Anjana K Shah


Anji Shah is a research geophysicist with the Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center in Denver, CO, specializing in the use of gravity, magnetic and radiometric methods for geologic characterization and interpretation. She is currently working on several projects involving subsurface geologic characterization for earthquake hazard, mineral resource, and energy resource applications. She also has a background in marine geophysics.

For earthquake hazard studies, Dr. Shah uses gravity and magnetic data to distinguish contacts between subsurface rocks with different densities or magnetic properties. In some regions, these contacts may delineate buried faults and other structures that suggest seismic risk (see this article for application to the 2011 Mw5.8 Mineral, Virginia earthquake). Gravity and magnetic data can also be used to distinguish areas that may be more likely to exhibit seismicity in response to fluid injection (see this article for application to north-central Oklahoma).

Dr. Shah has also led several projects involving imaging and evaluation of rare-earth-element (REE) deposits. Concentrations of REE-bearing minerals in certain geological environments can be detected using radiometric and magnetic methods.  Heavy mineral sands are of particular interest because their extraction involves minimal impact; REE-bearing monazite and xenotime have been observed throughout the southeastern U.S. (visit related project page).  The Eastern Adirondacks were mined in the 1800’s and 1900’s for magnetite. The ores also contain REE-bearing apatite, and often REE’s are present in mining tailings. A combination of geophysical, geological and geochronological approaches is being used to study this area (visit related project page).


Ph.D.   Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, 2001

M.S.     Oceanography, University of Washington, 1996

M.S.     Applied Mathematics, New York University, 1990

B.S.     Mathematics, Stony Brook University, 1988


Research Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey, 2007-present

Senior Research Scientist, Dynamics Technology, Inc. (now Raytheon Company), 2004-2007. 

National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate, Naval Research Laboratory, 2001-2004. 

Selected Recent Abstracts / Conference Proceedings

Shah, A., Walsh, G., Taylor, R., Taylor, C., Aleinikoff, J., Klein, A., Regan, S., and Lupulescu, M., 2016, Geophysical, geochemical, and geological approaches to evaluating rare earth resources in the Eastern Adirondacks, upstate New York, Geological Society of America 2016 Annual Meeting. Link

Boyd, O.S. and A. K. Shah, 2016, Progress on the USGS National Crustal Model for seismic hazard studies, Seismological Society of America Annual Meeting, 2016. Link

Shah, A., R. Stanley, K.A. Lewis, P.J. Haeussler, C.J. Potter, R.W. Saltus and J. Phillips, 2015, Aeromagnetic survey data used to map features of the Cook Inlet and Susitna basins, Alaska, AGU-SEG Workshop "Potential field and electromagnetic methods applied to basin studies," 2015. Link

Pratt, T., A. Shah, and J.W. Horton, 2014, Discerning Faults Responsible for the Charleston, SC earthquake of 1886, Seismological Society of America Annual Meeting, 2014. Link


Berquist, C.R., A.K. Shah, and A. Karst, 2015, Placer deposits of the Atlantic Coastal Plain: stratigraphy, sedimentology, mineral resources, mining and reclamation: Cove Point, Maryland, Williamsburg and Stony Creek, Virginia, Society of Economic Geology Guidebook, 50, 48 pp. Link