My principal research interest is earthquake geology, which uses geological
layers and landforms to understand the geometries of active faults,
the earthquakes they generate, and the crustal structure their movements
produce. My early work on the San Andreas fault led to the discovery
of how often and how regularly it produces large earthquakes in southern
More recently, my students and colleagues and I have just finished
a study of Taiwan’s multitude of active faults and figured out
how their earthquakes are creating that mountainous island. Also, we
have begun a study of the earthquake geology of Myanmar (Burma). Our
principal current research interest is the subduction megathrust that
produced the devastating giant Sumatran earthquakes and Indian Ocean
tsunamis of 2004 and 2005. That research suggests that the megathrust
is poised to produce yet another giant earthquake in western Sumatra.
This year I am on sabbatical in Singapore, working on
a proposal to create an Earth Observatory there that would conduct
basic and applied research related to earthquake, volcanic, coastal
and climate hazards.
Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences
1200 E. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125