Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability
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Professor (Research) of Energy Science Engineering, of Earth and Planetary Sciences and of Geophysics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy students and I use theoretical, computational, and statistical models, to discover and understand fundamental relations between geophysical data and subsurface properties, to quantify uncertainty in our geomodels, and to address value of information for decision making under uncertainty.
Wayne Loel Professor of Earth Sciences, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsRock physics, tectonophysics, fossil energy exploration, earthquake archaeology
Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and, by courtesy, of Geophysics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI have long been fascinated by magmas and volcanic eruptions, for reasons ranging from purely academic (trying to understand the magmatic construction of Earth’s crust) to purely practical (developing effective monitoring and mitigation strategies for volcanic eruptions). Consequently, my research revolves around understanding how, when, where, and why magmas are stored, evolve, and ultimately do (or do not!) erupt.
Within this context, I focus on two main themes: (1) the temporal, chemical, and physical, evolution of magmas, and (2) the interplay between magma storage conditions in the crust and magmatic processes. I employ a multi-faceted approach to explore these topics, integrating data from multiple scales and perspectives; my studies capitalize on information contained in field relations, crystal and melt inclusion textures (sizes, shapes, positions), crystal and volcanic glass geochemistry, geochronology, phase-equilibria and numerical modeling, and experiments. As a function of this approach, I am also engaged in the development of novel methods to address petrologic problems in new, better, and more refined ways than is currently possible.
A major focus of my research has been on supereruptions – gigantic explosive eruptions the likes of which we have never seen in recorded human history – but I am continually exploring other kinds of magmatic systems. I am currently particularly interested in the links (or lack thereof) between extrusive (i.e., erupted) and intrusive (i.e., unerupted) magmas, similarities/differences between large- and small-volume eruptions, and similarities/differences between magmas generated at different levels of the crust. I have also had a longstanding interest in the interactions and relationships between humans and their geologic surroundings (particularly volcanoes).
Associate Professor of Geophysics, of Electrical Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
BioMy research focuses on advancing the scientific and technical foundations of geophysical ice penetrating radar and its use in observing and understanding the interaction of ice and water in the solar system. I am primarily interested in the subglacial and englacial conditions of rapidly changing ice sheets and their contribution to global sea level rise. However, a growing secondary focus of my work is the exploration of icy moons. I am also interested in the development and application of science-optimized geophysical radar systems. I consider myself a radio glaciologist and strive to approach problems from both an earth system science and a radar system engineering perspective. I am actively engaged with the flow of information through each step of the observational science process; from instrument and experiment design, through data processing and analysis, to modeling and inference. This allows me to draw from a multidisciplinary set of tools to test system-scale and process-level hypotheses. For me, this deliberate integration of science and engineering is the most powerful and satisfying way to approach questions in Earth and planetary science.
The Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Professor of Geophysics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
I study active earthquake and volcanic process through data collection, inversion, and theoretical modeling. Using methods such as precise Global Positioning System (GPS) positioning and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) we are able to measure deformation in space and time and invert these data for the geometry of faults and magma chambers, and spatiotemporal variations in fault slip-rate and magma chamber dilation. The accumulation of shear strain in tectonic regions provides a direct measure of earthquake potential. Similarly, magma accumulation in the crust prior to eruptions causes measurable inflation. We use these data to develop and test models of active plate boundaries such as the San Andreas, and the Cascade and Japanese subduction zones, the nucleation of earthquakes, slow slip events, induced seismicity, and the physics of magma migration leading to volcanic eruptions. These physics-based models rely on principles and methodologies from solid and fluid dynamics.
I teach introductory undergraduate classes in natural hazards and the prediction of volcanic eruptions, as well as graduate level courses on modeling earthquake and volcano deformation and geophysical inverse theory.
James B. Macelwane Medal, American Geophysical Union (1990); fellow, American Geophysical Union (1990); fellow, Geological Society of America (1997); president, Tectonophysics Section, AGU (2002-04); U.S.G.S. Science of Earthquakes Advisory Committee (2002-06); California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Committee (2003-07); chair, Plate Boundary Observatory Steering Committee (2003-06); N.S.F. Panel, Instruments and Facilities Program (1997-2000); associate editor, Journal of Geophysical Research (1984-87). William Smith Lecturer, Geological Society of London (2011). Charles A. Whitten Medal, American Geophysical Union (2014), National Academy of Sciences (2016)
Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsPhysics of large-scale processes in the Earth
Assistant Professor of Geophysics and Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment
BioMy research group studies disasters to reduce the risk they pose. We approach this challenge by developing customized mathematical models that can be tested against observational data and are informed by community needs through a scientific co-production process. We intentionally work on extremes across different natural systems rather than focusing on one specific natural system to identify both commonalities in the physical processes driving extremes and in the best practices for mitigating risk at the community level. Our current research priorities include volcanic eruptions, ice-sheet instability, permafrost disintegration, induced seismicity and flood-risk mitigation. I was recently awarded the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers and the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation.
Professor of Earth System Science and, by courtesy, of Geophysics, of Civil and Environmental Engineering and of Oceans
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsPhysical oceanography; theory and numerical modeling of the ocean circulation; dynamics of ocean fronts and vortices; upper ocean processes; air-sea interaction.
Assistant Professor of Geophysics and, by courtesy, of Earth and Planetary Sciences
BioI utilize paleomagnetism and fundamental rock magnetism as tools to investigate problems in the planetary sciences. By studying the remanent magnetism recorded within rocks from differentiated planetary bodies, I can learn about core processes that facilitate the generation of dynamo magnetic fields within the Earth, Moon, and planetesimals. Determining the longevities and paleointensities of dynamo fields that initially magnetized rocks also provides insight into the long-term thermal evolution (i.e., effects of secular cooling) of planetary bodies. I also use paleomagnetism to understand impact cratering events, which are the most ubiquitous modifiers of planetary surfaces across the solar system. Impact events produce heat, shock, and sometimes hydrothermal systems that are all capable of resetting magnetization within impactites and target rocks via thermal, shock, and chemical processes. Therefore, I am able to use a combination of paleomagnetic and rock magnetic characterization to investigate shock pressures, temperatures, structural changes, and post-impact chemical alteration experienced by cratered planetary surfaces.
Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and, by courtesy, of Civil and Environmental Engineering and of Geophysics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsRock Physics, Fossil Energy Exploration, Volcanic and Geothermal Environments and Microseismicity
Assistant Professor of Earth System Science, by courtesy, of Geophysics, of Oceans and Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment
BioEarle Wilson is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth System Science. He is a physical oceanographer who studies ocean dynamics at high latitudes and their far-reaching impacts on the global climate. He is particularly interested in the circulation of the Southern Ocean and its interactions with the cryosphere (i.e., sea ice and marine-terminating glaciers). Dr. Wilson and his group explore these research questions using various tools and methods, ranging from in situ ocean observations and idealized numerical models.
Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Geophysics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
My students and I study the surfaces of Earth and planets using radar remote sensing methods. Our specialization is interferometric radar, or InSAR. InSAR is a technique to measure mm-scale surface deformation at fine resolution over wide areas, and much of our work follows from applying this technique to the study of earthquakes, volcanoes, and human-induced subsidence. We also address global environmental problems by tracking the movement of ice in the polar regions. whose ice mass balance affects sea level rise and global climate. We participate in NASA space missions such as Cassini, in which we now are examining the largest moon of Saturn, Titan, to try and deduce its composition and evolution. Our work includes experimental observation and modeling the measurements to best understand processes affecting the Earth and solar system. We use data acquired by spaceborne satellites and by large, ground-based radar telescopes to support our research.
I teach courses related to remote sensing methods and applications, and how these methods can be used to study the world around us. At the undergraduate level, these include introductory remote sensing uses of the full electromagnetic spectrum to characterize Earth and planetary surfaces and atmospheres, and methods of digital image processing. I also teach a freshman and sophomore seminar course on natural hazards. At the graduate level, the courses are more specialized, including the math and physics of two-dimensional imaging systems, plus detailed ourses on imaging radar systems for geophysical applications.
InSAR Review Board, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2006-present); editorial board, IEEE Proceedings (2005-present); NRC Earth Science and Applications from Space Panel on Solid Earth Hazards, Resources, and Dynamics (2005-present); Chair, Western North America InSAR (WInSAR) Consortium (2004-06); organizing committee, NASA/NSF/USGS InSAR working group; International Union of Radioscience (URSI) Board of Experts for Medal Evaluations (2004-05); National Astronomy and Ionospheric Center, Arecibo Observatory, Visiting Committee, (2002-04; chair, 2003-04); NASA Alaska SAR Facility users working group (2000-present); associate editor, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing (1998-present); fellow, IEEE (1998)
Benjamin M. Page Professor in Earth Sciences, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
I conduct research on in situ stress, fault mechanics, and reservoir geomechanics with an emphasis on shale gas, tight gas and tight oil production, the feasibility of long-term geologic storage of CO2 and the occurrence of induced and triggered earthquakes. I was one of the principal investigators of the SAFOD project in which a scientific research well was successfully drilled through the San Andreas Fault at seismogenic depth. I am the author of a textbook entitled Reservoir Geomechanics published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press, now in its sixth printing. I served on the National Academy of Energy committee investigating the Deepwater Horizon accident and the Secretary of Energy’s committee on shale gas development and environmental protection. I currently serve on a Canadian Council of Academies panel investigating the same topic.
I teach both undergraduate and graduate students. Reservoir Geomechanics is a graduate class for students in the departments of Geophysics, GES, and ERE, and Tectonophysics, a graduate class for students principally in Geophysics and GES. I co-teach a Freshman class entitled Sustainability and Collapse with Professor Ursula Heise of the English Department. I also help lead two graduate seminars each week and frequently attend and participate in other seminars.
Member, Canadian Council of Academies Committee on Shale Gas Development (2012-2013); Member, Secretary of Energy Committee on Shale Gas Development (2011-2012); Member, NAE Committee Investigating Deepwater Horizon Accident (2010-2011); President, American Rock Mechanics Association (2011-2013); Member of Board of RPSEA (2010-); Chair, Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Group of USGS (2007-2011); Advisory Board, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona (2008-2013); Chair, Stanford Faculty Senate (1999-2000); Chair, Department of Geophysics (1991-97); Chair, Science Advisory Group, ICDP (1999-2006); President, Tectonophysics Section, AGU (1988-89)