Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

Tectoneg a Geoffiseg

We investigate the physical processes of the solid Earth.

The Tectonics and Geophysics Research Group researches the breadth of tectonics and magmatism from rapid events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, to slower processes such as solid-state creep and magma flow, and longer time scale processes that shape Earth's crust by deep crustal and mantle deformation.

We use field research, laboratory analysis and numerical modelling to understand dynamic processes occurring in Earth's interior from near-surface to deepest mantle. This work feeds into research priorities in geohazards, deformation of Earth materials and computational Earth sciences.

Amcanion

We aim to understand the causes and consequences of the dynamic processes changing the solid Earth by using our expertise in structural geology, petrology, geophysics, tectonics and geodynamics.

Tom Blenkinsop, David Buchs, Ake Fagereng, Huw Davies and Chris MacLeod lead this area, investigating the physical processes of the solid Earth using field observations, laboratory analyses, geophysical observations and numerical modelling.

Our research ranges from crustal fault behaviour and fluid flow to the deformation of the mantle, from microscopic to global scales.

Our three focus areas are:

  • volcanic, sedimentary and tectonic processes at convergent and divergent margins
  • fault mechanics and microstructures
  • early Earth tectonics.

We examine how faults accommodate slip, seismically and aseismically, and how the range in geophysically observed fault behaviours may be recorded in exhumed rocks, using examples from contractional, extension and strike-slip tectonic regimes.

Magmatism and tectonics

Our research focuses on the formation and evolution of the lithosphere in a variety of oceanic and continental settings. These are split into four areas:

We adopt a multidisciplinary approach, mostly based on fieldwork on land and at sea (including ocean drilling), using a combination of geochemical/petrological modelling, structural geology and geophysics.

Processes of particular interest to us include:

  • magma generation in the sub-oceanic mantle
  • crustal accretion at mid-ocean ridges
  • deformation of the oceanic lithosphere
  • formation of seamounts and oceanic islands
  • formation of oceanic plateaus and continental flood basalts and their environmental impacts
  • hydrothermal processes
  • subduction initiation and the formation of ophiolites.

Mantle geodynamics

Led by Huw Davies, we are interested in understanding how mantle dynamics drive plate tectonics and control planetary evolution using global and regional numerical simulations constrained by observations. Processes of interest include subduction, upwelling plumes and mantle convection. Much of our numerical simulations are undertaken on large clusters including, the University cluster run by Advanced Research Computing at Cardiff (ARCCA), and the UK Supercomputer, Archer2.

Recent grants

  • Blenkinsop, T. G. (Lead PI of Cardiff element) Ballistic damage of stone heritage structures in conflict areas, to Dr. Lisa Mol, 2017-2022, £199,745, £81,304 to Cardiff.
  • Davies, H. (Lead PI of Cardiff element) Volatile legacy of the Early Earth. NERC Grant – NE/M000400/1. September 2014-March 2021, £123,512
  • Davies, H. (Lead PI of Cardiff element) Mantle volatiles : processes, reservoirs and fluxes. NERC Grant - NE/M000397/1. September 2014-March 2021, £221,000
  • Davies JH (Lead PI) Mantle Circulation Constrained (MC2): A multidisciplinary 4D Earth framework for understanding mantle upwellings, co-I - MB Andersen, O Shorttle, GG Roberts, A Biggin, J Wookey, T Elliott, A Nowacki, A Walker, C Davies, A Ferreira, P Koelemeijer, NERC Large Grant -  NE/T012633/1, November 2020-October-2024, £3,684,000 FEC, £2,963,000 from funder; £804,471 to Cardiff.
  • Davies, JH, The Evolution of Terrestrial Planets: Insights from Models of Planetary Evolution with Coupled Internal, Atmospheric/Surface Development, Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship to Dr. Matt Weller, 2021-2023, €212,933.76
  • Fagereng, A. MICA: Mechanics of slow earthquake phenomena: an Integrated perspective from the Composition, geometry, And rheology of plate boundary faults. ERC Starting Grant 715836. Feb 2017 – Feb 2023, €1,499,244
  • Fagereng, A. (Lead of Cardiff element) PREPARE: Enhancing PREParedness for East African Countries through Seismic Resilience Engineering. EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund EP/P028233/1, May 2017 – Mar 2022. £1,381,845 from funder, £214,818 to Cardiff.
  • Lissenberg, C.J., Millet, M.-A. HiDe: A highly heterogeneous depleted mantle? NERC Standard Grant NE/T000317/1. Jan 2020-Jan 2023, £514,889.
  • Lissenberg, C.J. Decoding the crystal record of volcanic eruptions, Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellowship to Dr. Matthew Gleeson, 2020-2023, £193,578.
  • MacLeod, C.J. ULTRA - Ultramafic-hosted mineral Resource Assessment NERC Highlight Topic Grant NE/S004300/1. 2020-2024, £412,842.
  • Millet M-A NIIICE: Novel Isotope Insights Into Continent Evolution NERC Standard Grant NE/R001332/1 – £506,772 April 2018 – June 2022

Cyhoeddiadau dethol

Staff academaidd

Yr Athro Thomas Blenkinsop

Yr Athro Thomas Blenkinsop

Professor in Earth Science

Email
blenkinsopt@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 0232
Dr David Buchs

Dr David Buchs

Lecturer

Email
buchsd@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5313
Yr Athro J Huw Davies

Yr Athro J Huw Davies

Reader

Siarad Cymraeg
Email
daviesjh2 @ cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5182
Dr Ake Fagereng

Dr Ake Fagereng

Lecturer

Email
fagerenga@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 0760
Dr Andrew C Kerr

Dr Andrew C Kerr

Reader in Petrology & Director of Postgraduate Research

Email
kerra@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4578
Dr C. Johan Lissenberg

Dr C. Johan Lissenberg

Lecturer

Email
lissenbergcj@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4327
Yr Athro Chris MacLeod

Yr Athro Chris MacLeod

Professor

Email
macleod@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4332
Dr Marc-Alban Millet

Dr Marc-Alban Millet

Lecturer in Isotope Geochemistry

Email
milletm@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5124

Myfyrwyr Ôl-raddedig

No profile image

Suame Ampana

Research student

Email
ampanas@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5874
Joanna Brims

Miss Joanna Brims

Research student

Email
brimsjc@caerdydd.ac.uk
Sophie Cox

Sophie Cox

Research student

Email
coxs8@caerdydd.ac.uk
No profile image

Sara De Caroli

Research student

Email
decarolis@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5874
Niall Groome

Niall Groome

Research student

Email
grooment@caerdydd.ac.uk
Harold Leah

Harold Leah

Research student

Email
leahhr@caerdydd.ac.uk
alt

Zhibin Lei

Research student

Email
leiz2@caerdydd.ac.uk
ChenHang Lyu

Chenhang Lyu

Research student

Email
lyuc2@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)78 4955 8954
No profile image

Abubakar Maunde

Research student

Email
maundea@caerdydd.ac.uk; abubakarmaunde@mauntech.edu.ng
Telephone
+44(0)7778942870; +2348161358265
Eveanjelene Snee

Eveanjelene Snee

Research student

Email
sneee@caerdydd.ac.uk
No profile image

Levent Tosun

Research student

Email
tosunl@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5874
Jian Wang

Mr Jian Wang

Research student

Email
wangj95@caerdydd.ac.uk
No profile image

Duo Zhang

Research student

Email
zhangd27@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5874

Staff cysylltiedig

Dr Tiago Alves

Dr Tiago Alves

Darlithydd Gwyddorau'r Ddaear

Email
alvest@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6754
Dr Morten Andersen

Dr Morten Andersen

Lecturer

Email
andersenm1@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4943
George Cooper

George Cooper

Research Associate in Petrology and Isotope Geochemistry

Email
cooperg3@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4336
Dr Matthew Gleeson

Dr Matthew Gleeson

Research Associate in Igneous Petrology

Email
gleesonm1@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4336
Dr T.C. Hales

Dr T.C. Hales

Cyfarwyddwr, Sefydliad Ymchwil Mannau Cynaliadwy a Darllenydd

Email
halest@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4329
Dr Shasta Marrero

Dr Shasta Marrero

Lecturer in Environmental and Physical Geography

Email
marreros@caerdydd.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4579
James Panton

James Panton

Research Associate

Email
pantonjc@caerdydd.ac.uk

High performance computing

We have access to high-performance computing centres and dedicated support within Cardiff University. The facilities allow us to undertake sophisticated simulations of the dynamics, including simulations in 3D spherical geometry. These models include mantle circulation models (MCM) which incorporate plate motion history. The models can be directly compared, including by 3D visualisation, to actual observations for improved understanding.

The facilities help us to better understand Earth's evolution including influences on surface topography, magmatism and seismic structure.

Find out more about the high-performance computer centres

Rock preparation

We have extensive facilities for rock and thin section preparation, including large and small jaw crushers for reducing large rock samples to pea-sized grains.

Large quantities can be ground to a fine powder in tema mills, or the planetary ball mills can be used for large quantities of rock samples in small amounts.

The facilities include:

  • rock sawing laboratory
  • rock crushing and grinding laboratory
  • fusion laboratory
  • sectioning laboratory
  • polishing laboratory.

Find out more about the rock preparation facility

Electron microbeam

Our microscope can be used to image objects such as minerals and microfossils at a magnification far exceeding the capabilities of an optical microscope.

The electron microbeam facility in the Earth and Environmental Sciences houses two scanning electron microscopes and an X-ray diffractometer. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) is used for characterization, imaging and analysis of sub-micron features in materials. The X-ray diffractometer is used for identifying and characterizing minerals, either alone or in complex mixtures.

Our facilities include a state-of-the-art Zeiss Sigma HD Field Emission Gun Analytical SEM which is used for high-resolution imaging and X-ray element mapping as well as quantitative analysis of major, minor and trace elements. In addition our FEI XL30 Field Emission Gun Environmental SEM is used for high-resolution imaging and semi-quantitative X-ray element analysis of samples. Carbon- and gold-coating facilities are available for non-conducting samples. The Philips PW1710 Automated Powder Diffractometer is used for identifying and characterizing minerals, either alone or in complex mixtures.

Find out more about the Electron Microbeam facility.

Seismometers

The department has 3 Güralp Radian Posthole seismometers (fully broadband with frequency responses between 200Hz to 120s). These state-of-the-art instruments can be deployed at any angle with an internal magnetometer and accelerometer providing accurate, geographically-aligned waveforms. They can record seismic signals from strong local earthquakes where typical seismometer scales would clip (up to ~M7.5) and small teleseismic events due to the improved noise performance of posthole deployment.

The instruments are ideal for ongoing research within the department into continental lithosphere and deeper Earth structure, earthquake monitoring and coastal processes.