Mary Lou Zoback

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Mary Lou Zoback
Born (1952-07-05) July 5, 1952 (age 66)
Citizenship American
Alma mater Stanford University
Scientific career
Fields geology, geophysics
Institutions U.S. Geological Survey

Mary Lou Zoback (née Chetlain) (born July 5, 1952[1]) is an American geophysicist who led the world stress map project of the International Lithosphere Program.[2] Zoback is currently a member of the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board.[3]

Life and career

Zoback attended Stanford University, receiving her B.S. in 1974, M.S. in 1975, and Ph.D. in 1978.[4] She did a Post-Doctoral program with the National Research Council from 1978–1979 with the U.S. Geological Survey's Heat Flow Studies group. She was a research scientist in the earthquake studies office at the USGS from 1979 until 2003. From 2003–2011 Zoback was the vice president, earthquake risk applications with Risk Management Solutions in Newark, California.[3][4]

Zobacks' major area of interest is active tectonics, with emphasis on the relationship of the in-situ tectonic stress field to earthquake deformation. Her studies have focused on the San Andreas fault system. From 1986 to 1992, Zoback led the world stress map project of the International Lithosphere Program. The project involved more than 40 scientists from over 30 different countries with the objective of compiling and interpreting geologic and geophysical data on the present day tectonic stress field.

Zoback is a past member of U. S. Geodynamics Committee (National Research Council) and the NSF review panel for the continental dynamics program. She is a past member of the council and executive board of the Geological Society of America (GSA).[5] She served as GSA president in 2000.

Zoback is married to Stanford University Professor Mark David Zoback. They have 2 children.[6]

Awards and honors

Selected publications

  • State of stress in the conterminous United States. Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 85, no. B11, p. 6113–6156. (1980)
  • New evidence on the state of stress on the San Andreas fault system. Science, v. 238, p. 1105–1111. (1987)
  • Global patterns of tectonic stress. Nature, v. 341, p. 291–298. (1989)
  • First and second order patterns of stress in the lithosphere: the World Stress Map project. Journal Geophysical Research, v. 97, p. 11703-11728. (1992).
  • Abrupt along-strike change in tectonic style: San Andreas fault zone, San Francisco Peninsula. Journal of Geophysical Research: v. 104, p. 10719-10,742. (1999)
  • Analysis of the tsunamis generated by the Mw7.8 1906 San Francisco earthquake." Geology, v. 27, p. 15–18. (2000)
  • Grand challenges in earth and environmental sciences: science, stewardship, and service for the 21st century. GSA Today, v., p. 41- 46. (2001)[8]


  1. ^ "Zoback, Mary Lou C". Library of Congress Authorities. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "The World Stress Map Project – A Service for Earth System Management". Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. 
  3. ^ a b "Zobeck Resume". U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. 
  4. ^ a b Wayne, Tiffany K. (2011). American Women of Science Since 1900: Essays A-H. Vol.1. ABC-CLIO. pp. 997–998. ISBN 9781598841589. 
  5. ^ "BIOGRAPHY-Mary Lou Zoback and Abstract for talk". 
  6. ^ "View Tree for Mary Lou Chetlain". Family tree maker @ Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  7. ^[dead link]
  8. ^ "Mary Lou Zoback | IRIS". 
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