150: Consequences of contemporary stress in the earth’s crust

Mojtaba Rajabi discusses his upcoming Pacific South Honorary Lecture, “Present-Day Crustal Stress Across Spatial Scales.”

The present-day crustal in-situ stress field is of extreme importance for understanding both natural processes (e.g., understanding neotectonics, earthquake, and seismic hazard assessment) and anthropogenic activities (e.g., exploration and production of geothermal energy, groundwater, hydrocarbon, mineral resources, CO2, and hydrogen geo-storage). Analysis of the present-day stresses in numerous basins from across the world reveals that significant and complex variations in the present-day stress orientation are commonly observed at different scales. Mojtaba’s lecture aims to investigate the pattern of crustal stress at different spatial scales to better evaluate the causes and consequences of contemporary stress in the earth’s crust.

In this conversation with host Andrew Geary, Mojtaba shares why it’s necessary to understand the present-day crustal in-situ stress field, the impact of investigating crustal stress at different scales, and the causes and consequences of contemporary stress in the earth’s crust. He also goes over the concept of stress mapping and what his years of experience studying basins have taught him. 

Seismic Soundoff · 150: Consequences of contemporary stress in the earth’s crust

Related links


Dr. Mojtaba Rajabi is an ARC DECRA Fellow at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Queensland. He has more than 14 years of extensive experience in crustal stress analysis, geomechanics, and geomechanical-numerical modeling. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the University of Adelaide in 2016. Dr. Rajabi has worked on the geomechanical analyses of more than 30 sedimentary basins from across the world including Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Mozambique, Iceland, and the Western Mediterranean. Since 2012, Dr. Rajabi has worked on the Australian and World Stress Map projects. He has received over 15 prestigious awards and prizes for his research including the ARC-DECRA Award, the Australian SEG Early Achievement AwardEAGE Louis Cagniard Award, the Royal Society of South Australia’s H.G. Andrewartha Medal, and the International Lithosphere Program’s Flinn-Hart Award.


This episode is sponsored by

As the leading innovator and manufacturer of wireless seismic data acquisition systems, Geospace Technologies offers a series of seabed, wireless seismic data acquisition systems designed for extended-duration seabed seismic data acquisition.

Geospace is committed to setting new standards for quality, performance, reliability and cost savings to E&P companies and marine geophysical contractors.


SEG produces Seismic Soundoff to benefit its members, the scientific community, and to inform the public on the value of geophysics. To show your support for the show, please leave a 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. It takes less than five seconds to leave a 5-star rating and is the number one action you can take to show your appreciation for this free resource. And follow the podcast while you are on the app to be notified when each new episode releases. 

Original music created by Zach Bridges. Andrew Geary hosted, edited, and produced this episode for 51 features, LLC. Thank you to the SEG podcast team: Jennifer Cobb, Kathy Gamble, and Ally McGinnis.

Download this Seismic Soundoff