GPS Earth Surface Processes
and Sedimentology GPS Earth Surface Processes
and Sedimentology
The study of the surface morphology and sedimentary deposits of terrestrial planets thrives at Caltech because of strong research programs across a broad range of topics.  Core faculty, listed below, investigate active tectonics, tectonic geomorphology, remote sensing of surface deformation, process geomorphology, cosmogenic exposure dating, sedimentology of Mars, rivers and lakes of Titan, and Earth history.  Please see faculty research groups below for more details.
 
Faculty:   (Click on professor's name to be taken to their research page)
 
Jean-Philippe Avouac: Tectonics and tectonic geomorphology
Active tectonics, geomorphic record of crustal deformation, measurement of crustal deformation from satellite imagery, investigation and modeling of orogenic processes and the seismic cycle, with a focus on the Himalayas.
 
Bethany Ehlmann: Planetary geology and remote sensing
Spectroscopic analyses of planetary surface composition, chemical and physical weathering, environmental change on Earth and Mars, rock-microbe interactions, biomarker preservation, environmental science and policy.
 
Ken Farley: Noble gas geochemistry and cosmogenic dating
Rare gas composition of terrestrial materials, chemical evolution of the Earth's mantle and atmosphere, petrogenesis of oceanic lavas, low temperature thermochronometry, geologic record of interplanetary dust flux.
 
Woodward Fischer: Earth history
Evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis and the rise of atmospheric oxygen, origin of Archean and proterozoic iron formation, distribution and evolution of lipid biomarker synthesis, coupled behavior of redox and acid-base processes at critical transitions in Earth history.
 
John Grotzinger: Sedimentology and stratigraphy on Earth and Mars
Sedimentology, stratigraphy, geobiology, ancient surface processes on Earth and Mars, field-based investigations of depositional systems for the analysis of past processes, interactions between life and environment, and tectonic and climatic regimes.
 
Michael Lamb: Geomorphology and process sedimentology
Surface processes of Earth, Mars, and Titan including geomorphology, sedimentology, and fluvial morphodynamics.
 
Mark Simons: Geophysics and geodynamics
Theoretical and observational geodynamics, especially crustal deformation and mantle convection, radar interferometry, gravity field analysis, modeling of materials with complex rheologies.
 
Victor Tsai: Mathematical geophysics and geomechanics
Solid earth geophysics, solid-fluid interactions, glacier physics, earthquake dynamics, imaging techniques, and wave propogation.
 
Brian Wernicke: Tectonic evolution of the continental lithosphere
Tectonic evolution of the continental lithosphere through judicious combination of field observation and geophysical and geochemical methods, physical processes governing the large-scale structural evolution of mountain belts, especially extension of the continental crust and processes in the deep lithosphere, GPS geodesy and neotectonics, especially earthquakes and slow episodic deformations revealed through comparison of geodetic and geologic measurements.