Mark Zoback receives AGI public service award

Mark Zoback
Mark Zoback

Stanford Earth’s MARK ZOBACK received this year’s Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences award from the American Geosciences Institute (AGI).

The annual award is given to an individual or organization for “contributions leading to greater public appreciation and better understanding of the role of geosciences in society.”

AGI president Scott Tinker recognized Zoback, the Benjamin M. Page Professor in Earth Sciences at the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, for his “outstanding contributions to rock physics and geomechanics, in particular for applying geomechanics to solve a wide range of problems of scientific, engineering and economic importance.”

Zoback’s research has been key in the development of methods for the determination of in situ stresses in the Earth’s crust. In his early career, he carried out the first experimental studies of the relationship between permeability and the evolution of fracture arrays in deforming rocks. Working with MARY LOU ZOBACK, ┬áhe developed the first intraplate stress maps of the United States and North America. That led to the development of the World Stress Map Project, which shed new light on the dynamics of contemporary plate motions.

Zoback was also one of the principal investigators on the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth Project, where the physics of faulting was investigated. More recently, he served on the committee that investigated the root causes for the Deepwater Horizon blowout and resulting oil spill. He also served on the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board Natural Gas Subcommittee.

Read more on the Stanford Earth webpages.