Research

I study how the lithosphere deforms under stress, both actively and throughout Earth’s history. I am currently pursuing four topics, ranging from measuring the stress field itself to understanding what processes assembled the western USA.

 
 

Crustal stress & geodynamics

I am working with 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.

Hear the latest at AGU this December in Washington, D.C.:
Preliminary next-generation stress map of the central and eastern USA

 

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 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.

Hear the latest at AGU this December in Washington, D.C.:
Cenozoic thermal and topographic evolution of the northern Great Basin, western U.S.

 

Geomechanics & fault zones

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