Arjun Kohli

Stanford Profile


Arjun Kohli is a Research Scientist and Lecturer in the Stanford University School of Earth Sciences. He completed a B.S. in Geophysics in 2010 from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Geophysics in 2015 as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at Stanford University. His doctoral research focused on integrating geophysical, geochemical, and experimental data to understand the physics of earthquakes in energy reservoirs, plate boundary fault zones, and the oceanic mantle lithosphere. From 2015-2018, he was a postdoctoral fellow at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and developed a high pressure-temperature, X-ray transparent cell for testing the mechanical and hydrologic properties of rocks at the conditions of subsurface energy reservoirs. In 2018, he returned to Stanford and co-authored a book on the geologic, geophysical, and engineering principles of energy production from unconventional reservoirs entitled, Unconventional Reservoir Geomechanics. He co-developed two massively open online courses, Reservoir Geomechanics and Unconventional Reservoir Geomechanics, which are currently available on edX.

Research Interests

I use laboratory experiments and geophysical observations to study the physical properties of Earth materials. I am interested in problems ranging in spatial dimension from plate boundary faults to atoms within minerals and over timescales ranging from plate motion to earthquake slip. I employ a range of methods including seismology, borehole geophysics, mechanical and flow testing, chemical and mineralogical analysis (X-ray diffraction, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, electron backscatter diffraction), and high resolution imaging (optical profiling, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, focused ion beam tomography, X-ray computed tomography). My current research is focused on three different geologic settings: subsurface energy and storage reservoirs (petroleum, geothermal, CO2, wastewater and nuclear waste), plate boundary fault zones, specifically the San Andreas Fault, and transform faults in the oceanic lithosphere.