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Tectonics and Geodynamics


  • James Channell investigates the application of paleomagnetism to paleogeographies in mountain belts, notably in the Alpine-Mediterranean area. The objective has been to reconstruct the pre-deformational relative position of rock bodies (on scales from individual thrust sheets to entire continents). High-resolution records of geomagnetic field behavior from Quaternary deep-sea sediments have provided a clearer picture of the spatial and temporal characteristics of geomagnetic (secular) variation that are now being used to constrain computer-generated models of the geodynamo. (email:
  • David Foster‘s research is focused on the tectonic evolution of continents, mountain belts, and extensional basins. He uses the research tools of thermochronology, structural geology, metamorphic petrology, and isotope geochemistry to understand the processes involved in the evolution of continental crust and large-scale earth features. Geochronologic and thermochronologic dating methods (Ar-Ar, fission-track, U-Pb) are used extensively in his research to directly date tectonic/thermal events, exhumation rates, and movement along faults and shear zone. He is also researching the relationships between tectonics and landscape evolution. (email:
  • Joe Meert‘s research is aimed at deciphering the assembly and breakup of Proterozoic-Early Paleozoic supercontinents using a combination of paleomagnetism and geochronology. The research bears directly on issues regarding ancient paleoclimates (such as the Snowball Earth hypothesis), geodynamics (plate speed limits and true polar wander) and the evolutionary pulse and the beginning of the Phanerozoic. (email:
  • Kyoungwon “Kyle” Min‘s research includes understanding pressure-temperature-time paths of various tectonic units to better document tectono-metamorphic evolutions. He also attempts to calibrate absolute time scales of the earth system history. (email:
  • Paul Mueller‘s research is directed towards developing a better understanding of the origin and evolution of continents and continental crust in particular. The primary focus involves detailed elemental, isotopic, and geochronologic analyses of Precambrian rocks from two principal areas, Northern Rocky Mountains and Southern Appalachian Mountains. These areas are particularly well suited to address fundamental questions concerning the segregation of continental crust from the mantle as well as its aggregation to form modern continents. In particular, crustal sections from these two areas are providing important insight into large scale geodynamic questions, such as supercontinent cycles (e.g., the formation and disruption of Laurentia and Rodinina). (email:
  • Ray Russo works on tectonics and seismology with an emphasis on upper mantle flow and lithosphere-asthenosphere interactions. With students and colleagues he is currently running a broadband seismic experiment aimed at understanding subduction of the Chile Spreading Ridge beneath the southern Andes. (email:




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