness and surface elevation across the Basin and Range of the western USA in collaboration with Professor Elizabeth Miller. Our work focuses on the timing and magnitude of extension, evolution of crustal thickness and surface elevation, and development of metamorphic core complexes.

 

Structural geology & fault zones

I am interested in the internal characteristics, permeability structure, and seismic potential of fault zones.