Dr. Sam Wimpenny

Dr. Sam Wimpenny


I completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2019, where I worked on developing new ways of interrogating the mechanical properties of active faults and their effects on mountain building. Subsequently, between 2019 and 2022, I held the Denman Baynes Junior Research Fellowship at Clare College, Cambridge. During my fellowship I worked on projects that explored the geological controls on fault-mechanical properties, ranging from determining the static strength of seismogenic faults within the anhydrous lower crust to the time-dependent strength of seismogenic faults within the shallow crust. Alongside my research into fault mechanics, I also have broad interests in active tectonics and its links with seismic hazard. I have collaborated with colleagues in Peru on the paleoseismic evidence for Mw 7 earthquakes that record permanent deformation within the forearc of southern Peru, and with colleagues in Cambridge on how seismic hazard can be tied to active tectonics in normal-fault systems and mountain range forelands.

At Leeds, I am working on projects that explore how temporal variations in seismicity can be used to probe the mechanical properties of active faults.

Research interests

My research focuses on developing new insights into the mechanical behaviour of faults, and how fault behaviour effects geological processes such as mountain building, rifting and volcanism. My specialism is in using a wide range of observational techniques from geomorphology, space-borne satellite geodesy (InSAR, GPS), seismology, potential field analysis, paleoseismic trenching and structural geology, and combining these observations with simple numerical or analytical modelling, to study both active and ancient fault zones.

For the Global Waveform-Modelled Earthquake Catalogue (gWFM) see:

  • https://comet.nerc.ac.uk/gwfm_catalogue/gWFM_catalogue.html
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Geophysics (University of Cambridge)
  • BSc in Geophysics and Geology (University of Durham)

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics