Hiroko Kitajima

Hiroko Kitajima

Associate Professor

Experimental rock and soil mechanics


  (979) 458-2717

  Halbouty 159


My research interest is experimental rock and soil mechanics to characterize the hydromechanical properties of rocks and sediments deformed at different pressure, temperature, and strain rate conditions. With the aim of better understanding a wide range of geological problems, I combine lab experimental work with numerical modeling, geophysical data, and field work including ocean/continental drilling projects. Current research focuses on understanding (1) the interaction between sediment/rock deformation and fluid flow under complicated loading conditions associated with earthquakes in subduction zones, and (2) the micromechanics of compaction and shear deformation and on granular materials at high strain rates and high pressures.

Selected Publications

Kitajima, H., and D. M, Saffer (2014), Consolidation state of incoming sediments to the Nankai Trough subduction zone: Implications for sediment deformation and properties, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15, 2821-2839, doi:10.1002/2014GC005360.

Ma, S., T. Shimamoto, L. Yao, T. Togo, and H. Kitajima (2014) A rotary-shear low to high-velocity friction appratus in Beijing to study rock friction at plate to seismic slip rates, Earthquake Science, 27(5), 469-497, doi:10.1007/s11589-0140097-5.

Coble, C. B., M. E. French, F. M. Chester, J. S. Chester, and H. Kitajima, In situ frictional properties of San Andreas Fault gouge at SAFOD, Geophysical Journal International.

French, M. E., H. Kitajima, J.S. Chester, F. M. Chester, and T. Hirose (2014), Displacement and dynamic weakening processes in smectite-rich gouge from the Central Deforming Zone of the San Andreas Fault, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 119, 1777–1802, doi:10.1002/2013JB010757.

Carpenter, B. M., H. Kitajima, R. Sutherland, J. Townend, V. G. Toy, D. M. Saffer (2014), Hydraulic and acoustic properties of the active Alpine Fault, New Zealand: Laboratory measurements on DFDP-1 drill core, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 390, 45-51, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2013.12.023.

Moore, G. F., K. Kanagawa, M. Strasser, B. Dugan, L. Maeda, S. Toczko, and IODP Expedition 338 (2014), NanTroSEIZE Stage 3: NanTroSEIZE plate boundary deep riser 2, Sci. Dril., 17, 1-12, doi:10.5194/sd-17-1-2014.

Kitajima, H., and D. M. Saffer (2012), Elevated pore pressure and anomalously low stress in regions of low frequency earthquakes along the Nankai Trough subduction megathrust, Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L23301, doi:10.1029/2012GL053793.

Kitajima, H., F. M. Chester, and G. Biscontin (2012), Mechanical and hydraulic properties of Nankai accretionary 

prism sediments: Effect of stress path, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 13, Q0AD27 do:10.1029/2012GC004124.

Kitajima, H., F. M. Chester, and J. S. Chester (2011), Dynamic weakening of gouge layers in high-speed shear experiments: Assessment of temperature-dependent friction, thermal pressurization, and flash heating, J. Geophys. Res., 116, B08309, doi:10.1029/2009JB007879.

Kitajima, H., J. S. Chester, F. M. Chester, and T. Shimamoto (2010), High-speed friction of disaggregated ultracataclasite in rotary shear: Characterization of frictional heating, mechanical behavior, and microstructure evolution, J. Geophys. Res., 115, B08408, doi:10.1029/2009JB007038. 

Riedel, M., T. S. Collett, M. J. Malone, and the IODP Expedition 311 Scientists (2009), Gas hydrate drilling transect across northern Cascadia margin—IODP Expedition 311, Geological Society London, Special Publications, 319, Sediment-hosted gas hydrates: New insights on natural and synthetic systems, 11-19, doi:10.1144/SP319.2, 2009.

Riedel, M., T. S. Collett, M. J. Malone, and the IODP Expedition 311 Scientists (2006), Stages of gas-hydrate evolution on the northern Cascadia margin, Scientific Drilling Journal, No.3, 18-24, doi:10.2204/iodp.sd.3.04.2006,2006.9.


Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 2010

B.S., Kyoto University, 2004


NSF-MARGINS (GeoPRISMS) Post-Doctoral Fellowship, The Pennsylvania State University, 2010-2012

ConocoPhillips Fellowship, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, 2009

Handin Fellowship, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, 2008

ConocoPhillips Fellowship, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, 2007

ConocoPhillips SPIRIT Scholars Program Scholarship, Texas A&M University, 2006 – 2009

U.S. Science Support Program Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship, 2006 – 2008

AAPG Grants-in-Aid program Grant, 2006

Mel and Debby Friedman Scholarship, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, 2006

Additional Information


Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University, 2014 – present

Researcher, Geological Survey of Japan, 2012 – 2014

Postdoctoral Scholar, The Pennsylvania State University, 2010 – 2012

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