My research focuses on investigating plate boundary processes and deformation within the lithosphere using a range of techniques including space-based geodesy, seismology, and marine geophysics. At present, one major effort focuses on the evolution of North America’s Midcontinent rift, as discussed in the video below.
Another looks at a variety of topics dealing with earthquake hazard mitigation science and policy, including the fact that commonly used earthquake hazard mapping methods often fail to predict what happens in large destructive earthquakes. Colleagues and I are exploring how to assess how well these maps work, what causes the large uncertainties involved, and how to do better, as summarized in the video below.
Other topics include ongoing or past studies of earthquakes and earthquake zones that give insight into tectonic processes. These include the New Madrid seismic zone, the 2011 Virginia earthquake, the 2001 Bhuj earthquake in India, the 2004 Sumatra earthquake, 2011 Tohoku earthquake, and the Andes. Some studies, focusing on the thermal evolution of oceanic lithosphere, are cooperative projects with my wife Carol, who is on the faculty at the University of Illinois, Chicago. We try to do science, teach, advise students, and survive as the working parents of a teenage daughter, which is a bit hectic at times.