Paul Kapp, Associate Professor

Structural Geology & Tectonics

Department of Geosciences

Gould-Simpson Bldg. #77

Tucson, AZ 85721-0077












office: Rm 310

(520) 626-8763















My expertise lies in continental tectonics, regional geology, and structural-stratigraphic analysis. I pursue my interests through a combination of field research (months per year) and analytical research. In the field, I conduct geological mapping, determine the kinematics of major structures, and measure stratigraphic sections. In terms of the types of rocks I work on, I do not discriminate on the basis of age or lithology. I study rocks ranging from Precambrian to Quaternary in age and from high-grade gneisses to loess. My analytical research is primarily focused on quantifying timing and rates with geochronology and thermochronology. I collaborate with others to obtain whatever data are needed to address the questions at hand. I integrate my results, along with geochemical and geophysical data sets when appropriate, in the form of regional or lithosphere-scale cross sections and kinematic restorations.

Research Interests

1) The tectonic evolution of Asia from the Precambrian to present; emphasis on the Himalaya-Tibet-Pamir orogenic system where I maintain a strong research program.

2) The processes that act during the transition from a Cordilleran/Andean-style margin to continent-continent suturing and collision.

3) The temporal-spatial distribution of shortening, basin development, and magmatism in Cordilleran-style and collisional settings and associated implications for lower crustal and mantle processes.

4) The development and exhumation mechanisms of high-pressure metamorphic rocks and gneiss domes.

5) The development of low-angle normal fault systems and associated basins.

6) Developing lithosphere-scale tectonic models that integrate deep crustal and mantle geophysics and the surface geology.

7) The Pliocene to Quaternary history of wind erosion, loess deposition, and wind-pattern variability in Asia, and globally, and potential interplays between wind erosion and tectonics.

8) The development of wind-sculpted, linear bedrock terrain.


Faculty supervisor: Society of Earth Science Students