Bio


Thomas L. Holzer is an engineering geologist employed by the U.S. Geological Survey. He is headquartered at the Earthquake Science Center in Menlo Park, CA. His research interests are geologic hazards and global change. He has taught at Stanford since 1994.

Academic Appointments


  • Consulting Professor, Geological Sciences

Honors & Awards


  • Distinguished Service Award, U.S. Department of Interior (2012)
  • Publication (Best Paper) Award, Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (2011)
  • Distinguished Lecturer, New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (2008)
  • R. H. Jahns Distinguished Lecturer, Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists/Geological Society of America (1998)
  • George Maxey Distinguished Service Award, Geological Society of America Hydrogeology Division (1995)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Member, American Geophysical Union (1968 - Present)
  • Member, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (1999 - Present)
  • Fellow, Geological Society of America (1967 - Present)
  • Trustee, Geological Society of America Foundation (2010 - Present)
  • Member, Seismological Society of America (2005 - Present)

Professional Education


  • BSE, Princeton University, Geological Engineering (1965)
  • MS, Stanford University, Hydrology (1966)
  • Ph.D., Stanford University, Geology (1970)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Currently developing a methodology for regional probabilistic mapping of earthquake-induced liquefaction hazard. Involves geotechnical characterization of surficial geologic units. Prototype maps have been published for the San Francisco Bay area, including predictions of the response of East Bay sandy fills for repeats of the 1868 Hayward and 1906 San Francisco earthquakes. Also pursuing the relation between world population and the frequency of earthquakes with extremely large death tolls.

2013-14 Courses


All Publications


  • Global earthquake fatalities and population Earthquake Spectra Holzer, T. L., Savage, J. C. 2013; 29 (1): 155-175
  • Liquefaction probability curves for surficial geologic deposits Environmental & Engineering Geoscience Holzer, T. L., Noce, T. E., Bennett, M. J. 2011; 17 (1): 1-21
  • Liquefaction caused by the 2009 Olancha, California (USA), M5.2 earthquake ENGINEERING GEOLOGY Holzer, T. L., Jayko, A. S., Hauksson, E., Fletcher, J. P., Noce, T. E., Bennett, M. J., Dietel, C. M., Hudnut, K. W. 2010; 116 (1-2): 184-188
  • The Water Table GROUND WATER Holzer, T. L. 2010; 48 (2): 171-173
  • Implications of ground-deformation measurements across earth fissures in subsidence areas in the southwestern USA LAND SUBSIDENCE, ASSOCIATED HAZARDS AND THE ROLE OF NATURAL RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT Holzer, T. L. 2010; 339: 9-19
  • Predicted liquefaction in the greater Oakland area and Northern Santa Clara Valley during a repeat of the 1868 Hayward Fault (M6.7-7.0) Earthquake Conference on earthquake hazards in the eastern San Francisco Bay area Holzer, T. L., Noce, T. E., Bennett, M. J. 2010: 147-163
  • Scenario Liquefaction Hazard Maps of Santa Clara Valley, Northern California BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Holzer, T. L., Noce, T. E., Bennett, M. J. 2009; 99 (1): 367-381

    View details for DOI 10.1785/0120080227

    View details for Web of Science ID 000266181100028

  • Living with unstable ground Environmental Awareness Series Holzer, T. L. American Geological Institute. 2009; 11
  • Liquefaction, ground oscillation, and soil deformation at the Wildlife array, California BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Holzer, T. L., Youd, T. L. 2007; 97 (3): 961-976

    View details for DOI 10.1785/0120060156

    View details for Web of Science ID 000247052500018

  • Seismotectonic implications of sand blows in the southern Mississippi Embayment ENGINEERING GEOLOGY Cox, R. T., Hill, A. A., Larsen, D., Holzer, T., Fonnan, S. L., Noce, T., Gardner, C., Morat, J. 2007; 89 (3-4): 278-299
  • Liquefaction hazard mapping with LPI in the Greater Oakland, California, area EARTHQUAKE SPECTRA Holzer, T. L., Bennett, M. J., Noce, T. E., Padovani, A. C., Tinsley, J. C. 2006; 22 (3): 693-708

    View details for DOI 10.1193/1.2218591

    View details for Web of Science ID 000240375200006

  • Predicted liquefaction of east bay fills during a repeat of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake EARTHQUAKE SPECTRA Holzer, T. L., Blair, J. L., Noce, T. E., Bennett, M. J. 2006; 22: S261-?

    View details for DOI 10.1193/1.2188018

    View details for Web of Science ID 000236913300013

  • Liquefaction at Oceano, California, during the 2003 San Simeon earthquake BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Holzer, T. L., Noce, T. E., Bennett, M. J., Tinsley, J. C., Rosenberg, L. I. 2005; 95 (6): 2396-2411

    View details for DOI 10.1785/0120050078

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234412100025

  • Coordinating NEHRP post-earthquake investigations - Exercising the plan EARTHQUAKE SPECTRA Holzer, T. L., Scawthorn, C., Rojahn, C. 2005; 21 (4): 1043-1062

    View details for DOI 10.1193/1.2087707

    View details for Web of Science ID 000233816600007

  • Mapping NEHRP V-S30 site classes EARTHQUAKE SPECTRA Holzer, T. L., Padovani, A. C., Bennett, M. J., Noce, T. E., Tinsley, J. C. 2005; 21 (2): 353-370

    View details for DOI 10.1193/1.1895726

    View details for Web of Science ID 000230960400005

  • Shear-wave velocity of surficial geologic sediments in northern California: Statistical distributions and depth dependence EARTHQUAKE SPECTRA Holzer, T. L., Bennett, M. J., Noce, T. E., Tinsley, J. C. 2005; 21 (1): 161-177

    View details for DOI 10.1193/1.1852561

    View details for Web of Science ID 000230960300008

  • Unsaturation beneath a water table ENVIRONMENTAL & ENGINEERING GEOSCIENCE Holzer, T. L., Bennett, M. J. 2003; 9 (4): 379-385
  • Liquefaction potential index: Field assessment JOURNAL OF GEOTECHNICAL AND GEOENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING Toprak, S., Holzer, T. L. 2003; 129 (4): 315-322
  • CPT-hole closure GROUND WATER MONITORING AND REMEDIATION Noce, T. E., Holzer, T. L. 2003; 23 (1): 93-96
  • Liquefaction and soil failure during 1994 Northridge earthquake JOURNAL OF GEOTECHNICAL AND GEOENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING Holzer, T. L., Bennett, M. J., Ponti, D. J., Tinsley, J. C. 1999; 125 (6): 438-452
  • The history of the aquitard-drainage model LAND SUBSIDENCE CASE STUDIES AND CURRENT RESEARCH: PROCEEDINGS OF THE DR. JOSEPH F. POLAND SYMPOSIUM ON LAND SUBSIDENCE Holzer, T. L. 1998: 7-12
  • Land subsidence caused by the East Mesa geothermal field, California, observed using SAR interferometry GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Massonnet, D., Holzer, T., Vadon, H. 1997; 24 (8): 901-904
  • PREDICTING EARTHQUAKE EFFECTS - LEARNING FROM NORTHRIDGE AND LOMA-PRIETA SCIENCE Holzer, T. L. 1994; 265 (5176): 1182-1183

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994PD42200021

    View details for PubMedID 17787579

  • PIEZOMETER PERFORMANCE AT WILDLIFE LIQUEFACTION SITE, CALIFORNIA JOURNAL OF GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING-ASCE Youd, T. L., Holzer, T. L. 1994; 120 (6): 975-995
  • SAND BOILS WITHOUT EARTHQUAKES GEOLOGY Holzer, T. L., Clark, M. M. 1993; 21 (10): 873-876
  • STATE AND LOCAL RESPONSE TO DAMAGING LAND SUBSIDENCE IN UNITED-STATES URBAN AREAS ENGINEERING GEOLOGY Holzer, T. L. 1989; 27 (1-4): 449-466
  • DYNAMICS OF LIQUEFACTION DURING THE 1987 SUPERSTITION HILLS, CALIFORNIA, EARTHQUAKE SCIENCE Holzer, T. L., Youd, T. L., HANKS, T. C. 1989; 244 (4900): 56-59

    Abstract

    Simultaneous measurements of seismically induced pore-water pressure changes and surface and subsurface accelerations at a site undergoing liquefaction caused by the Superstition Hills, California, earthquake (24 November 1987; M = 6.6) reveal that total pore pressures approached lithostatic conditions, but, unexpectedly, after most of the strong motion ceased. Excess pore pressures were generated once horizontal acceleration exceeded a threshold value.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1989T999800024

    View details for PubMedID 17818846

  • MODERN GROUND FAILURE IN THE GARLOCK FAULT ZONE, FREMONT VALLEY, CALIFORNIA GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA BULLETIN PAMPEYAN, E. H., Holzer, T. L., Clark, M. M. 1988; 100 (5): 677-691
  • PARKFIELD, CALIFORNIA, LIQUEFACTION PREDICTION BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Holzer, T. L., Bennett, M. J., Youd, T. L., CHEN, A. T. 1988; 78 (1): 385-389
  • EFFECT OF WATER-LEVEL RECOVERIES ON FAULT CREEP, HOUSTON, TEXAS GROUND WATER Holzer, T. L., GABRYSCH, R. K. 1987; 25 (4): 392-397
  • LAND SUBSIDENCE - ITS IMPACTS AND COSTS IN THE UNITED-STATES (REPRINTED FROM GROUND FAILURE, SPRING, 1985) UNDERGROUND SPACE Holzer, T. L. 1985; 9 (5-6): 260-?
  • LAND SUBSIDENCE NEAR OIL AND GAS-FIELDS, HOUSTON, TEXAS GROUND WATER Holzer, T. L., BLUNTZER, R. L. 1984; 22 (4): 450-459
  • DIFFERENTIAL COMPACTION MECHANISM FOR EARTH FISSURES NEAR CASA-GRANDE, ARIZONA GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA BULLETIN Jachens, R. C., Holzer, T. L. 1982; 93 (10): 998-1012
  • EARTH FISSURES AND LOCALIZED DIFFERENTIAL SUBSIDENCE WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH Holzer, T. L., PAMPEYAN, E. H. 1981; 17 (1): 223-227
  • PRE-CONSOLIDATION STRESS OF AQUIFER SYSTEMS IN AREAS OF INDUCED LAND SUBSIDENCE WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH Holzer, T. L. 1981; 17 (3): 693-704
  • FAULTING CAUSED BY GROUNDWATER LEVEL DECLINES, SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, CALIFORNIA WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH Holzer, T. L. 1980; 16 (6): 1065-1070
  • ELASTIC EXPANSION OF THE LITHOSPHERE CAUSED BY GROUNDWATER DEPLETION JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH Holzer, T. L. 1979; 84 (NB9): 4689-4698
  • FAULTING CAUSED BY GROUNDWATER EXTRACTION IN SOUTHCENTRAL ARIZONA JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH Holzer, T. L., Davis, S. N., LOFGREN, B. E. 1979; 84 (NB2): 603-612
  • ELASTIC EXPANSION OF THE LITHOSPHERE CAUSED BY GROUNDWATER WITHDRAWAL IN SOUTH-CENTRAL ARIZONA TECTONOPHYSICS Holzer, T. L. 1979; 52 (1-4): 304-304
  • GEOPHYSICAL INVESTIGATIONS OF GROUND FAILURE RELATED TO GROUNDWATER WITHDRAWAL - PICACHO BASIN, ARIZONA GROUND WATER Jachens, R. C., Holzer, T. L. 1979; 17 (6): 574-585