Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Dr Ake Fagereng

Dr Ake Fagereng


+44 (0)29 2087 0760
2.09, Y Prif Adeilad, Plas y Parc, Caerdydd, CF10 3AT
Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig



The broad field of structural geology as applied to understand rock deformation at all scales in multiple settings, with focus on: Earthquake Geology; Fault Rocks; Hydrothermal Vein Systems; Rheology of Polyphase Materials; Geological Controls on the Seismic Style of Active Faults; Melanges; Microstructures and Deformation Mechanisms; Subduction Zones; Oceanic Transform Faults; Continental Rifts

Detailed information of research activities, and general updates on research plans and ideas, can also be found on my external research web pages: http://akefagereng.wordpress.com



1999-01          International Baccalaureate, Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong
2002-05           University of Cape Town, BSc(Hons) with distinction
2006-09           Otago University, PhD: 'Subduction-Related Fault Processes: Ancient and Active'

Academic Career

2006-09         Teaching Assistant, Otago University
2010-14         Lecturer - Senior Lecturer, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town
2014-             Honorary Research Associate, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town
2014-             Lecturer, School of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, UK


- American Geophysical Union
- Geological Society of America
- Geological Society of New Zealand
- Geological Society of Norway
- Seismological Society of America

External Activities

- Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Structural Geology (2014- )
- Corresponding Editor, Special Publications of the Geological Society of London volume 359.
- Session Convenor, AGU Fall Meeting, 2013 and 2014.
- Member of Accreditation Committee, Faculty of Science, University of Cape Town (2011-2013)
- Undergraduate External Examiner (Rhodes University, South Africa, 2011-13)
- MSc Examiner (University of the Western Cape, South Africa)

Research Grants

Principal Investigator on a South African National Antarctic Programme grant (2012-2015) to study shear zones in the Maud Belt of Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica, and a number of University of Cape Town Carnegie Foundation Research Development Grants (2010-2014) to work on structures in the Damara Belt, Namibia. Continuing Inkaba yeAfrica funded, long-term monitoring of intraplate seismicity in the Western Cape, South Africa (2011 onwards). Co-investigator on a New Zealand Marsden grant to study controls on creeping vs. locked segments of the Hikurangi Margin (PI: Susan Ellis, GNS Science). NRF Incentive Funding for Rated Researchers has funded initial work on fault systems in the East African Rift (2014), to be continued with student support from the GW4+ Doctoral Training Programme.

Research Student Supervision

- Valeria Bilancia (2012 - present, registered at the University of Cape Town): Geodynamics and continental extension in the East African Rift System - origin and evolution of the Turkana Depression
- Michael S. Hodge (2014 - ): Development, deformation style, and seismic hazard of large normal faults

- David McGibbon (Graduated, 2014, UCT): Shear zones of the Maud Belt, Antarctica - Kinematics and deformation mechanisms. Now at Umvoto Africa.
- Matthew Hodge (Graduated with distinction, 2013, UCT; GSSA award for top MSc thesis in South Africa, 2013): Neotectonics of the Southern Cape. Now at Remote Exploration Services.
- Clayton Cross (Graduated with distinction, 2013, UCT): Metamorphic history of the Matchless Amphibolite, Damara Belt, Namibia (co-supervised with Johann Diener).
- Louis Smit (passed pending corrections, UCT): Microseismic monitoring of the Ceres-Tulbagh region, Western Cape, South Africa.
- Sukey Thomas (awaiting examination results, UCT): Melt migration as recorded in Sverdrupfjella, Maud Belt, Antarctica (co-supervised with Johann Diener).
- Kaylan Hamel (Part-time, in progress, UCT): Fluid-rock interaction in the Colenso Fault Zone, Saldania Belt, South Africa. Employed at MSA.
- Nondumiso Ntombela (Part-time, in progress, UCT): Fault-seal analysis and hydrocarbon potential of the West Coast basins of South Africa. Employed at PetroSA.
- Michael Hartnady (in progress, UCT): Deformation history of the Southern Marginal Zone, Damara Belt, Namibia.
- Gregory Byrnes (in progress, UCT): Structural and metamorphic history of Sverdrupfjella, Antarctica (co-supervised with Johann Diener).

13 BSc(Hons) students at the University of Cape Town, including two prize-winning projects: Michael Hartnady (Structural Geology of the Southern Marginal Zone in Gaub Canyon, Namibia; GSSA award for top Honours project in southern Africa, 2013), and Sean Rennie (Strain distribution in the Kuckaus Mylonite Zone, Namibia; First runner-up in the Midland Valley Structure Competition, Undergraduates, 2012).

Anrhydeddau a Dyfarniadau

  • American Geophysical Union, Geophysical Research Letters, Editor's Citation for Excellence in Refereeing (2013)
  • President's Award, National Research Foundation, South Africa (2013)
  • Elsevier Young Scientist Award (2013)
  • Claude Leon Foundation Merit Award for Young Lecturers (2012)
  • University of Cape Town College of Fellows' Young Researcher Award (2012)

Ymrwymiadau siarad cyhoeddus

    • Tectonic Studies Group Meeting (2014, 2015)
    • Gordon Conference on Rock Deformation (2014, Keynote)
    • AGU Fall Meeting (session convenor 2013, 2014; invited talks in 2010, 2011, 2013; contributed talks 2007, 2010, 2011, 2014;  contributed poster 2008, 2009, 2013)
    • GeoPRISMS New Zealand meeting (2013)
    • Africa Array Conference (2012, 2014)
    • Penrose Conference on Convergent Margins (2012, invited talk)
    • IODP workshop on ocean drilling and slow slip events (2011)
    • Penrose Conference on Deformation Localization (2011)
    • Earthscope Institute on the spectrum of fault slip styles (2010)
    • Igneous and Metamorphic Studies Group (GSSA) (2010, 2012)
    • New Zealand Geosciences (session convenor 2009, speaker 2007, 2008, 2009)
    • Public lectures at MTN Science Centre, Cape Town and U3A Hermanus, South Africa
    • Departmental Seminars at University of Otago, University of Cape Town, University of California Santa Cruz, California Institute of Technology
    • Research Group Seminars at California Institute of Technology, Bristol University and Oxford University

















Ake is Norwegian, but gained his BSc in Geology and Ocean & Atmosphere Science, and BSc(Hons) in Geology, from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He then undertook a PhD with Rick Sibson at the University of Otago, working on the structural geology of the Chrystalls Beach Complex, a melange shear zone in the Otago Schist, on the South Island of New Zealand. Observations in this sheared rock assemblage, compared to geophysical observations of the active Hikurangi subduction margin on the North Island, led to a number of publications on the internal structure of the subduction zone interface. In particular, Ake focussed on the effects of rock composition and geometry on the seismic behaviour (big earthquakes vs. aseismic creep) of subduction megathrusts.

After his time on New Zealand, Ake took up a lectureship in structural geology at the University of Cape Town. In this position he has, in addition to keeping up work on the seismic behaviour, slip style, and fluid pressure state of subduction interfaces, worked on strain localization in ductile shear zones (in Namibia and Antarctica), intraplate seismicity (in South Africa), the rheology of solid-melt mixtures (in Namibia and Antarctica), and the involvement of pre-existing basement structures in the evolution of the East African Rift System.

Currently, Ake's overall interest is in how the Earth deforms, be that at plate boundaries or plate interiors, and particularly where and why big earthquakes occur (or, maybe even more interesting, where they should but seem not to).

In more detail, this research now includes focus on: mixed-mode deformation, including deformation of polyphase materials and the influence of melt on deformation; the continuum of fault slip styles from aseismic creep to earthquake slip, in which the physics behind transient slow slip events is particularly intriguing; and how pre-existing structures, fabrics, and compositional variations may or may not control active deformation style.

His methodology revolves around looking at rocks that have experienced (suffered/enjoyed?) a history of deformation. By attempting to read such a history, in the field, under a microscope, and with the help of some geochemical analyses, these rocks may tell a story that can be used to understand ancient deformation, and be applied to how active faults work. Application of image analysis tools, numerical and analytical mathematical models, and modern methods of mapping at all scales are also central in this research.


Goruchwyliaeth gyfredol

Sara De Caroli

Research student