Research

I study the causes and effects of stresses applied to the lithosphere, both today and throughout Earth’s history. I am currently pursuing four topics, ranging from measuring the stress field itself to understanding the physical processes that assembled the western USA.

 
 

Crustal stress & geodynamics

I am mapping the state of tectonic stress in detail across North America. My new map of the relative principal stress magnitudes (faulting regime) and 600+ new orientations of the maximum horizontal stress magnitude reveals a remarkably variable stress field in certain regions.

 

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. My focuses on the timing and magnitude of extension, evolution of crustal thickness and surface elevation, and development of metamorphic core complexes.

 

Geomechanics & fault zones

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