Research | Structure

Students sitting on  a mountain ledge in TibetThe GeoStructure Group at the University of Arizona is focused on the development of the Earth’s major orogenic belts and related sedimentary basins. Ongoing projects are situated along archetypal examples of collisional, retroarc, and retreating continental margins and their associated fold-thrust and foreland basin systems.

We are also focusing on extensional systems and associated basins in the Himalaya, Tibet, and the North American Cordillera. Methods applied include surface and subsurface mapping; regional structural analysis; U-Pb, Th-Pb, and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and thermochronology; metamorphic petrology and thermobarometry; detailed and regional sedimentology and conventional provenance analysis; isotopic (Sr, Nd, and U-Pb detrital zircons) provenance analysis; subsidence modeling; traditional and kinematic sequence stratigraphy; and geodynamic modeling. Our efforts are aimed at developing both fundamental understanding and solving regional-scale tectonic problems with large datasets.


Peter DeCelles - Sedimentology, tectonics, regional structure
Paul Kapp - Structure, tectonics

George Davis - Structure, tectonics
Mihai Ducea - Tectonics
George Gehrels - Tectonics, geochronology
Amanda Hughes - Structure
Susan Beck - Seismology, tectonics


Faculty with related interests

  • Roy Johnson - Reflection seismology, crustal and lithospheric structure


Facilities, Equipment, and Resources

  • SG Workstations and PC's with 3D and 2D Move software (for constructing and retrodeforming balanced cross sections) and the general-purpose finite-element software package ABAQUS for geodynamic modeling
  • Research-grade petrographic microscope equipped with automatic point-counting apparatus
  • Large-format HP Color Printer and Scanner
  • Sample preparation and mineral separation facilities