Active Tectonics & Geomorphology Projects

Fault slip rates & paleoseismology within the southern San Andreas Fault System


Offset geomorphic features along the San Andreas fault in southern California and Baja California in Mexico record the fault’s rate of motion averaged over the past 2,000-150,000 years. We use a range of geomorphic analyses and Quaternary dating techniques to track the average rate of slip over different timescales as well as the earthquake history and recurrence interval over the Holocene.

Team Members & Collaborators: Peter Gold, Whitney Behr, Tom Rockwell, John Fletcher

Publications:Gold, Behr, et al., JGR (2015)

Pleistocene to recent incision rates for the Rio Grande Gorge, New Mexico, USA


Terraces developed along the Rio Grande del Norte in northern New Mexico provide unique insight into the geomorphic evolution of this youthful river gorge. We are using detailed geomorphic mapping along with cosmogenic 3He dating to quantify incision rates and relate them to climatic and tectonic forcings.

Team Members & Collaborators: Travis Clow, Whitney Behr, Mark Helper, Des Patterson

Publications: Clow et al., Geosphere, 2019

Uplift History of the West Kopet Dagh mountains, NE Iran, inferred from low-temperature thermochronology


The Kopet Dagh in Northeast Iran formed by the tectonic inversion of a Meso- to Cenozoic extensional basin, but the timing of uplift is not well constrained. We are using apatite and zircon fission track and (U-Th)/He dating to better constrain the uplift history and to model the large-scale tectonic history of northeastern Iran.

Team Members & Collaborators: Jonas Ruh, Lukas Rigling