Barbara Bekins, U.S. Geological Survey

Hydrogeology and the Weak Nature of Plate Boundary Faults

  • DINNER MEETING - Tuesday, May 11, 2004
  • Location: Stanford University

  • 5:30 PM-Wine Tasting: . . . Mitchell Bldg., first floor
  • 6:15 PM-Dinner: . . . Mitchell Bldg., first floor
  • 7:30 PM-Meeting: . . . Bloch Lecture Hall (TCSEQ Room 201)

    see Map showing Mitchell
    Map showing Bloch

    Anyone wishing to attend the lecture only is welcome at no cost.

    This will be the 363rd meeting since 1954.


    There is evidence for low frictional strength along many plate-boundary faults, including the San Andreas and the Cascadia subduction megathrust. High pore pressure is a leading hypothesis to explain this behavior. Proposed mechanisms for generating excess pore pressures include consolidation, tectonic strain, metamorphic dehydration, mantle degassing, hydrocarbon generation, thermal expansion, and pressure solution. Regional-scale flow and transport models constrained by observations of fluid chemistry, heat flow, and pore pressure data can be used to test various pressure generation hypotheses. Ultimately, these results may be coupled to models of other processes such as frictional heating or strain to understand the importance of fluids. drawing of subduction zone

    About the Speaker

    Barbara Bekins is the 2004 GSA Hydrogeology Division Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer. She received a B.A. in Mathematics from UCLA, an M.S. in Mathematics from SJSU and worked for eight years as a computer specialist in the Seismology Branch of the USGS. She obtained Ph.D. at UCSC under the direction of Shirley Dreiss, with research focusing on numerical modeling of groundwater flow and solute transport in subduction zones. In 1993, she joined the USGS staff in Menlo Park as a post-doctoral scholar, and is now a Research Hydrologist.

    photo of Barbara by Mike Diggles
    Barbara Bekins

    Reservations: The preferred way to make reservations is simply to email Janice Sellers at by May 7, tell her you will attend, commit to pay, and bring your payment to the meeting. Janice always emails a confirmation; if you don't get one, assume email crashed yet again and email her a second time. A check made to "PGS" is preferred, payable at the meeting.

    If you want to pay in advance:

    Stanford faculty and students: Please make dinner reservations by May 7. Contact Dr. Juhn Liou via his mailbox (and leave check), Geological and Environmental Sciences Office, Geocorner - Bldg. 320 (Rm. 118). Make checks out to "PGS."

    All others, including faculty and students from other Bay Area universities and colleges and USGS: Please make dinner reservations by April 9. Contact Janice Sellers, at Seismological Society of America, 201 Plaza Professional Building, El Cerrito, CA 94530, phone (510) 559-1780. Send check made out to "PGS" to Janice.

    Dinner is $30.00. Includes wine (5:30 to 6:15 PM.), dinner (6:15-7:30 PM.), tax, and tip.

    For students from all universities and colleges, the dinner, including the social 3/4-hour, is $5.00 and is partially subsidized thanks to the School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University (Note, no-show reservations owe the full price).

    Doris, whose wonderful crew prepares our meals, asked that we let you know that people who are late RSVP'ing and people who show up without a reservation will be welcome but that they will be eating on paper plates with plastic utensils (food supply permitting).

    Dues for Academic Year 2004-2005 ($10.00) should be sent to Janice Sellers, Seismological Society of America, 201 Plaza Professional Building, El Cerrito, CA 94530. Janice's phone: (510) 559-1780.

    Officers: Cheryl Smith, President; Mike Diggles, Vice President; Vicki Langenheim, Secretary; Janice Sellers, Treasurer; Adina Paytan, Field-Trip Czarina

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    Date created: 04/26/2004
    Last modified: 04/26/2004
    Created by: Mike Diggles, Vice President, PGS.
    c/o U.S. Geological Survey, MS-951, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (650) 329-5404. email Mike Diggles at

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