Research Interests

With my students I decipher the history and processes of deformation of the Earth's crust, using young and active regions like Taiwan and California as inspiration and data. On a planetary scale we mapped the surface of Venus and developed a global tectonic chronology based on statistics of sparse impact craters. At the 100 km scale we showed that compressive mountain belts deform to a limiting surface slope, similar to the wedge of snow pushed in front of a shovel. We have mapped regional stress fields on Earth and Venus, showing, for example, that the San Andreas fault in California is a surprisingly weak surface of low shear stress. At the scale of kilometers we have shown that large folds grow by bending of rock layers as they slide over non-planar faults and not by the traditional buckling mechanisms, which has applications in petroleum exploration and assessing earthquake hazards.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 15: Geology