Yehuda Ben-Zion

  • Professor of Earth Sciences
  • USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Office: (213) 740-6734

Expertise Summary

Earthquake expert focusing on the physics and high-resolution imaging of fault zones


  • Physics of earthquakes and faults
  • Localization of deformation
  • Dynamic rupture in geologically-relevant structures
  • Spatio-temporal seismicity patterns
  • Analysis of seismic catalogs
  • High-resolution seismic imaging
  • Earthquake forecasting


  • Hebrew

Additional Information

Yehuda Ben-Zion is the Director of the Southern California Earthquake Center and Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California. He received a B.Sc. in physics and geology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1982 and Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Southern California in 1990. Ben-Zion was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and has held visiting Professor positions at institutions in the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Norway, Australia, and China. He has supervised over 30 graduate students and 10 postdoctoral scholars.

His research is focused on physics of earthquakes and faults using a variety of theoretical tools and observations. Current interests include localization of deformation, high-resolution imaging of fault zones and the crust, earthquake source properties, detection of small events, anatomy of the ambient seismic noise, dynamic ruptures in geologically-relevant structures, damage rheology for brittle deformation, spatio-temporal seismicity patterns, and earthquake forecasting.

Ben-Zion is an elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and was awarded the Humboldt Research Prize in Geophysics and the Mercator Fellowship from the German Research Society. He has given over 30 invited talks and keynote lectures in the last three years; and published over 270 scientific papers and edited eight books. Ben-Zion is an editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research (2015-present), was on the editorial board of other journals, and has served as President of the IUGG Mathematical Geophysics Committee (2011-2020).