Andrew Watson


BSC Geophysics with Geology - Durham University (2014 - 2017)

Master's by Research - Durham University (2017 - 2018) - "Geodetic Network Design for Low-Cost GNSS"

PhD - University of Leeds (2018 - ) - "The co-evolution of mountain buiding and seismic hazard in regions of continental convergence"

Research interests

My primary interests lie in the use of large-scale Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and GNSS observations to map crustal deformation throughout Iran, both to asses local seismic hazard, and to explore the kinematics of continental collision. I work as part of the COMET LiCS project, which aims to map surface velocities and strain rates using InSAR for the entire Alpine-Himalayan belt. 

My first lead-author publication focused on the Main Recent Fault, Iran, a ~800 km long strike-slip fault in the western Zagros. Using InSAR observations processed as part of the LiCS automated system, we were able to measure a slip rate in the order of 2-3 mm/yr for a 400 km long section of the fault; a very small tectonic signal for InSAR. We are now expanding our InSAR velocity field to incorporate the whole of the Zagros mountains, and then all of Iran, from which we can derive surface strain rates.

Outside of my main research, I am assisting with other InSAR-related projects, including mapping groundwater extraction across Iran. I have also produced python resources, in the form of interactive jupyter notebooks, for both the Tectonophysics undergraduate module, and for the COMET InSAR workshop.


  • BSC Geophysics with Geology - First Class with Honours

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics
  • Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics