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Departments & Programs



The Department of Geophysics

Geophysics is a field that integrates geology, mathematics, and physics in order to understand how the Earth works. Geophysicists study Earth processes through a combination of laboratory experiments, computational and theoretical modeling, remote imaging, and direct observation. Research in the Geophysics Department at Stanford has both fundamental and strategic elements. Our students benefit from this breadth of exposure and are highly sought after for rewarding careers in academia, industry, and government.

Much, though not all, of the research we engage in can be grouped in three broad research themes: Energy, Environment, and Hazards. Among the research topics pursued by faculty and graduate students are: measuring crustal deformation using precision geodesy; high resolution imaging of the shallow crust using active source seismology; studies on the feasibility of carbon sequestration; earthquake source studies and hazard analysis; radar remote sensing of the Earth and other bodies in the solar system; rock physics of petroleum reservoirs and for environmental remediation; state of stress and mechanical behavior of the crust; passive imaging of the crust and upper mantle; and regional tectonics and continental evolution. We are located in the Earth Sciences Mitchell Building, but our faculty, staff, and students benefit from research interactions between other groups on campus, at the nearby US Geological Survey, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as well as with industry and other universities around the world.