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Earth Surface Dynamics (ESD) online seminar "The interplay between active tectonics, metamorphism, and the evolution of mountain belts " by Dr. Alex Copley (University of Cambridge)


Date: Thursday, 15th April 2021 at 12:30pm

Venue: Online via Zoom. Details below. 

Host: Dr. Aaron Bufe, GFZ

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the next Earth Surface Dynamics (ESD) online seminar on "The interplay between active tectonics, metamorphism, and the evolution of mountain belts " by Dr. Alex Copley (University of Cambridge), on Thursday, 15th of April 2021, at 12:30. Please see details given below and in the attached poster.

We also want to take this opportunity to present the new ESD Seminar Website (Link). On this website, you will find announcements of future talks as well as an archive of all past seminars. The entries include video recordings of the recent talks that were recorded via zoom. Feel free to explore, share, and send feedback if you notice anything that should be improved!


Best regards on behalf of the ESD organizing committee,
Aaron Bufe





The behaviour and evolution of mountain belts depend upon the interplay between the thermal and compositional effects that control the rheology. In this talk I'll discuss a range of seismological, geomorphological, petrological, and modelling approaches that, when combined, can provide a self-consistent view of the rheological evolution of mountain belts, and the effects of rheology contrasts on the deformation and long-term behaviour of mountain ranges. In particular, I will discuss the controls on the strength of the forelands underthrusting the margins of mountain ranges, the degree of mechanical coupling to the overlying fold-thrust belts, and the thermal and compositional effects that cause these parameters to vary in space and time. I will then discuss the implications of such variations for the tectonics of the interiors of mountain belts, and the geological longevity of continental cratons.

Alex Copley studies the deformation of continents from the scale of a mountain range down to individual earthquake events. To investigate the characteristics of earthquakes, the material properties of fault zones, and their links to topographic development of Earth’s surface, he combines constraints from the field with remote sensing and models. Following his undergraduate studies at the University of Oxford, Alex received his PhD from the University of Cambridge and spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at Caltech. Currently, he is a reader in tectonics at the University of Cambridge.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 966 5628 7342
Passcode: 462153




The Earth Surface Dynamics seminar series aims to bring together the broad range of researchers on Telegrafenberg looking at Earth surface processes, e.g., hydrology, earth surface geochemistry, geobiology, geochemical/carbon cycling, geomorphology, etc. roughly once a month. The goal for these talks is to be broad and accessible and deal with big, global topics, so that non-experts and specialists alike can find them enlightening. If you would like to take part in the organizing of this seminar or would like to suggest speakers, please get in touch.