The research activities of our group link studies of tectonics, climate and Earth surface processes on geologic to annual time scales.
The overarching goal is to better understand tectonic and surface processes and their conspiring activity in sculpting the surface of our planet and influencing the human habitat. These multifaceted interactions constitute some of the most fascinating areas of research in the geosciences. It has been known for a long time that tectonism plays a critical role in the evolution of climate, affecting atmospheric circulation and ocean currents.
However, the task of correctly differentiating between tectonically and climatically driven processes and their influence on material flux and topographic evolution is complicated by variations in tectonic rates and long-wavelength climate change or short-term climate variability. For example, discrepancies between erosion-rate estimates made over different timescales show that climate change and climatic variability have fundamental impacts on erosive efficiency.
Therefore, through the use of different radiometric dating techniques, low-temperature thermochronology, climate proxies in geological archives, and satellite-based measurements of precipitation and glacial budgets, we strive to decipher tectonically and climatically driven processes at different time and length scales. This offers unique, direct insights into process rates and their determinants, ultimately providing information on the tectonic and climatic forcing mechanisms that govern the face of the Earth.
In addition to these activities, the group is studying the long-term effects of tectonic stress-field evolution on sedimentary basins, the tectonic differentiation of terrestrial sedimentary environments, as well as the behavior of linked fault systems and landscape evolution in mountain belts and rifts.