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Mark Simons

John W. and Herberta M. Miles Professor of Geophysics; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Chief Scientist
Contact information for Mark Simons
Contact Method Value
Mail Code: MC 252-21
Office: 355 South Mudd (Geophysics)
Phone: 626-395-6984
Administrative Assistant:

More Information

B.S., University of California (Los Angeles), 1989; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995. Assistant Professor, Caltech, 1997-2003; Associate Professor, 2003-2007; Professor, 2007-17; Miles Professor, 2017-; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Chief Scientist, 2017-.
Research Areas: Geodynamics; Geophysics

Research Interests

Observational and theoretical geodynamics, especially earthquake cycle and volcano processes, crustal deformation and mantle convection; space geodesy; inverse problems; multi-scale analysis of geophysical fields.

By combining observations sampling a range of time and length scales with geodynamic models, we aim to understand the spatial and temporal variations of deformation at the boundaries of the tectonic plates. We are interested in the relationship between processes associated with the earthquake cycle, and long-lived geologic structures. Observationally, we rely primarily on the use of satellite-based interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) and GPS, as well as gravity, topography, seismology, geochronology and geology. Field locations we have focused on include the central Andes, Iceland, Japan, Taiwan, Tibet and the western United States. Besides investigating models of lithospheric dynamics, we also use geodesy to detect magma migration in the subsurface and use these observations to constrain our models of the magma plumbing system in active volcanoes.

Please see Dr. Simons' research page at

Selected Publications

Please see Dr. Simons' publications website at