Stanford University
Search  |   People  |   Calendar  |   Internal Resources  |   Home  
School of Earth Sciences
School of Earth
              Sciences home

Crustal Deformation and Fault Mechanics

    Crustal Deformation and Fault Mechanics




Fault scarp of the Chi Chi earthquake, Taiwan

Fault scarp of the 1999 Chi Chi earthquake in Taiwan

Welcome to the homepage of the Crustal Deformation and Fault Mechanics research group at Stanford University!

We investigate deformation of the Earth's crust due to earthquakes, volcanoes, and hydrothermal activity.

Eruption of Kilauea volcano

Eruption of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

Areas of interest include measuring deformation during and just after earthquakes to determine characteristics of the fault, and measuring deformation that occurs between earthquakes to learn how elastic strain accumulates in the crust.

Current work in these areas is focused on the San Andreas Fault in central California and the Tohoku region of northern Japan.

Volcanoes of the Galapagos islands

Volcanoes of the Galapagos Islands

Volcanic studies are using GPS, InSAR, and other data to study magmatic and seismic processes on  Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, and joint inversion of seismic and geodetic data to better image time dependent dike intrusion. We are also coupling  deformation and extrusion data to physics-based models of  eruption dynamics to better constrain volcanic plumbing systems.

We are developing tools for modeling complex and time-varying deformation in many of these locales. Our research improves the understanding of how earthquakes and volcanoes work, and contributes to a better knowledge of this very exciting part of Earth sciences.

Visit our research page for more information on current and past projects.

For the past decade the head of our group, Paul Segall, has taught a course called Crustal Deformation.  The two-quarter sequence develops the theoretical models that are most
widely used in modeling deformation data collected by the Global Positioning
System (GPS), Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), strainmeters,
tiltmeters, and other sensors.  He has written the textbook "Earthquake and
Volcano Deformation" that is now available from Princeton University Press.  The book website can be found at


  Last modified
Please contact the webmaster with suggestions or comments.