Office: Earth & Marine Sci. C340
Telephone: (831) 459-2480
Fax: (831) 459-3074
Earth is a very active body. Plate tectonics, earthquakes, and mountain building are all ramifications of dynamic processes occurring within our planet's interior. Steven Ward’s interests deal with what can be learned about these deep-seated processes from surface observations. Extrapolating surface data, such as gravity or geodetic positions, to depth within the Earth requires quantitative seismological and geomechanical models. Ward and his students devise computer simulations of stresses, fractures, waves, and flows within elastic-viscoelastic structures of large and small scales to explain phenomena as diverse as the rebound of Lake Bonneville, flexure lithospheric plates, creep on faults, generation of tsunamis, nature of the earthquake cycle, origin of stresses within subducting slabs, shape and slip distribution of shallow earthquakes, diffusion of topography, and deformation near active plate margins.
The next few years will produce a revolution in Earth sensing employing new space-based techniques. A variety of very precise measurements will soon be available for all points on the globe. With these new data, geodynamics should be an increasingly exciting field for some time to come.
Princeton M.A., Ph.D.