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Robert Skoumal, PhD

I am a research geophysicist at the Earthquake Science Center in Moffett Field, California. My research focuses on improving our ability to characterize both natural and induced (“anthropogenic”) earthquakes.

I am particularly interested in developing new methods to identify small magnitude earthquakes over regional distances, creating methods to distinguish between natural/induced seismicity, investigating geologic/industrial parameters that influence the likelihood of inducing earthquakes, and using “Large-N” datasets (e.g., nodal arrays, distributed acoustic sensing) to better characterize earthquakes.

2020-present: Research Geophysicist, US Geological Survey (Moffett Field, CA)
2016-2020: Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow, US Geological Survey (Menlo Park/Moffett Field, CA)
2016: Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
2015: Geophysical Rock Properties R&D Intern, Chevron Corporation (Houston, TX)
2012-2016: Research & Teaching Assistant, Miami University (Oxford, OH)
2011: Teaching Assistant, Eckerd College (St. Petersburg, FL)
2011: NOAA Hollings Scholar (Kenai Peninsula, Alaska)

2016: Ph.D. Geology, Miami University (Oxford, OH)
    Dissertation: “Characterizing induced and natural earthquake swarms using correlation algorithms”
2014: M.S. Geology, Miami University (Oxford, OH)
    Thesis: "Optimizing multi-station template matching through re-examination of the Youngstown, Ohio, sequence"
2012: B.S. Marine Science (Geophysics) summa cum laude, Eckerd College, (St. Petersburg, FL)
    Thesis: "Seasonal and interannual oceanographic variability in Kachemak Bay, Alaska"

Publications (For copies of any papers, contact

  • Kaven, J., R. J. Skoumal (2021). Intelligent monitoring system for real-time geologic storage, optimization, and reservoir management. USGS Cooperator Publication.
  • Skoumal, R. J., E. Cochran (2021). Wastewater disposal has not significantly altered the regional stress state in southern Kansas. Seis. Res. Let.
  • Skoumal, R. J., D. Trugman (2021). The proliferation of induced seismicity in the Permian Basin, Texas,  J. Geophys. Res., 126.
  • Skoumal, R. J., E. Cochran, K. Kroll, J. Rubinstein, D. McPhillips (2021). Characterizing stress orientations in southern Kansas. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.
  • Skoumal, R. J., J. Kaven, A. Barbour, C. Wicks, M. Brudzinski, E. Cochran, J. Rubinstein (2021). The induced Mw 5.0 March 2020 West Texas seismic sequence. J. Geophys. Res., 126
  • Ries, R., M. Brudzinski, R. J. Skoumal, B. Currie (2020). Factors influencing the probability of hydraulic fracturing induced seismicity in Oklahoma. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 110(5): 2272–2282.

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