Geodynamics and Tectonics

Photo of a fault slope in Italy

The surface of the earth is in a constant state of change due to the slow continuous motion of tectonic plates. Plate movement drives the deformation of the lithosphere, building mountains and loading fault lines to cause earthquakes. Our research aims to understand these processes over a huge range in spatial and temporal scales.

Our observations range from a single grain that has been subjected to huge pressure deep in the crust millions of years ago to millimetric movements of the ground after an earthquake measured by satellites.

We use seismology to probe the structure and composition of the lithosphere (and sometimes glaciers) and geochemistry to quanitfy the past activity of faults and how complex fault systems evolve. Ultimately we combine what we learn across the different scales into computational models to explain these observations and answer questions as to how and why processes like earthquakes occur and evolve over time.

Our projects span the globe, including studying the flow of ancient and deep crustal rocks in Norway to working out the complicated geometry of faults that ruptured in earthquakes in Nepal, Italy, China, and Turkey and other locations.
We collaborate with the Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tectonics COMET

Further information

View all members of our research group, our recent projects and publications.

PhD projects

We have opportunities for prospective postgraduate researchers. Find out more.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss an area of research in more detail, please contact Dr Tim Craig.