The research activities of our group link studies of tectonics, climate, and surface processes on different time scales with the overall goal of gaining a better understanding of these complex interacting processes that shape our planet and habitat.
These multifaceted interactions constitute some of the most fascinating areas of research in the geosciences. For example, it has long been known that tectonic processes play a vital role in the evolution of our climate, influencing atmospheric and ocean currents. However, the correct distinction between tectonically and climatically driven processes and their influence on material flow and topographic evolution is complicated by variations in tectonic rates and long-wave climate changes or short-term climate fluctuations. For example, discrepancies between erosion rates estimated over different time scales show that climate change and climatic variability have fundamental impacts on the efficiency of erosion.
Therefore, by using various radiometric dating methods, thermochronology, climate proxies in geologic archives, and satellite-based measurements of precipitation and glacier budgets, we attempt to decipher tectonically and climatically driven processes at different spatiotemporal 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.