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The Stress and Crustal Mechanics group uses knowledge of the state of stress in the Earth and the mechanical properties of Earth materials to investigate a variety of geophysical problems. These problems cover a variety of scales, ranging from pore scale processes and the mechanical behavior of reservoir-scale faults, to the strength of the lithosphere and the mechanics of major plate bounding faults such as the San Andreas.

Our group conducts basic and applied research in the areas of reservoir geomechanics, tectonophysics, and the physics of friction and faulting. We treat the Earth's crust as a natural laboratory, using a combination of stress and strain data obtained from boreholes, GPS measurements, and earthquake focal mechanisms to test theories about the behavior of the lithosphere. Our group is heavily engaged on applying these methodologies toward optimization of production from gas shale research and CO2 sequestration.


The Stress and Crustal Mechanics Group is associated with the following industrial affiliates programs:

Earthquake graph

Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity

The Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity (SCITS) is an industrial affiliates program on the topic of induced and triggered earthquakes.  Ten Stanford Professors in the Departments of Geophysics, Energy Resource Engineering, Earth System Science and Civil and Environmental Engineering are involved in SCITS.  They and their research groups are addressing a wide variety of scientific and operational issues associated with managing the risk posed by induced and triggered earthquakes.

Photo of power plant

Stanford Natural Gas Initiative

The revolution in natural gas production has changed the energy outlook in much of the world and thrust this resource into the global spotlight as a potential bridge to a cleaner energy future. It has raised hopes, along with concerns. Watch.

carbon emissions diagram

Stanford Center for Carbon Storage

The mission of Stanford Center for Carbon Storage (SCCS) is “Managing carbon emissions research to address critical questions related to capture, flow physics, monitoring, and geochemistry, simulation of the transport and fate of CO2 in geologic media using a multidisciplinary approach.”