Home

Central California coast, a prime serpentinite field area!

Central California coast, a prime serpentinite field area!

My primary research focuses on the mechanical behavior of crustal rocks. I am particularly interested in how slip is accommodated on faults, either through the generation of earthquake or by stable fault creep. My research to date has focused on faults containing serpentinite, a rock common to portions of the San Andreas Fault and other creeping fault segments. Serpentinite is also California’s state rock! I employ a variety of methods to address these questions, including numerical models of earthquake cycles, laboratory experiments, and field studies of naturally deformed faults and shear zones.

Current Research

  • Numerical modeling of earthquakes and stable fault creep on serpentinized faults.
  • Laboratory experiments to determine the role of serpentinite dehydration in subduction-zone earthquakes.
  • Field studies of serpentinized faults and shear zones along the Big Sur coastline, central California.

Collaborations With Students

  • Susan Nielsen, ’00 thesis, ‘The Water of the Claremont Colleges: A Three-Dimensional Model’
  • Heidi Reeg, ’99 thesis, ‘Structural variations in deformed serpentinites from Sand Dollar Beach, Monterey County, California’
  • Alix Krull, ’99 thesis, ‘Fault kinematics in the MalPais sandstones of the Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica’
  • Susan Nielsen, ’00 SURP summer project, ‘Experimental determination of the influence of foliation orientation on the strength of antigorite serpentinite at 3.0 GPa and 700 degrees C’
  • Amy Vithayathil, ’00 thesis ‘Antigorite dehydration and its implications for intermediate depth earthquakes’
  • Ben Mirus, ’01 Research Seminar project, ‘Relationship between orientations of small faults and the Cristianitos Fault, San Onofre, California’
  • Alix Krull, ’99 Research Seminar project, ‘Effect of small fault formation on the porosity of the San Mateo sandstone, San Onofre, California’
 S/C fabric in serpentinite, Coast Range, Central California

S/C fabric in serpentinite, Coast Range, Central California