Research Projects

ACTIVE TECTONICS PROJECTS

Long term slip rate of the Banning strand of the southern San Andreas fault


Offset geomorphic features along the San Andreas fault in southern California record the fault’s rate of motion averaged over the past 50,000-150,000 years.

Funding: Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP)

Collaborators: Peter Gold*, Aaron Salin*, Dylan Rood, Warren Sharp, Tom Rockwell, Katherine Kendrick

 

 

Kinematics and rates of slip along the Agua Blanca and San Miguel-Vallecitos fault zones in Baja California, Mexico

The Agua Blanca and San Miguel-Vallectios faults in Baja California together accommodate ~14% of plate boundary motion at this latitude.  We are investigating their rates of slip and kinematic linkages with other faults within the San Andreas system and faults within the Gulf of California Rift Zone.

Funding: Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)

Collaborators: Peter Gold*, Alejandro Hinojosa Corona, Tom Rockwell, John Fletcher

 

 

STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY/RHEOLOGY PROJECTS

Present-day rheology of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Mojave region from naturally deformed peridotite xenoliths.

Xenoliths erupted from young volcanoes in the Basin and Range are clues to understanding the present-day rheology of the lithospheric mantle and the nature of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary.

Funding: NSF Tectonics Program

Collaborators: Rachel Bernard*, Greg Hirth, Rick Hervig, Andy Freed

Publications: Behr & Hirth, 2014

 

 

Deformation in the mantle wedge associated with Laramide flat-slab subduction.

Inclusions in serpentinized ultramafic diatremes erupted within the Colorado Plateau represent pieces of the variably hydrated mantle wedge, as well as tectonically eroded and entrained fragments of the plate interface, each associated with Laramide flat-slab subduction.  They provide a unique opportunity to investigate the effects of water on olivine lattice preferred orientations, with implications for seismic anisotropy in the mantle wedge.

Funding: N/A

Collaborators: Doug Smith

 

Mechanisms and longevity of strain localization during dynamic recrystallization of olivine.

Experiments being undertaken on dry olivine aggregates help determine why Earth’s rigid outer shell, the lithosphere, is commonly localized into faults and shear zones, rather than distributed over wide distances.

Funding: NSF Tectonics Program

Collaborators: *Pamela Speciale, Greg Hirth, David Kohlstedt

 

 

 

Subduction zone processes as preserved in high pressure rocks of Syros Island, Greece.

High pressure subduction complexes preserve on Syros Island in Greece record different mechanical behaviors as they transition from subduction to exhumation.

Funding: (pending)

Collaborators: Alissa Kotowski*, Danny Stockli, Jaime Barnes, Miguel Cisneros*, Spender Seman*, Natalie Reia*

 

 

 

Timing of subduction and high pressure metamorphism in the western Mediterranean.

High pressure subduction complexes in the Betic Cordillera of southern Spain record different stages of oceanic and continental subduction in the western Mediterranean region.

Funding: Jackson School of Geosciences Seed Grant

Collaborators: Kory Kirchner*, Staci Loewy, Jason Williams, John Platt, Danny Stockli

 

 

* = UT student working on project