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Departments & Programs



Lecture Classes

Professor Zoback teaches an introductory class titled Sustainability and Collapse with Professor Russell Berman of the Comparative Literature Department. Sustainability and Collapse is part of Stanford’s Thinking Matters curriculum. Sustainability and Collapse explores both scientific and humanistic approaches to questions of environmental sustainability through a study of novels, historical texts, and works of biogeography. Students learn to ask how textual and visual images inform our ideas about what it means to live sustainably and consider whether those ideas are in accordance with or in conflict with scientific understandings of human uses of nature. This class is taught in the Autumn quarter.

Professor Zoback teaches a graduate level class titled Reservoir Geomechanics. The course covers basic principles of rock mechanics and the state of stress and pore pressure in sedimentary basins related to exploitation of hydrocarbon and geothermal reservoirs. Topics include mechanisms of hydrocarbon migration, exploitation of fractured reservoirs, reservoir compaction and subsidence, hydraulic fracturing, and utilization of directional and horizontal drilling to optimize well stability. Offered every other year in the Spring quarter.

Reservoir Geomechanics is also offered as a free online class open to anyone. Click here for information or to register.

Professor Zoback teaches a graduate level class titled Tectonophysics with Professor Simon Klemperer of the Geophysics Department. This class investigates the physics of faulting and plate tectonics. Topics include plate driving forces, lithospheric rheology, crustal faulting, and the state of stress in the lithosphere. Exercises ask students to investigate lithospheric temperature and strength profiles, calculate seismic strain from summation of earthquake moment tensors, understand slip on faults in 3D, model stress triggering, and invert of stress from earthquake focal mechanisms. Offered every other year in the Winter quarter, during alternate years from Reservoir Geomechanics.

Research Seminars

The Stress and Crustal Mechanics Group offers a weekly seminar in which students and professors present their own research as well as current work by other scientists in the fields of tectonic stress, crustal deformation, reservoir geomechanics, induced and triggered seismicity, and global energy issues. Come join us!

Winter 2016 Schedule for the Stress Seminar (GEOPHYS 385K), held in Mitchell Earth Sciences B59

Date Time Speaker Talk Title
January 6 12:30 pm–
1:10 pm
 (various) Quarter planning meeting
January 13 12:30 pm–
1:10 pm
Shaochuan Xu & Huiying Tang Introduction to decline curve analysis
January 20 12:30 pm–
12:50 pm
Gader Alalli Paper review of "Comparison of empirical decline curve methods for shale wells"
12:50 pm–
1:10 pm
Kevin McCormack Paper review of "A better way to forecast production from unconventional gas wells"
January 27 12:30 pm–
12:50 pm
Jens-Erik Lund Snee Paper review of "Gas production in the Barnett Shale obeys a simple scaling theory"
12:50 pm–
1:10 pm
Huiying Tang Paper review of "Analysis of production data from fractured shale gas wells"
February 3 Shemin Ge presentation in Y2E2 111: No seminar
February 10 12:30 pm–
12:50 pm
Noha Farghal Paper review of "Evaluation of production losses from unconventional shale reservoirs"
12:50 pm–
1:10 pm
Fatemeh Rassouli Paper review of "Comparison of fractured-horizontal-well performance in tight sand and shale reservoirs"
February 17 12:30 pm–
1:10 pm
Cornelius Langenbruch Introduction and overview for Fluid Induced Seismicity by Serge A. Shapiro
Basic physical process understanding
Section 5: Seismicity rate and magnitudes
February 24 12:30 pm–
12:50 pm
Cornelius Langenbruch Maximum magnitude induced by fluid injections
Section 5.2 in Fluid Induced Seismicity by Serge A. Shapiro
12:50 pm–
1:10 pm
Robert Cieplicki Linear pore pressure diffusion
Triggering and back front, estimation of hydraulic transport properties
Sections 3.1–3.3 and 3.7 in Fluid Induced Seismicity by Serge A. Shapiro
March 2 12:30 pm–
12:50 pm
 Huiying Tang Linear pore pressure diffusion
Hydraulic anisotropy, strength of pre-existing fractures, spatial event density
Sections 3.5 and 3.8–3.9 in Fluid Induced Seismicity by Serge A. Shapiro
12:50 pm–
1:10 pm
Alex Hakso Non-linear pore pressure diffusion and hydraulic fracturing
Seismicity induced by non-linear pressure diffusion (hydraulic fracturing), permeability estimation of reservoir rocks and hydraulic fractures
Section 4.1-4.2 in Fluid Induced Seismicity by Serge A. Shapiro
March 9 12:30 pm–
1:00 pm
Jens-Erik Lund Snee Modeling crustal stress perturbations
1:00 pm–
1:10 pm
Mark D. Zoback Bibliography of new Unconventional Reservoir Geomechanics by Mark D. Zoback and Arjun H. Kohli

March 16

12:30 pm–
1:10 pm
Mark D. Zoback Condensed version of SEPD talks
March 23 Spring Break: No Talks