Professor of geophysics and head of the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech.
PhD, Geophysics, Stanford University, 1989
My work uses geophysical techniques (primarily, but not exclusively, seismology) to examine Earth processes. Over the past few years I’ve been focusing on critical zone geophysics. My group is addressing fundamental questions in critical zone science, including: What is the structure of Earth’s regolith at landscape scales, and what controls that structure?, and How does regolith structure impact the storage and movement of water in terrestrial environments? Over the course of my career I’ve made contributions to the understanding of continental margins, volcanic arcs, and methane hydrate systems, and I was the main driver behind the use of reflection seismology to image thermohaline fine-structure within the oceans. My professional career has included stints at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and and the University of Wyoming, and I’m happy to have joined the excellent Department of Geosciences at VT.
A model of three-dimensional topographic stresses with implications for bedrock fractures, surface processes, and landscape evolution. Moon, S., J.T. Perron, S.J. Martel, W.S. Holbrook, and J. St. Clair (2017): Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 122 (4): 823-846 Cross-CZO
pSIN: a scalable, Parallel algorithm for Seismic INterferometry of large-N ambient-noise data. Chen, P., Taylor, N.J., Dueker, K.G., Keifer, I.S., Wilson, A.K., McGuffy, C.L., Novitsky, C.G., Spears, A.J., Holbrook, W.S. (2016): Computers & Geosciences 93: 88-95
Saprolite genesis in complex terrain: hydrologic, lithologic, biologic, and microclimatic controls on aspect asymmetry within the critical zone. Klos, P.Z., Link, T., Seyfried, M., Patton, N., Lohse, K., Holbrook, W.S., Heinse, R., Durrett, W., E. Leonard (2016): Geomorphology
Geophysical imaging reveals topographic stress control of bedrock weathering. St. Clair, J., S. Moon, W. S. Holbrook, J. T. Perron, C. S. Riebe, S. J. Martel, B. Carr, C. Harman, K. Singha, D. deB. Richter (2015): Science, 30 October 2015, Vol. 350, no. 6260, pp. 534-538 Cross-CZO National
Geophysical constraints on deep weathering and water storage potential in the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory. Holbrook, W.S., Riebe, C.S., Elwaseif, M., Hayes, J.L., Harry, D. L., Basler-Reeder, K., Malazian, A., Dosseto, A., Hartsough, P. C., and Hopmans, J. W. (2014): Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 39:366-380.
Papers and books that explicitly acknowledge a CZO grant are highlighted in PALE ORANGE.
Calhoun CZO as an ancient geobiologic and land-use altered time machine. Richter, D. deB., J. Wang, R. Bras, D. Markewitz, D. Nelson, J. Austin, P. Schroeder, S.A. Billings, K. O’Neill, J. Giesen, W.S. Holbrook, and B. Carr (2017): Critical Zone Science: Current Advances and Future Opportunities, workshop in Arlington, VA, 4-6 June, 2017
Gilbert’s soil production paradigm and a critical zone’s size-dependent fractionation of particles. Richter, D.deB., J. Austin, R. Anderson, A. Bacon, S. Brantley, Z. Brecheisen, A. Cherkinsky, W.S. Holbrook, V. Marcon, J.Pachon, P. Schroeder, A. Thompson, and A. Wade (2017): Critical Zone Science: Current Advances and Future Opportunities, Arlington, VA, 4-6 June, 2017 Cross-CZO
Probing the critical zone using passive- and active-source estimates of subsurface shear-wave velocities. Callahen, R.P.; Taylor, N.J.; Pasquet, S.; Dueker, K.G.; Riebe, C.S.; Holbrook, W.S. (2016): Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union, December 2016. Abstract EP43C-0966.
Critical zone architecture and processes: a geophysical perspective. Holbrook, W. Steven (2016): American Geophysical Union 2016 Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA Cross-CZO National
Comprehensive seismic surveys suggest that subsurface water-holding capacity is secondary to bedrock nutrient content as a regulator of vegetation productivity in the Sierra Nevada Batholith, California. Taylor, N.J.; Riebe, C.S.; Dueker, K.G.; Goulden, M.; Flinchum, B.A.; Pasquet, S.; Callahan, R.P.; Hahm, W.J.; Keifer, I.S.; Holbrook, W.S. (2016): Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union, December 2016. Abstract EP43C-0964.
Seeking GUTH, the Grand Unified Theory of Hillslopes: Linking weathering, erosion and landscapes. Anderson, SP, Dietrich, WE, Rempe, D, West, N, Brantley, SL, Bacon, AR, Buss, HL, Fisher, BA, Flinchum, B, Holbrook, S, Klos, PZ, Leopold, M, Moon, S, Nielson, T, Pelletier, J, and Terry, N. (2015): EP34A-01 Landscape Evolution from a Critical Zone Science Perspective III, presented at 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, CA, 14-18 Dec. Cross-CZO
Merging ecosystem services and social processes for a social-ecological impact assessment on US public land. Brymer, B., Holbrook, J., Niemeyer, R., Suazo, A., Wulfhorst, J., Rachlow, J., Vierlring, K., Link, T., and B. Newingham (2015): International Symposium on Society and Natural Resource Management, the Annual Meeting of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources, Charleston, SC
Generating Porosity in the Critical Zone: Does Volumetric Strain Dominate Chemical Mass Loss?. Hayes, J., Riebe, C., Holbrook, S., Hartsough, P. (2015): EP31B. Landscape Evolution from a Critical Zone Science Perspective I Posters, presented at 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, CA, 14-18 Dec.
Three-dimensional topographic stress controls on bedrock fractures and landscape evolution. Moon, S., Perron, J.T., Martel, S., Holbrook, W.S., St. Clair, J., and Singha, K. (2015): EP33D-02 Landscape Evolution from a Critical Zone Science Perspective II, presented at 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, CA, 14-18 Dec.
Geophysical investigation of differences in weathering depths between the north and south facing slopes of a small catchment in the Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory. Nielson, T., Bradford, J., and S. Holbrook (2015): American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA
Geophysical and chemical weathering signatures across the deep weathered-unweathered granite boundary of the Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory. Richter, D.; Bacon, A.; Brantley, S.; Holbrook, S. (2015): American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 2015, San Francisco, CA
Using Three-Dimensional Passive Seismic Imaging to Capture Near-Surface Weathering and Its Influence on Overlying Vegetation. Taylor, N., Dueker, K., Riebe, C., Chen, P., Flinchum, B., Holbrook, S. (2015): EP53A-0962 Earth and Planetary Surface Processes: General Contribution Posters. presented at 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, CA, 14-18 Dec.
Social-ecological impacts of juniper removal in a public lands context: merging deliberative workshops and participatory GIS. Bentley, A., Holbrook, J., Niemeyer, R., Suazo, A., Wulfhorst, J., Newingham, B., Rachlow, J., Vielring, K., and T. Link (2014): Third Annual Meeting UI-CATIE IGERT Project
Geophysics in the Critical Zone: constraints on deep weathering and water storage potential in the Southern Sierra CZO. Holbrook, W., Riebe, C.S., Hayes, J.L., Reeder, K., Harry, D.L., Malazian, A.I., Dosseto, A., Hartsough, P.C., and Hopmans, J.W. (2012): Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union, December 2012. Abstract EP41I-03.
Fractures in the Critical Zone: Insights from GPR and seismic refraction surveys. St. Clair, J.T., Holbrook, W., Riebe, C.S. (2012): Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union, December 2012. Abstract EP43B-0871.
Critical zone weathering in the southern Sierra Nevada and Laramie Mountains imaged by seismic tomography. Hayes, J.L., Holbrook, W.S., Riebe, C.S. (2011): Fall meeting, American Geophysical Union, December 2011. Abstract H41D-1059.
Using Three-Dimensional Passive Seismic Imaging to Capture Near-Surface Weathering and Its Influence on Overly Vegetation. Taylor, N., Dueker, K., Riebe, C., Chen, P., Flinchum, B., Holbrook, S. (201): EP53A-0962 Earth and Planetary Surface Processes: General Contribution Posters. presented at 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, CA, 14-18 Dec.
04 Dec 2015 - Taking the Pulse of the Earth's Surface Systems In September of 2014, Laurel Larsen (UC Berkley), Elizabeth Hajek (Penn State), and others...