Research Summary [return to Paul's home page]

My research is focused on Tectonics, especially active and young tectonics of Late Cenozoic time. My main research interest is in the tectonic evolution of, and processes that form, oblique plate boundaries. More specifically, I study basins and related faults that form in these settings, and the processes and evolution of areas with mixed strike-slip and dip-slip faulting. My research is field based and my students and I use the methods of structural geology, stratigraphy, and related disciplines to understand tectonic problems. The research I conduct is inevitably collaborative with researchers in many other fields, but especially in paleontology, sedimentology, geochronology, petrology, marine seismology, geodesy, and paleomagnetism.

I am also analyzing the evolution of western North America. This is an extension of my research in southern Alaska in the late 1970's and my decade of research in southwestern British Columbia in the late 1980's and early 1990's, and my long interest in the Baja British Columbia controversy.

Current Projects

• Formation of the oblique-divergent Gulf of California {photo from the RV Ewing - sunset over Cerro Reforma, Baja California}

• Evolution of western North America in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic

• Miocene basin formation and faulting in the Lake Mead region

• Active faulting in the Western Grand Canyon


• Yo-Yo tectonics along the central Anatolian fault system - central Turkey