Academic Appointments


Administrative Appointments


  • 1st. Lt., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1956 - 1958)
  • Research Assistant in Seismology, California Institute of Technology (1959 - 1961)
  • Senior Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1961 - 1963)
  • Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology (1963 - 1964)
  • Assistant Professor of Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology (1964 - 1965)
  • Assistant Professor of Geophysics, Stanford University (1965 - 1966)
  • Associate Professor of Geophysics, Stanford University (1966 - 1970)
  • Professor of Geophysics, Stanford University (1970 - 2005)
  • Invited Visiting Professor, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Sendai University (1975 - 1975)
  • Visiting Scientist, Weizmann Institute of Science (1976 - 1976)
  • Associate Dean for Research, School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University (1977 - 1979)
  • Visiting Professor of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii (1977 - 1978)
  • Professor Emeritus of Geophysics, Stanford University (2005 - Present)

Honors & Awards


  • Tau Beta Pi, Engineering Honorary Fraternity (1954)
  • Sigma Gamma Epsilon, Earth Sciences Honorary Fraternity (1954)
  • Fellow, Geological Society of America (1970)
  • Guggenheim Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1970)
  • Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (1973)
  • Invited Visiting Professor, University of Tohoku, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (1975)
  • President, Seismology Section, American Geophysical Union (1976-1978)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Faculty Representative, Judicial Affairs Board (2008 - 2010)
  • Invited Speaker, Seismological Society of America Meeting, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2008 - 2008)
  • Session Chairman, Seismological Society of America Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2003 - 2003)
  • Invited Speaker, Apocalypse Then and Now, University of Calgary (2002 - 2002)
  • Organizer, Union Session on Archaeological Evidence for Historic and Prehistoric Earthquakes, American Geophysical Union (2001 - 2001)
  • Invited Speaker, Seismological Society of America, Eastern Section, South Carolina (2001 - 2001)
  • Member, Development Committee, American Geophysical Union (2000 - 2004)
  • Associate Chair, Department of Geophysics (2000 - 2004)
  • Organizer, 3rd Conference on Tectonic Problems of the San Andreas Fault System, Stanford University (2000 - 2000)
  • Speaker, Symposium on Great Earthquakes in the Cordillera, G.S.A. Cordilleran Section (1999 - 1999)
  • Centennial 1899-1999, Berkeley (1999 - 1999)
  • Field Trip Leader, Freshman/Sophomore College, Sterling Quad (1999 - 1999)
  • Leader, Stanford Introductory Seminar Field Trip to Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico (1999 - 2007)
  • Member, School of Earth Sciences Shell Foundation Fund (1995 - 2003)
  • Member, University Subcommittee on Academic Standing, Petitions and Exceptions (C-AAA-ASPE) (1993 - 1999)
  • Station Manager, Stanford Broadband Seismic Facility (1991 - 2003)
  • Member, John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center, Stanford University (1976 - 2005)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, Geophysics (1962)
  • M.A., Columbia University, Geology (1959)
  • Geophysical Engineer, Colorado School of Mines, Geophysics (1955)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Earthquake seismology, natural hazards, and ancient earthquakes and archaeology

All Publications


  • Earthquakes and Civilizations of the Indus Valley: A Challenge for Archaeology Ancient Earthquakes Kovach, R. L., Grijalva, K., Nur, A. M. Geological Society of America. 2010: 119ā€“127

    View details for DOI 10.1130/2010.2471(11)

  • Earthquakes and Archaeology: Neocatastrophism or Science? EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union Kovach, R. L., Nur, A. M. 2006; 87 (32): 317-318
  • Evidence for Tectonic Activity during the Mature Harappan Civilization, 2600-1800 BCE EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, v. 87, no. 52 Grijalva, K. A., Kovach, R. L., Nur, A. M. 2006: T51Dā€“1553
  • Guide to Global Hazards Kovach, R. L., McGuire, B. Firefly Books Ltd.. 2004
  • Early Earthquakes of the Americas Kovach, R. L. Cambridge University Press. 2004
  • Long-term creep-rate changes and their causes GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Bokelmann, G. H., Kovach, R. L. 2003; 30 (8)
  • Guide to Global Hazards Kovach, R. L., McGuire, B. Philip's, Octopus Publishing Group Ltd., London. 2003
  • History of Geophysics at Stanford International Handbook of Earthquake & Engineering Seismology, Part B Kovach, R. L., Beroza, G. C. edited by Lee et al. Academic Press. 2003
  • Did Earthquakes Play a Role in the Demise of Maya Centers Proceedings of the 35th Chacmool Conference, Apocalypse Then and Now, University of Calgary Kovach, R. L., Garcia, Jr., B. N. 2002
  • Seismic detectability of a subsurface ocean on Europa ICARUS Kovach, R. L., Chyba, C. F. 2001; 150 (2): 279-287
  • Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Tectonic Problems of the San Andreas Fault System edited by Bokelmann, G., Kovach, R. L. Stanford University Publications in Geological Sciences, v. XXI. 2000
  • Seismotectonics of the Death Valley region Kovach, R. L. http://www.FATBRAIN.com/ematter/home.html. 1999
  • Europa and Titan: Preliminary Recommendations of the Campaign Science Working Group on Prebiotic Chemistry in the Outer Solar System Proceedings, Lunar and Planetary Science Chyba, C. F., McKinnon, W. B., Coustenis, A., Johnson, R. E., Kovach, R. L., et al 1999
  • Review of Furious Earth: The Science and Nature of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunamis by Ellen J. Prager, McGraw-Hill Geotimes Kovach, R. L. 1999; 45 (8): 32-33
  • Conflict with the Earth--Disasters and Human Affairs Kovach, R. L. Agreka Books, Utah,175 pp.. 1998
  • Estimates of Deformation Rates and Earthquake Recurrence Intervals, Stanford Area USGS Open File Report 96-267, Towards Assessing the Seismic Risk Associated with Blind Faults Page, B., Kovach, R. L. 1996: 39ā€“40
  • Seismotectonics near Stanford University California Geology Kovach, R. L., Page, B. M. 1995; 48 (4): 91-98
  • Seismic Potential from Reverse Faulting on the San Francisco Peninsula Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America Kovach, R. L., Beroza, G. C. 1993; 83: 597-602
  • SHEAR VELOCITY STRUCTURE OF THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA LITHOSPHERE JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH AND PLANETS Levander, A. R., Kovach, R. L. 1990; 95 (B12): 19773-19784
  • UPLIFT AND A POSSIBLE MOHO OFFSET ACROSS THE DEAD-SEA TRANSFORM TECTONOPHYSICS TENBRINK, U. S., SCHOENBERG, N., Kovach, R. L., BENAVRAHAM, Z. 1990; 180 (1): 71-85
  • GEOPHYSICAL INVESTIGATIONS IN JORDAN TECTONOPHYSICS Kovach, R. L., ANDREASEN, G. E., Gettings, M. E., ELKAYSI, K. 1990; 180 (1): 61-69
  • SHEAR-WAVE OBSERVATIONS IN THE REGION NORTH OF THE SAN-FRANCISCO BAY BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Levander, A. R., QUIN, H., Kovach, R. L. 1983; 73 (4): 1031-1039
  • SHEAR-WAVE VELOCITIES AND CRUSTAL STRUCTURE OF THE EASTERN SNAKE RIVER PLAIN, IDAHO JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH GREENSFELDER, R. W., Kovach, R. L. 1982; 87 (NB4): 2643-2653
  • CRUSTAL STRUCTURE OF MAUNA LOA VOLCANO, HAWAII, FROM SEISMIC REFRACTION AND GRAVITY-DATA BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Zucca, J. J., Hill, D. P., Kovach, R. L. 1982; 72 (5): 1535-1550
  • GEODETIC ANALYSIS OF RESERVOIR DEPLETION AT THE GEYSERS STEAM FIELD IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH Denlinger, R. P., ISHERWOOD, W. F., Kovach, R. L. 1981; 86 (NB7): 6091-6096
  • S-WAVE OBSERVATIONS IN THE FRANCISCAN TERRANE, CENTRAL CALIFORNIA BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Levander, A. R., Kovach, R. L. 1981; 71 (6): 1863-1874
  • INSITU VELOCITY STUDY - STONE CANYON WELL JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH STIERMAN, D. J., Kovach, R. L. 1979; 84 (NB2): 672-678
  • PRESSURE-INDUCED VELOCITY-GRADIENT - ALTERNATIVE TO A PG REFRACTOR IN THE GABILAN RANGE, CENTRAL CALIFORNIA BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA STIERMAN, D. J., Healy, J. H., Kovach, R. L. 1979; 69 (2): 397-415
  • NEAR-FIELD MOTIONS FROM A PROPAGATING STRIKE-SLIP FAULT IN AN ELASTIC HALF-SPACE BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Israel, M., Kovach, R. L. 1977; 67 (4): 977-994
  • VIKING SEISMIC EXPERIMENT SCIENCE Anderson, D. L., Duennebier, F. K., LATHAM, G. V., TOKSOZ, M. F., Kovach, R. L., Knight, T. C., LAZAREWICZ, A. R., Miller, W. F., Nakamura, Y., Sutton, G. 1976; 194 (4271): 1318-1321

    Abstract

    A three-axis short-period seismometer is now operating on Mars in the Utopia Planitia region. The noise background correlates well with wind gusts. Although no quakes have been detected in the first 60 days of observation, it is premature to draw any conclusions about the seismicity of Mars. The instrument is expected to return data for at least 2 years.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1976CN68700026

    View details for PubMedID 17797092

  • WATER-LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS AND EARTHQUAKES ON SAN ANDREAS FAULT ZONE GEOLOGY Kovach, R. L., Nur, A., Wesson, R. L., Robinson, R. 1975; 3 (8): 437-440
  • TIME VARIATIONS IN TELESEISMIC RESIDUALS PRIOR TO MAGNITUDE 5.1 BEAR VALLEY EARTHQUAKE OF FEBRUARY 24, 1972 PURE AND APPLIED GEOPHYSICS Cramer, C. H., Kovach, R. L. 1975; 113 (1-2): 281-292
  • A SEARCH FOR TELESEISMIC TRAVEL-TIME ANOMALIES ALONG THE SAN ANDREAS FAULT ZONE GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Cramer, C. H., Kovach, R. L. 1974; 1 (2): 90-92
  • FLUID-PRESSURE VARIATIONS AND FAULT CREEP IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA TECTONOPHYSICS Johnson, A. G., Kovach, R. L., Nur, A. 1974; 23 (3): 257-266
  • SOURCE MECHANISMS FOR WILMINGTON OIL FIELD, CALIFORNIA, SUBSIDENCE EARTHQUAKES BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Kovach, R. L. 1974; 64 (3): 699-711
  • LUNAR NEAR-SURFACE STRUCTURE REVIEWS OF GEOPHYSICS Cooper, M. R., Kovach, R. L., WATKINS, J. S. 1974; 12 (3): 291-308
  • COMPRESSIONAL AND SHEAR WAVE VELOCITIES IN GRANULAR MATERIALS TO 2.5 KILOBARS JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH Talwani, P., Nur, A., Kovach, R. L. 1973; 78 (29): 6899-6909
  • APOLLO 17 SEISMIC PROFILING - PROBING LUNAR CRUST SCIENCE Kovach, R. L., WATKINS, J. S. 1973; 180 (4090): 1063-1064

    Abstract

    Apollo 17 seismic data are interpreted to determine the structure of the lunar crust to a depth of several kilometers. Seismic velocity increases in a marked stepwise manner beneath the Taurus-Littrow region at the Apollo 17 site. A thickness of about 1200 meters is indicated for the infilling mare basalts at Taurus-Littrow. The apparent velocity is high (about 4 kilomleters per second) in the material immediately underlying the basalts.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1973P720900032

    View details for PubMedID 17806584

  • PORE PRESSURE CHANGES DURING CREEP EVENTS ON SAN-ANDREAS FAULT JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH Johnson, A. G., Kovach, R. L., Nur, A. 1973; 78 (5): 851-857