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Stephen R. Brown

Rock Mechanics and Geophysics



Contact Information:

Dartmouth College
Department of Earth Sciences
6105 Fairchild Hall
Hanover, NH 03755


New England Research, Inc.
331 Olcott Drive Suite L1
White River Jct., VT 05001
Email: sbrown@ner.com
Office Phone: 802-296-2401
Office Fax: 603-646-3922

Overview of Research:

What I'd tell my grandfather I do for a living (if he were alive):

Rock physics is the application of the principles of physics, primarily mechanics, to the study of rock and rock-like materials. I apply rock physics to develop methods for "seeing" what is underground through remote means, to develop methods for more efficient removal of oil, gas, and geothermal energy from the ground, methods to describe groundwater resources, and methods to describe toxic waste sites (where the waste is and where it is going), and finding ways to safely dispose of hazardous waste. The beauty of this field is that all of these interesting and important problems are related, so the solution to one might very well be a solution to another.

I am concerned both with understanding the underlying physical mechanisms for geologic processes, and at the same time I try to bridge the gap between the fundamental physics and the empirical laws applied daily by the engineer. There is an increasing need to ensure that applied formulas are based on sound physics.

Although I am trained as an experimentalist, I recognize that there are many other equally important techniques which can help us understand geologic processes. I think that research is most successful when all available techniques are considered. I am continually trying to obtain new tools for my research. Therefore, my work may incorporate combinations of theory, numerical simulation, laboratory experiments, field observations, and field experiments.

Besides being an adjunct faculty member at Dartmouth, I am currently a Principal Scientist at New England Research in Wilder, Vermont just across the river from Dartmouth College (1997-present). I was formerly a Senior Scientist at Applied Research Associates (1996-1997), a Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories (1987-1996), a Member of the Professional Staff at Schlumberger-Doll Research (1985-1987), and a post-doctoral research associate at Los Alamos National Laboratory (1984-1985). I received my B.S. degree in geology from the University of Utah in 1979 and my Ph.D. degree in geophysics from Columbia University in 1984. My primary research interests are the mechanical, fluid transport, acoustic, and electrical properties of fractured and otherwise heterogeneous rock and the application of geophysical methods to energy and environmental problems.

Related Website: New England Research


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