Doug Schmitt, PhD


Faculty of Science - Physics


Area of Study / Keywords

Geophyics Rock Physics Rock Mechanics Scientific Drilling Stress Measurement


BSc Physics (1980) - U of Lethbridge, Canada

Geophysicist - Texaco Canada Resources, Canada

PhD (1987) - Seismological Laboratory, Caltech, USA

PDF (1988) - Stanford University, USA

Professor (1989-2017) - U of Alberta, Canada

Professor Emeritus (2018 - present), U of Alberta, Canada

Humboldt Research Fellow (1997) - Uni Karlsruhe, Germany

Canada Research Chair in Rock Physics (2002-2016) - U of Alberta, Canada

Visiting Scientist (2005) - Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU, Australia

Currently, Stephen and Karen Brand Professor of Unconventional Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.


My research centres on topics in rock physics and mechanics with an emphasis on field, borehole, and laboratory measurements. We are actively involved in numerous international level scientific drilling projects often being responsible for surface seismic, geophysical logging, and stress measurements, and there are opportunities for students to participate in such work.

See my research website ( for more detailed information.


Have taught nearly all of the Geophysics curriculum and developed an intensive Geophysics Field school until recently. Current teaching focuses on a broadly based course in Rock Physics and Geomechanics for undergraduates (Geophysics 332) and a more advanced version for graduate students taught at the U of Alberta and other Universities internationally. 

I am currently teaching an introductory course in Geosciences for earth science students, my rock physics class for upper level and beginning graduate students, and a course entitled 'Fossil Fuels, Energy, and Society' that focuses on issues related to the Energy Transition.


The Bow City structure, southern Alberta, Canada: the deep roots of a complex impact structure?

Author(s): Glombick P, Schmitt DR, Xie W, Bown T, Hathaway B, Banks C
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Meteoritics and Planetary Science
Page Numbers: 24 pp.
External Link:

Seismic anisotropy in the crystalline upper crust: Observations and modeling from the Outokumpu scientific borehole, Finland

Author(s): Schijns H, Schmitt DR, Heikkinen PJ, Kukkonnen IT
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Geophysical Journal International
Volume: 189
Page Numbers: 541-553
External Link:

Crustal stress determination from boreholes and rock cores: Fundamental principlesdoi:10.1016/j.tecto.2012.08.029, 580, 1-26, 2012.

Author(s): Schmitt DR, Currie CA, Zhang L
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Tectonophysics
Volume: 580
Page Numbers: 1-26
External Link:

Incidence-angle Dependent Acoustic Reflections from Liquid Saturated Porous Solids

Author(s): Bouzidi Y, Schmitt DR
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Geophysical Journal International
Volume: 191
Page Numbers: 1427-1440
External Link:

Seismic Properties

Author(s): Schmitt, D.R.
Publication: Treatise on Geophysics, 2nd Ed
Volume: Volume 11,
Page Numbers: 1-44
External Link: