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Manoochehr Shirzaei

Associate Professor of Geophysics and Remote Sensing
Photo of Manoo
Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center
2020 Kraft Drive
Suite 2300

I am a geodesist/geophysicist specialized in satellite geodesy, inverse theory, signal processing, modeling techniques, and physics of crustal deformation. Conducting a comprehensive interdisciplinary research program, I aim my research effort to improve understanding of the underlying mechanism associated with seismic and aseismic faulting processes, the evolution of crustal stresses and seismic hazard due to fluid extraction and disposal, changes in groundwater and surface water resources, and impacts of relative sea-level rise on coastal areas. 

Though the range of topics may appear diverse, the common theme is an attempt to develop a better quantitative understanding of physical processes operating in the Earth. To this end, I develop sophisticated space-, air-, and ground-based monitoring techniques to measure subtle deformation signatures at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions. Linking surface observations to the underlying physical process, I also develop a variety of physics-based numerical and analytical models. My utmost goal is to help with mitigating adverse impacts of natural and anthropogenic hazards through improved understanding of mechanisms as well as educating a new generation of scientists and bringing awareness to the public.

Academic Profiles

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Curriculum Vitae


2007 - 2010

Ph.D. (Summa cum laude), Potsdam University, Potsdam, Germany. Title of the thesis: Crustal deformation source monitoring using advanced InSAR time series and time-dependent inverse modeling.

2001 - 2003

M.S. Geodesy, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran. Title of thesis: Wavelet-based inversion of gravity data for hydrocarbon exploration.

1998 - 2001

B.A. Surveying engineering, Amir-Kabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran



Selected Publications

- Shirzaei, M., J. Freymueller, T. E. Tˆrnqvist, D. L. Galloway, T. Dura, and P. S. J. Minderhoud (2020), Measuring, modelling and projecting coastal land subsidence, Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, doi:10.1038/s43017-020-00115-x.

- Blackwell, E., M. Shirzaei, C. Ojha, and S. Werth (2020), Tracking Californiaís sinking coast from space: Implications for relative sea-level rise, Science Advances, 6(31), eaba4551, doi:10.1126/sciadv.aba4551.

- Zhai, G., M. Shirzaei, M. Manga, and X. Chen (2019), Pore-pressure diffusion, enhanced by poroelastic stresses, controls induced seismicity in Oklahoma, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201819225, doi:10.1073/pnas.1819225116.

- Shirzaei, M., C. Ojha, S. Werth, G. Carlson, and E. R. Vivoni (2019), Comment on ìShort-lived pause in Central California subsidence after heavy winter precipitation of 2017" by K. D. Murray and R. B. Lohman, Science Advances, 5(eaav8038).

- Khoshmanesh, M., and M. Shirzaei (2018), Episodic creep events on the San Andreas Fault caused by pore pressure variations, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0160-2.

- Shirzaei, M., W. L. Ellsworth, K. F. Tiampo, P. J. Gonz·lez, and M. Manga (2016), Surface uplift and time-dependent seismic hazard due to fluid injection in eastern Texas, Science, 353(6306), 1416-1419, doi:10.1126/science.aag0262. 

- Whipple K.X., M. Shirzaei, K. Hodges, and J.R. Arrowsmith (2016) 2015 Gorkha Earthquake Provokes Reassessment of Mountain Building Processes in the Himalaya, Nature Geoscience, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2797.