Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences
My students and I are using quantitative geological field data obtained using modern technolgy (e.g. GPS and ALSM) and the principles of structural geology, combined with computer modeling based upon continuum and fracture mechanics, to address fundamental questions about the processes of faulting, fracturing, and rock deformation. Our research aims to understand how faults and fractures initiate and evolve in Earth's brittle crust, and how these structures affect the flow of magma, groundwater, and hydrocarbons. We are investigating the crucial role that fractures play in earthquake generation, folding of sedimentary strata, and volcanic eruption.
Department of Geophysics
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.