Jean-Philippe Avouac


  • PhoneUNKNOWN
  • Cromore Road, Coleraine Campus

    BT52 1SA Coleraine

    United Kingdom

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1990 …2023

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Personal profile


Jean-Philippe Avouac is the Earle C. Anthony Professor of Geology and Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Professor of Environmental Geology at Ulster University.  He is the director of the NSF center for Geomechanics and the Mitigation of Geohazards and president-elect of the Tectonophysics section of the American Geophysical Union.   Jean-Philippe Avouac graduated from Ecole Polytechnique (France) in 1987 where he received a high-level education in mathematics, physics and engineering.  He received his Ph.D. in Geology from the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, France, in 1991.  He joined the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique in 1991 where he led the Laboratoire de Télédétection et Risque Sismique from 1996,  until he moved to Caltech by the end of 2002. He led the Caltech Tectonics Observatory from 2004 to 2014. He worked as the BP-McKenzie Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge (2014-2015).     Jean-Philippe Avouac has been Editor-in-chief of Earth and Planetary Science Letters since 2018, and he served as Editor-in-chief of Tectonophysics from 2014 to 2018.    Jean-Philippe Avouac has been studying earthquakes and tectonic processes for more than 25 years. He  has contributed to method developments in remote sensing,  geodesy, geomorphology and seismology. He uses these techniques to inform theory, and develop models of earthquakes and deformation of the crust. The Himalaya, and the India-Asia collision zone, has been a long time  focus of his research. His recent activities have focused on the interplay between fluid flow and faulting, with the aim of advancing the understanding of the effect of fluid injection or withdrawal on subsurface deformation, transport properties and seismicity.  

Jean-Philippe Avouac has published more than 200 articles in international peer-reviewed journals (Google scholar profile) and holds patents in image processing.  His publications have received >18000 citations; h-index >71 (source: Web of Science, December 2019).

Jean-Philippe Avouac also has non-academic experience. He has been a member of the Technology Advisory Committee of BP from 2014 to 2018. During his employment by the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (France) he conducted and supervised seismic hazard studies for nuclear facilities in France. Under a contract with the reinsurance company SCOR, he led from 1998 to 2001 the development of proprietary software and global database for probabilistic seismic hazard assessment. Under a contract with SNCF, he was also involved in designing a system for detecting earthquakes and stop high speed trains in southern France.


Membership of professional societies

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Geophysical Union

Seismological Society of America

European Geophysical Union

Geological Society of America

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Committee for Space Research

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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