The structural geology and tectonics research group addresses topical problems in structural geology, regional geology and tectonics, and how rocks deform--at the atomic to the plate tectonic scale. The goals of our research are to contribute to our basic knowledge of deformation at the lithospheric scale, how deformation at depth is coupled to that at the surface, and to better understand the driving forces for this deformation. We utilize a variety of approaches, both traditional and innovative. Our work is field-based, involving an important component of geologic mapping in addition to structural and microstructural analysis, stratigraphic and sedimentologic studies, metamorphic and igneous petrology, cross-section balancing, modeling and geophysical data. Timing and the rates of deformational events based on geochronologic and thermochronologic data sets are key to our research.
Our multidisciplinary approach to regional geology and tectonics relies on many kinds of data and on the interaction with many other faculty in GES and Geophysics. Geologists and geophysicists at the nearby U.S. Geological Survey represent a great additional resource. Our research and skill sets have broad applications for mapping and understanding fault motions and geohazards in general, the exploration for natural resources , the 3D nature of subsurface geology and the evolution of sedimentary basins.