Phil Wannamaker

Research Professor

Phone: (801) 581-3547
Fax: (801) 585-3540

Geothermal systems

Electromagnetic theory and practice

Relation of resistivity structure to phyisochemical conditions of the Earth

Numerical modeling

Inverse theory

Regional & Basin Experience

  • Western United States

  • Antarctica

  • Southern Appalachians

  • New Zealand

1983 Ph.D. in Electromagnetic Geophysics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

1976 B.Sc. in Engineering Geology, Queen’s University, Kingston


  • Geothermal Resources Council (GRC)

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)

  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)

  • Geological Society of America (GSA)

  • Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (ASEG)

Outstanding Reviewer for American Geophysical Union, 2015

Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2011

The New Zealand Geophysics Prize, 2009

Trustee and Treasurer, Gerald W. Hohmann Memorial Trust for Teaching and Research in Applied Electrical Methods.

Green Foundation Fellow, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, CA.

Outstanding Ph.D. Research Award, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah.

First Class Honors, Faculty of Applied Science, Queen’s University

Wannamaker P. E., K. L. Pankow, J. N. Moore, G. D. Nash, V. Maris, S. F. Simmons and C. L. Hardwick, Play Fairway Analysis for Structurally Controlled Geothermal Systems in the Eastern Great Basin Extensional Regime, Utah: Proc. 41st Workshop Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, SGP-TR-209, 17 pp., 2016.

Kordy, M. A., E. Cherkaev, P. E. Wannamaker, Null space correction and adaptive model order reduction in multi-frequency Maxwell’s problem: Advances in Computational Mathematics, 42, 1-23, doi: 10.1007/s10444-016-9482-z, 2016.

Kordy, M. A., E. Cherkaev, P. E. Wannamaker, Adaptive model order reduction for the Jacobian calculation in inverse multi-frequency problem for Maxwell’s equations: Applied Numerical Mathematics,, 19 pp., 2016.

Kordy, M. A., P. E. Wannamaker, V. Maris, E. Cherkaev, and G. J. Hill, Three-dimensional magnetotelluric inversion using deformed hexahedral edge finite elements and direct solvers parallelized on SMP computers, Part I: forward problem and parameter jacobians: Geophysical Journal International, 204, 74-93, 2016.

Kordy, M. A., P. E. Wannamaker, V. Maris, E. Cherkaev, and G. J. Hill, Three-dimensional magnetotelluric inversion using deformed hexahedral edge finite elements and direct solvers parallelized on SMP computers, Part II: direct data-space inverse solution: Geophysical Journal International, 204, 94-110, 2016.

Kordy, M. A., E. Cherkaev, and P. E. Wannamaker, Variational formulation for Maxwell’s equations with Lorenz gauge: existence and uniqueness of solution: International Journal of Numerical Analysis and Modeling, 12, 731-749, 2015.

Wannamaker, P. E., R. L. Evans, P. A. Bedrosian, M. J. Unsworth, V. Maris, and R S. McGary, Segmentation of plate coupling, fate of subduction fluids, and modes of arc magmatism in Cascadia, inferred from magnetotelluric resistivity: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15, doi:10.1002/2014G204, 2014.

McGary, R. S., R. L. Evans, P. E. Wannamaker, J. Elsenbeck, and S. Rondenay, Subducting slab to surface pathway for melt and fluids beneath Mount Rainier: Nature, 511, 338-341, doi: 10.1038/nature13453, 2014.

Siler, D. L., B. M. Kennedy, and P. E. Wannamaker, Regional lithospheric discontinuities as guides for geothermal exploration: Geothermal Resources Council Transactions, 38, 39-47, 2014.

Meqbel, N. M., G. D. Egbert, P. E. Wannamaker, A. Kelbert, and A. Schultz, Deep electrical resistivity structure of the Pacific NW derived from 3-D inversion of Earthscope USArray magnetotelluric data, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.12.026, 2014.

Evans, R. L., P. E Wannamaker, R. S. McGary, and J. Elsenbeck, Electrical structure of the central Cascadia subduction zone: the EMSLAB Lincoln line revisited, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, doi 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.04.021, 2014.

Wannamaker, P. E., V. Maris, and C. Hardwick, Basin and rift structure of the central Black Rock Desert, Utah, and initial thermal implications, from 3D magnetotellurics: Geothermal Resources Council Transactions, 37, 41-44, 2013.

Kordy, M., V. Maris, P. Wannamaker, and E. Cherkaev, 3D edge finite element solution for scattered electric field using a direct solver parallelized on an SMP workstation, Proc. 5th International Symposium on Three-Dimensional Electromagnetics, Sapporo, May 7-9, 4 pp., 2013.

Wannamaker, P. E., V. Maris, J. Sainsbury, and J. Iovenitti, Intersecting fault trends and crustal-scale fluid pathways below the Dixie Valley geothermal area, Nevada, inferred from 3D magnetotelluric surveying, Proc. 38th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford, CA, SGP-TR-198, 9 pp, 2013.

Maris, V., P. E. Wannamaker, and J. Moore, 3-D inversion of MT data from the Raft River geothermal field – preliminary results: Geothermal Resources Council Transactions, 36, 939-942, 2012.

Wannamaker, P. E., V. Maris, D. Hasterok, and W. Doerner, Crustal Scale Resistivity Structure, Magmatic-Hydrothermal Connections, and Thermal Regionalization of the Great Basin: Geothermal Resources Council Transactions, 35, 1787-1790, 2011.

Wannamaker, P. E., Legacy of Luiz Rijo in MT Exploration at the University of Utah and Beyond: Two-Dimensional Inversion and Frontier Solid-Earth Investigations, Expanded Abstract, Biennial Mtg of the Brazilian Geophysical Society, Rio de Janeiro, 5 pp., 2011.

Maris, V., and P. E. Wannamaker, Parallelizing a 3D Finite Difference MT Inversion Algorithm on a Multicore PC using OpenMP: Computers & Geosciences, doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2010. 03.001, 5 pp., 2010.

Raharjo, I. B., V. Maris, P. E. Wannamaker, and D. S. Chapman, Resistivity structures of Lahendong and Kamojang geothermal systems revealed from 3-D magnetotelluric inversions, a comparative study: Proc. World Geothermal Congress, Bali, Indonesia, 6 pp., 2010.

Wannamaker, P. E., Water from stone: Nature Geoscience, News and Views, doi: 10.1038/ngeo732, 10-11, 2010.

Wannamaker, P. E., T. G. Caldwell, G. R. Jiracek, V. Maris, G. J. Hill, Y. Ogawa, H. M. Bibby, S. L. Bennie, and W. Heise, Fluid and deformation regime of an advancing subduction system at Marlborough, New Zealand: Nature, doi:10.1038/nature08204, 733-736, 2009.

Moore, J., R. Allis, M. Nemcok, T. Powell, D. Norman, P. Wannamaker, I. Raharjo, and C. Bruton, The evolution of volcano-hosted geothermal systems based on deep wells from Karaha-Telaga Bodas, Indonesia: American Journal of Science, 308, doi 10.2475/01.2008.01, 1-48, 2008.

Wannamaker, P. E., D. P. Hasterok, J. M. Johnston, J. A. Stodt, D. B. Hall, T. L. Sodergren, L. Pellerin, V. Maris, W. M. Doerner, and M. J. Unsworth, Lithospheric dismemberment and magmatic processes of the Great Basin-Colorado Plateau transition, Utah, implied from magnetotellurics: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 9, Q05019, doi:10.1029/ 2007GC001886, 2008.

Newman, G., M. Hoversten, E. Gasparikova, and P. Wannamaker, Three-dimensional magnetotelluric characterization of the Coso geothermal field: Geothermics, 37, 369-399, doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2008.02.006, 2008.

Wannamaker, P. E., W. M. Doerner, and D. P. Hasterok, Integrated dense array and transect MT surveying at Dixie Valley geothermal area, Nevada; structural controls, hydrothermal alteration and deep fluid sources, Proc. 32nd Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford, CA, SGP-TR-183, 6 pp, 2007.

Maris, V., P. Wannamaker and Y. Sasaki, Three-dimensional inversion of magnetotelluric data over the Coso geothermal field, using a PC: Geothermal Resources Council Transactions, 31, 6 pp., 2007.

Wannamaker, P. E., D. P. Hasterok, and W. M. Doerner, Possible magmatic input to the Dixie Valley geothermal field, and implications for district-scale resource exploration, inferred from magnetotelluric (MT) resistivity surveying, Geothermal Resources Council Transactions, 30, 471-475, 2006.

Wannamaker, P. E., 2005, Anisotropy versus heterogeneity in continental solid earth electromagnetic studies: fundamental response characteristics and implications for physicochemical state: Invited review paper, Surveys in Geophysics, 26, 733-765.

Pellerin, L., and P. E. Wannamaker, 2005, Multi-dimensional electromagnetic modeling and inversion with application to near-surface earth investigations: Invited review paper, Spec. Issue, J. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 46, 71-102.

Wannamaker, P. E., T. G. Caldwell, W. M. Doerner, and G. R. Jiracek, 2005, Fault zone fluids and seismicity in compressional and extensional environments inferred from electrical conductivity: the New Zealand Southern Alps and U. S. Great Basin, Spec. Issue, Slip and flow processes in and below the seismogenic region: Earth Planets Space, 56, 1171-1176.

Wannamaker, P., P. Rose, W. Doerner, B. Berard, J. McCulloch, and K. Nurse, Magnetotelluric surveying and monitoring at the Coso geothermal area, California, in support of the Enhanced Geothermal Systems concept: survey parameters, initial results: Proc. 29th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford, CA, SGP-TR-175, 8 pp., 2004.

Wannamaker, P. E., J. A. Stodt, L. Pellerin, S. L. Olsen, and D. B. Hall, Structure and thermal regime beneath South Pole region, East Antarctica, from magnetotelluric measurements: Geophysical Journal International, 157, 36-54, 2004.

Upton, P., D. Craw, T. G. Caldwell, P. O. Koons, Z. James, P. E. Wannamaker, G. R. Jiracek, and C. P. Chamberlain, 2003, Upper crustal fluid flow in the outboard region of the Southern Alps, New Zealand: Geofluids, 3, 1-12.

Wannamaker, P. E., and Y. Sasaki, Three-dimensional electromagnetic inversion combining a finite difference forward solver with integral equations jacobians: Proc. 3rd Quad. Symp. 3DEM, ed. by J. Macnae and G. Liu, ASEG, Adelaide, 2003, 5 pp.

Wannamaker, P. E., and W. M. Doerner, 2002, Crustal structure of the Ruby Mountains and southern Carlin trend region, northeastern Nevada, from magnetotelluric data: Ore Geology Reviews, 21, 185-210.

Zhdanov, M. S., and P. E. Wannamaker, eds., 2002, Three-dimensional electromagnetics, Proc. 2nd Quad. Int. Symp.: Methods in geochemistry and geophysics, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 290 pp.

Wannamaker, P. E., G. R. Jiracek, J. A. Stodt, T. G. Caldwell, A. D. Porter, V. M. Gonzalez, and J. D. McKnight, 2002, Fluid generation and movement beneath an active compressional orogen, the New Zealand Southern Alps, inferred from magnetotelluric (MT) data: Journal of Geophysical Research, 107(B6), ETG 6 1-22.

Wannamaker, P. E. , J. M. Bartley, A. F. Sheehan, C. H. Jones, A. R. Lowry, Trevor A. Dumitru, Todd A. Ehlers, W. S. Holbrook, G. L. Farmer, M. J. Unsworth, D. B. Hall, D. S. Chapman, D. A. Okaya, B. E. John, and J. A. Wolfe, Great Basin-Colorado Plateau transition in central Utah: An interface between active extension and stable interior: in The Geological Transition: Colorado Plateau to Basin and Range, Proc. J. Hoover Mackin Symposium, ed. by M. C. Erskine, J. E. Faulds, J. M. Bartley and P. Rowley, UGA/AAPG Guideb. 30/GB78, Cedar City, Utah, September 20-23, 1-38, 2001.

Wannamaker, P. E., 2000, Comment on “The petrologic case for a dry lower crust”, by B. D. Yardley and J. W. Valley: Journal of Geophysical Research, 105, 6057-6064.

Wannamaker, P. E., J. B. Hulen, and M. T. Heizler, 2000, Early Miocene lamproite from the Colorado Plateau tectonic province, Utah: Journal of Volcanology and Geotherm. Research, 96, 176-191.

Wannamaker, P. E., 1999, Affordable magnetotellurics: interpretation in natural environments: in Three-dimensional electromagnetics, ed. by M. Oristaglio and B. Spies, Geophys. Devel. Ser., no. 7, Soc. Explor. Geophys., Tulsa, 349-374.

Wannamaker, P. E., and M. S. Zhdanov, eds., 1999, Three-dimensional electromagnetics: Proc. Second Int’l. Symp. in mem. Gerald W. Hohmann, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 342 pp.

Davey, F. J., T. Henyey, W. S. Holbrook, D. Okaya, T. A. Stern, D. Eberhart-Phillips, T. McEvilly, R. Urhammer, H. Anderson, G. R. Jiracek, P. E. Wannamaker, G. Caldwell, and N. Christiansen, 1998, Preliminary results from a geophysical study across a modern, continent-continent collisional plate boundary – the Southern Alps, New Zealand: Tectonophysics, 288, 221-235.

Stern, T. A., P. E. Wannamaker, D. Eberhart-Phillips, D. Okaya, F. J. Davey, and the South Island working group, 1997, Crustal structure experiments across the Southern Alps of New Zealand: EOS Article, Trans. AGU, 78, 329, 335-336.

Wannamaker, P. E., J. M. Johnston, J. R. Booker and J. A. Stodt, 1997a, Anatomy of the Southern Cordilleran Hingeline, Utah and Nevada, from deep resistivity profiling: Geophysics, 62, 1069-1086.

Wannamaker, P. E., W. M. Doerner, J. A. Stodt, and J. M. Johnston, 1997b, Subdued state of tectonism of the Great Basin interior relative to its eastern margin based on deep resistivity structure: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 150, 41-53.

Wannamaker, P. E., 1997a, Tensor CSAMT survey of the Sulphur Springs thermal area, Valles Caldera, New Mexico, Part I: implications for structure of the western caldera: Geophysics, 62, 451-465.

Wannamaker, P. E., 1997b, Tensor CSAMT survey of the Sulphur Springs thermal area, Valles Caldera, New Mexico, Part II: implications for CSAMT methodology: Geophysics, 62, 466-476.

de Lugao, P. P., and Wannamaker, P. E., 1996, Calculating the two-dimensional magnetotelluric Jacobian in finite elements using reciprocity: Geophysical Journal International, 127, 806-810.

Wannamaker, P. E., A. D. Chave, J. R. Booker, A. G. Jones, J. H. Filloux, Y. Ogawa, M. Unsworth, P. Tarits, and R. Evans, 1996a, Magnetotelluric experiment probes deep physical state of southeastern U.S.: EOS article, Trans. AGU, 77, 329, 330-331.

Wannamaker, P. E., J. A. Stodt, and S. L. Olsen, 1996b, Dormant state of rifting in Byrd subglacial Basin, central west Antarctica, implied by magnetotelluric profiling: Geophysical Research Letters, 23, 2983-2986.

Wannamaker, P. E., 1994, Fluids in the Earth’s crust; Electromagnetic inferences on existence and distribution, in The Mechanical Involvement of Fluids in Faulting, ed. by Hickman, S., Sibson, R., and Bruhn, R., USGS OF Rep. 94-228, 162-177.

Mackie, R. L., Madden, T. R., and Wannamaker, P. E., 1993, Three-dimensional magnetotelluric modeling using difference equations – theory and comparisons to integral equations solutions, Geophysics, 58, 215-226.

Wright, P. M., Moore, J. N., Adams, M. C., Neilson, D. L., Hulen, J. B., Wannamaker, P. E., and Ross, H. P., 1991, Selected results of recent geothermal research at the University of Utah Research Institute, Geothermal Resources Council Bulletin, April, 86-98.

Wannamaker, P. E. and Hohmann, G. W., 1991, Electromagnetic induction studies: U.S. National Rept to the IUGG, invited paper, Reviews of Geophysics, Supplement, 405-415.

Wannamaker, P. E., 1991, Advances in three-dimensional magnetotelluric modeling using integral equations: Geophysics, 56, 1716-1728.

Wannamaker, P. E., Wright, P. M., Zhou, Z.-X., Li, X.-B., and Zhao, J.-X., 1991, Magnetotelluric transect of Long Valley caldera: resistivity cross section, structural implications, and the limits of a two-dimensional analysis: Geophysics, 56, 926-940.

Johnston, J. M., and Wannamaker, P. E., 1990, Magnetotelluric transect of the Sevier overthrust belt in southwestern Utah and eastern Nevada, in Energy and Mineral Resources of Utah, ed. by M. L. Allison, Utah Geol. Assoc. Guidebook, 155-171.

Wannamaker, P. E., 1990, On thin-layer telluric modeling of magnetotelluric responses: Geophysics, 55, 372-375.

Wannamaker, P. E., and fifteen coauthors, 1989, Magnetotelluric observations across the Juan de Fuca subduction system in the EMSLAB project: Journal of Geophysical Research, 94, 14,111-14,125.

Wannamaker, P. E., Booker, J. R., Jones, A. G., Chave, A. D., Filloux, J. H., Waff, H. S., and Law, L. K., 1989, Resistivity cross-section through the Juan de Fuca subduction system and its tectonic implications: Journal of Geophysical Research, 94, 14,127-14,144.

Young, C. T., Booker, J. R., Fernandez, R., Jiracek, G. R., Martinez, M., Rogers, J. C., Stodt, J. A., Waff, H. S., and Wannamaker, P. E., 1988, Verification of five magnetotelluric systems in the mini-EMSLAB experiment: Geophysics, 53, 553-557.

Wannamaker, P. E., fourth author in the EMSLAB Group, 1988, The EMSLAB electromagnetic sounding experiment: EOS Trans., 69, (7), 89, 98-99.

Wannamaker, P. E., Stodt, J. A., and Rijo, L., 1987, A stable finite element solution for two‑dimensional magnetotelluric modeling: Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 88, 277-296.

Wannamaker, P. E., 1986, Electrical conductivity of water‑undersaturated crustal melting: Journal of Geophysical Research, 91, 6321‑6327.

Wannamaker, P. E., Stodt, J. A., and Rijo, L., 1986, Two‑dimensional topographic variations in magnetotellurics modeled using finite elements: Geophysics, 51, 2131-2144.

Newman, G. H., Wannamaker, P. E., and Hohmann, G. W., 1985, On the detectability of crustal magma chambers using the magnetotelluric method: Geophysics, 50, 1136‑1143.

Wannamaker, P. E., Hohmann, G. W., and San Filipo, W. A., 1984a, Electromagnetic modeling of three dimensional bodies in layered earths using integral equations: Geophysics, 49, 60‑74.

Wannamaker, P. E., Hohmann, G. W., and Ward, S. H., 1984b, Magnetotelluric responses of three‑dimensional bodies in layered earths: Geophysics, 49, 1517‑1533.

Wannamaker, P. E., 1983, Resistivity structure of the Northern Basin and Range, in The Role of Heat in the Development of Energy and Mineral Resources in the Northern Basin and Range Province, Geothermal Resources Council Special Report 13, 345‑362.

Shuey, R. T., and Wannamaker, P. E., 1978, Discussion on “Applications of the generalized inverse to the inversion of static potential data”, by J. Cribb: Geophysics, 43(1), 194‑196.