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Departments & Programs


  • Rock deformation and fluid transport

    Using state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, we investigate why natural rocks deform, and how this changes local fluid transport. We perform mechanical and permeability tests in combination with micro and nanoscale analysis/imaging to identify the mechanisms that control bulk deformation, fault movement and fluid transport at the crustal and reservoir scale.  Learn more

  • Faulting and Crustal Mechanics

    Our group carries out a variety of studies that approach problems of faulting and crustal mechanics in geologic environments by integration of various types of data. Typically, these studies involve working with data on the magnitude and orientation of in situ stresses, seismological data, geodetic data, etc.

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  • Reservoir Geomechanics

    We are carrying out a series of studies, usually in close collaboration with the oil and gas industry, on problems in oil and gas reservoirs, potential CO2 repositories and geothermal reservoirs. The emphasis of this research recently has been on shale gas, tight gas and tight oil reservoirs.

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The Stress and Crustal Mechanics group uses knowledge of the state of stress in the Earth and the mechanical properties of Earth materials to investigate a variety of geophysical problems. The group is directed by Professor Mark Zoback. [more]
View Mark Zoback's short bio

Recent Publications

Chang, C., E. Mallman and M.D. Zoback (2014). Time-Dependent Subsidence Associated with Drainage-Induced Compaction in Gulf of Mexico Shales Bounding a Severely
Depleted Gas Reservoir
AAPG Bulletin, V. 98, No. 6 (June 2014), PP. 1145-1159.

Heller, R., J. Vermylen and M.D. Zoback (2013), Experimental Investigation of Matrix Permeability of Gas ShalesAAPG Bulletin, V. 98, No. 5 (May 2014), PP 975-995.

Heller, R. and Zoback, M.D., Adsorption of Methane and Carbon Dioxide on Gas Shale and Pure Mineral SamplesThe Jour. of Unconventional Oil and Gas Res 8 (2014), 14-24 .

Boyle, K. and M.D. Zoback, The Stress State of the Northwest Geysers, CA Geothermal Field and Implications for Fault-Controlled Fluid FlowBull. Seismol. Soc. Amer, Vol. 104, No. 5, pp.-, October 2014.

Sone H. and M. D. Zoback (2014). Time-dependent deformation of shale gas reservoir rocks and its long-term effect on the in situ state of stress. International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 69 (2014) 120–132, July 2014