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Chris Marone

Office Address: 
536 Deike Building
Department of Geosciences
PDF icon Curriculum Vitae (117.53 KB)
Research Interests: 
  • Experimental Geophysics
  • Earthquake Physics
  • Rock Mechanics
  • Granular Mechanics
  • Friction and Faulting
Ph.D., Columbia, 1988

Marone’s research group works on earthquake science, friction, fluid flow and geomechanics.  Recent work has focused on the discovery that machine learning can predict the timing and in some cases magnitude of laboratory earthquakes.  Research directions include the mechanics of laboratory earthquakes and the physics of precursory changes in rock properties prior to failure.  Marone’s group recently discovered how to reproduce in the laboratory the full spectrum of slip modes from aseismic and slow slip to elastodynamic rupture. A major research direction involves identifying the mechanisms that allow slow, quasi-dynamic rupture in the laboratory and investigations of the extent to which such mechanisms may also operate on tectonic faults. Other directions include laboratory experiments to investigate the roles of fault slip velocity and slip history on friction (so called rate and state effects) and their application to earthquake faults.  Marone’s group is studying how machine learning and other techniques can be applied to laboratory earthquake prediction to improve forecasts of the spectrum of tectonic failure modes.

Recent Activities: 
  1. Bolton, D. C., Shreedharan, S. Rivière, J., and C. Marone, C, Acoustic energy release during the laboratory seismic cycle: insights on laboratory earthquake precursors and prediction, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 125, 10.1029/2019JB018975, 2020.
  2. Im, K., Saffer, D. M., Marone, C. and J. P. Avouac, Slip rate-dependent friction as a universal mechanism for slow slip events, Nature Geosc., 10.1038/s41561-020-0627-9, 2020.
  3. Kenigsberg, A. R., Rivière, J., Marone, C. and D. M. Saffer, Evolution of elastic and mechanical properties during fault shear: the roles of clay content, fabric development, and porosity. J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 10.1029/2019JB018612, 2020. 

  4. Kenigsberg, A. R., Rivière, J., Marone, C. and D. M. Saffer, A method for determining absolute ultrasonic velocities and elastic properties of experimental shear zones, Int. J. Rock Mech. and Min. Sci., 30,10.1016/j.ijrmms.2020.104306, 2020.
  5. Manogharan P., Wood, C., Rivière, J., Elsworth, D. and Marone, C., Shokouhi, P., Elastodynamic nonlinear response of dry intact, fractured and saturated rock, American Rock Mechanics Association, ARMA 20-1673, 2020.
  6. Miller, P. K., Marone, C., and D. M. Saffer., The role of deformation bands in dictating poromechanical properties of unconsolidated sand and sandstone, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 10.1029/2020GC009143, 2020.
  7. Shokouhi, P., Jin, J., Manogharan, P., Wood, C., Rivière, J., Elsworth, D. and C. Marone, An experimental investigation of the coupling between elastodynamic and hydraulic properties of naturally fractured rock at the laboratory scale, American Rock Mechanics Association, ARMA 20-1519, 2020.
  8. Shreedharan, S., Bolton, D. C., Rivière, J., and C. Marone, Preseismic fault creep and elastic wave amplitude precursors scale with lab earthquake magnitude for the continuum of tectonic failure modes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 10.1029/2020GL086986, 2020.

  9. Trugman, D., McBrearty, I. W., Bolton, D. C., Guyer, R. A., Marone, C., and P. A. Johnson, The spatio-temporal evolution of granular microslip precursors to laboratory earthquakes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 10.1029/2020GL088404, 2020.
  10. Veedu, D. M., Giorgetti, C., Scuderi, M. M., Barbot, S., Marone, C., and C. Collettini, Bifurcations at the stability transition of earthquake faulting, Geophys. Res. Lett., 10.1029/2020GL087985, 2020.
  11. Kenigsberg, A. R., Rivière, J., Marone, C. and D. M. Saffer, The effects of shear strain, fabric, and porosity evolution on elastic and mechanical properties of clay-rich fault gouge, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 10.1029/2019JB017944, 2019.

  12. Shokouhi, P., Jin, J., Wood, C., Rivière, J., Madara, B., Elsworth,, D., and C. Marone, Dynamic stressing of naturally fractured rocks: on the relation between transient changes in permeability and elastic wave velocity, Geophys. Res. Lett., 10.1029/2019GL083557, 2019.

  13. Bolton, D. C., Shokouhi, P., Rouet-Leduc, B., Hulbert, C., Rivière, J., Marone, C., and P. A. Johnson, Characterizing acoustic precursors to laboratory stick-slip failure events using unsupervised machine learning, Seis. Res. Letts., 10.1785/0220180367, 2019.
  14. Fisher, D. M., Smye, A. J., Marone, C., van Keken, P. E., and Yamaguchi, Kinetic models for healing of the subduction interface based on observations of ancient accretionary complexes, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., GGGE21954, 10.1029/2019GC008256, 2019.
  15. Hulbert, C., Rouet-Leduc, B., Johnson, P. A., Ren, C. X., Rivière, J., Bolton, D. C., and C. Marone, Machine learning predictions illuminate similarity of fast and slow laboratory earthquakes, Nat. Geosc., 12, 69-74, 10.1038/s41561-018-0272-8, 2019.
  16. Im, K., Marone, C. and D. Elsworth, The transition from steady frictional sliding to inertia-dominated instability with rate and state friction, J. Mech. Phys. Sol., 122, 116-125, 10.1016/j.jmps.2018.08.026, 2019.
  17. Lyu, Z., Rivière, J., Yang, Q., and C. Marone, On the mechanics of granular shear: the effect of normal stress and layer thickness on stick-slip properties, Tectonophysics, 10.1016/j.tecto.2019.04.010, 2019.
  18. Schwartz, B., Elsworth, D., and C. Marone, Relationships between mechanical and transport properties in Marcellus shale, Int. J. Rock Mech. and Min. Sci., 119, 205–210, 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2019.04.020, 2019.
  19. Shreedharan, S., Rivière, J., Bhattacharya, P., and C. Marone, Frictional state evolution during normal stress perturbations probed with ultrasonic waves, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 124, 1-23, 10.1029/2018JB016885, 2019.
  20. Yassaghi, A. and C. Marone, The relationship between fault zone structure and frictional heterogeneity, insight from faults in the High Zagros, Tectonophysics, 762, 109–120, 10.1016/j.tecto.2019.04.029, 2019.
  21. Zhu, T., Ajo-Franklin, J. Daley, T., M. and C. Marone, Dynamics of geologic CO2 storage and plume motion revealed by seismic coda waves, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci, 10.1073/pnas.1810903116, 2019.
  • Louis Néel Medal of the European Geosciences Union

  • Fellow of the American Geophysical Union

  • American Geophysical Union Outstanding Reviewer

  • Paul F. Robertson Award for the Breakthrough of the Year, Pennsylvania State University

  • Research Achievement Award, Energy Institute, Pennsylvania State University

  • Outstanding Member of the Community, Awarded by PSU Fraternity and Sorority Chapters

  • Wilson Research Award, Pennsylvania State University

  • Kerr-McGee Career Development Professorship, MIT


Chris J. Marone is Professor of Geophysics, a principal PI of the G3 (Geomechanics, Geofluids, and Geohazards) group and head of the Rock Mechanics Laboratory at The Pennsylvania State University.  He also holds a research position at the University of Rome (La Sapienza) where he is leading a European Research Council Advance Grant Project (TECTONIC). His research activities focus on earthquake physics, the mechanics of faulting, laboratory techniques for geophysics, and fluid rock interactions. Marone’s work has applications to earthquake science, energy production, waste storage, unconventional oil and gas reservoir analysis, granular mechanics, and the application of machine learning to geophysical data. He is an active member of several research centers and departments at Penn State. He was recently awarded the Louis Néel Medal of the European Geosciences Union for outstanding achievements in rock magnetism, rock physics and geomaterials and has received the Outstanding Research Award from The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State.