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Xiaowei Chen

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Xiaowei Chen

Lissa and Cy Wagner Professor
Associate Professor


Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California
B.S., University of Science and Technology of China

Office: SEC 854
Fax: 405-325-3140

Faculty Webpage

Area of Interest

Earthquake Seismology
Earthquake Triggering
Induced Seismicity


My research has been focused on earthquake seismology, and study regions range from distant glacier termini to densely populated urban areas. I used a variety of seismological tools to try to understand what causes earthquakes to start, what influences the source process and seismicity pattern, how earthquakes interact with each other, and whether small earthquakes are related to larger events. I am especially interested in the influences of fluid and anthropogenic activities. Over the next few years, my goals are to work on a series of projects on earthquake behaviors related to industry operations, tectonic and volcanic processes. 

Courses Taught

Induced Seismicity (Graduate Seminar) - GEOL 6970 (Spring)

Selected References


Cheng, Y.*, and X. Chen, Characteristics of seismicity inside and outside the Salton Sea Geothermal Field, BSSA

Chen, X., J. Haffener, T. W. Goebel, X. Meng, Z. Peng and J. Chang (2018), Temporal correlation between seismic moment and injection volume for an induced earthquake sequence in central Oklahoma, J. Geophys. Res.

Wu, Q., M. Chapman and X. Chen (2018), Stress Drop Variations of Induced Earthquakes in Oklahoma, BSSA

Pei, S., Z. Peng and X. Chen (2018), Locations of injection-induced earthquakes in Oklahoma controlled by crustal structures, J. Geophys. Res.,


Heather M Savage, James D Kirkpatrick, James J Mori, Emily E Brodsky, William L Ellsworth, Brett M Carpenter, Xiaowei Chen, Frédéric Cappa, Yasuyuki Kano (2017), Scientific Exploration of Induced Seismicity and Stress (SEISMS)

Chen, X., N. Nakata, C. Pennington*, J. Haffener*, J. C. Chang, X. He, Z. Zhan, S. Ni, and J. I. Walter (2017), The Pawnee earthquake as a result of the interplay among injection, faults, and foreshocks, Scientific Reports

Goebel, T. W., M. Weingarten, X. Chen, J.* Haffener and E. Brodsky (2017), The 2016 Mw5.1 Fairview, Oklahoma earthquakes: evidence for long-range poroelastic triggering at >40 km from fluid disposal wells, Earth and Planetary Science Letters

Chen, X. and N. Nakata (2017), Preface to the Focus section on the 3 September 2016 Pawnee, Oklahoma Earthquake, Seismological Research Letters, doi: 10.1785/0220170078

Pennington, C.* and X. Chen (2017), Coulomb stress interactions during the Mw5.8 Pawnee sequence, Seismological Research Letters, 88(4), doi:10.1785/0220170011

Zhang, Q., G. Lin, Z. Zhan, X. Chen, Y. Qin*, and S. Wdowinski (2017), Absence of remote earthquake triggering within the Coso and Salton Sea geothermal production fields, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 726–733, doi:10.1002/2016GL071964


8. Chen, X., and J. J. McGuire (2016), Measuring earthquake source parameters in the Mendocino triple junction region using a dense OBS array: Implications for fault strength variations, Earth and Planetary Science Letters


Chen, X., and P. M. Shearer (2015), Analysis of foreshock sequences in California and implications for earthquake triggering, Pure and Applied Geophysics

Chen, X., P. M. Shearer, California foreshock sequences suggest underlying aseismic process, Geophysical Research Letters, 2013. 

Chen, X., P. M. Shearer, and R. E. Abercrombie, Spatial migration of earthquakes within seismic clusters in Southern California: Evidence for fluid diffusion, J. Geophys. Res., 2012

Chen, X., and P. M. Shearer, Comprehensive analysis of earthquake source spectra and swarms in the Salton Trough, California, J. Geophys. Res., 2011.

Chen, X., P. M. Shearer, F. Walter, and H. A. Fricker, Seventeen Antarctic seismic events detected by global surface waves and a possible link to calving events from satellite images, J. Geophys. Res., 2011.