Megan R.M. Brown, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Research

Interests

  • Hydrogeology
  • Injection-Induced Seismicity
  • Accessibility in the Geosciences

Current Projects

I am a hydrogeologist interested in how fluids interact with and can induce earthquakes and how groundwater factors into water resources. I am currently looking for M.S. and Ph.D. students for fall 2021.

Induced Seismicity

Over the last decade, injection-induced seismicity has gained attention from scientists and the public alike. While only a small percentage of wastewater disposal wells have induced seismicity associated with them, the induced seismicity can cause a variety of problems including damage to property. I use numerical models to investigate the physical mechanisms that induce seismicity and how these relate to mitigation. I have explored the role of wells at large distances from the induced earthquakes to trigger the seismicity and the potential to use geodesy data that measures the surface deformation near an injection well to calibrate pore pressure models. My current work is focused on the role of earthquake interactions in triggering injection-induced seismicity.

Accessibility and Inclusion in the Geosciences

I have a particular interest in increasing inclusion and accessibility in the geosciences. This includes creating accessible field work. In addition, I look at how teaching can be improved to promote accessibility in the classroom and course materials.

Courses Taught

  • GEOL 105 Geological Resources and the Environment
  • GEOL 490/590 Hydrogeology

Publications

Yeo, I.W., M.R.M. Brown, S. Ge, and K.K. Lee (2020), Causal mechanism of injection-induced earthquakes through the Mw 5.5 Pohang earthquake case study, Nature Communications, 11, 2614, doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16408-0 

Fairfax, E. and M.R.M. Brown (2019), Increasing Inclusion and Accessibility in Undergraduate Geology Labs Through Scenario-Based TA Training, Journal of Geoscience Education, doi: 10.1080/10899995.2019.1602463

Brown, M.R.M. and S. Ge (2018), Distinguishing Fluid Flow Path from Pore Pressure Diffusion for Induced Seismicity, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of American, 108, 3684-3686, doi: 10.1785/0120180149

Brown, M.R.M. and S. Ge (2018), Small Earthquakes Matter in Injection-Induced Seismicity, Geophysical Research Letters, 45, 5445-5453, doi: 10.1029/2018GL077472

Brown, M.R.M., S. Ge, A.F. Sheehan, and J.S. Nakai (2017), Evaluating the Effectiveness of Induced Seismicity Mitigation: Numerical Modeling of Wastewater Injection near Greeley, Colorado, Journal of Geophysical Research Solid Earth,122, 6569-6582, doi: 10.1002/2017JB014456

Brown, M.R.M. and M. Liu (2016), Injection-induced seismicity in Carbon and Emery Counties, central Utah, Geofluids, 16, 801-812, doi: 10.1111/gfl.12184

 

Contact

Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences
Davis Hall 417B
815-753-1943
mbrown18@niu.edu

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder
  • M.S., University of Missouri Columbia
  • B.S., Arizona State University