20.05.2019 – TeachSGT21 blog

Catch up on news from EGU where Catherine Mottram and Adam Cawood attended a workshop on  ‘Teaching Structural Geology and Tectonics in the 21st Century’. The blog can be downloaded here.

22.03.2019 – TSG AGM 2019 bursary award winners

Read all about the experiences from the successful recipiants of the bursary awards to attend the TSG AGM 2019 in Bergen here

29/10/2018- 10 New Student/ECR Bursaries availible for Bergen 2019!

We are delighted to be able to offer 10 new bursaries to help PhD students and ECR present a poster of talk at Bergen 2019. Bursaries are open for any nationality, but international students/ECRs (non-UK/Norway) will be given preference for 3 of the bursaries to encourage international participation. In order to apply a letter of support from your supervisor, am abstract for the work you wish to present at Bergen 2019 and a completed bursary application form, which may be found here. The deadline for applications is the 9th of November, so be quick!

19/10/2018- Deadlines approaching for the Ramsay Medal and Dave Johnston Mapping Prize!

The deadlines for the 2019 Ramsay medal and Dave Johnston Mapping prize is approaching.

December 1st = Ramsay Medal Nomination Deadline

December 10th = Dave Johnston Mapping Prize Nomination deadline

Further inflammation on the awards and how to nominate can be found Here (Ramsay Medal) and Here (Dave Johnston Mapping Prize).

18/09/2018- Registration is open!

We are very excited to announce that registration is now open for TSG AGM 2019! Some important dates for the diary:

November 1st = Abstract deadline

December 1st = Early bird Registration deadline

Further information may be found here and we look forward to welcoming everyone to the University of Bergen!

15/08/2018- Would you like to be part of the committee for the newly formed Early Career Network?

The Geological Society of London are looking to set up an Early Career Network, and are currently in the process of looking to create a formal Network Committee. The Society is looking for 6 early career volunteers to sit on the committee and help get the Network up and running. For more infomation follow the link below and if you are interested in this role please get im touch with!

early career geoscientist poster FINAL

06/06/2018- Bursary Deadline coming up on 01/07/18!

The deadline for the next round of TSG Conference Bursaries is coming up on the 1st July. Applications are open to PhD Students and Early Career Researchers (within 3 years of completing their PhD) for two bursary’s of £500 to go towards conference attendance (registration fees, travel, accommodation and subsistence). For more information please see the Bursary page here.

29/05/2018- Exciting update – Joanna Faure Walker (UCL) confirmed as Keynote speaker for TSG AGM 2019!

AGM 2019: Bergen flyer

AGM 2019: Bergen flyer

29/05/2018- AGM 2019 Bergen, Norway

We are very excited to announce that the Tectonic Studies Group Annual Meeting 2019 will be held in Bergen, Norway, on January 14th-16th 2019, with optional short-courses on January 13th. The meeting will be hosted at the University of Bergen  ( Key information can now be found by downloading the flyer Here.

At this stage we want to update the community on key dates, confirmed keynote speakers and shortcourses.

Confirmed key note speakers

We are extremely pleased to present the following confirmed keynote
speakers (more to follow):
Cynthia Ebinger; Tulane University, New Orleans (USA)
Espen Torgersen; Geological Survey of Norway
Luca Smeraglia; Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)
Grace Shepard; Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED)/University
of Oslo (Norway)

Key Dates

September 1st: Abstract submission and registration to the conference and short courses open
November 1st: Abstract deadline:
December 1st: Early-bird registration deadline
January 13th: Short-courses
January 14th-16th: Conference dates

Information on how to register and submit abstract will be distributed
nearer the abstract submission and registration opening date (September

Conference Location

The conference venue will be the university aula in the beautifully renovated Natural History Museum from 1865 (  Bergen can be reached by direct  flights from London (Gatwick and Heathrow), Manchester, Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Paris, Copenhagen and many more.

Short courses

Two half-day short-courses will be offered on the day before the conference (January 13th). The two courses will be timed so that it will be possible to attend both, subject to availability.

Short-course 1: Shear zones and kinematics

Professor Haakon Fossen (University of Bergen) will offer a short-course on “Shear zones and kinematics”. Haakon is widely known for his structural geology text book, which is on the curriculum of universities world wide. Haakon has worked on shear zones and their kinematics all of his career,
from investigations in his own backyard in the 1980s (the Bergen Arc Shear Zone and other Caledonian shear zones), to his more recent work on shear zones in Brasil. Consider this a shear zone masterclass, suitable for anyone with an interest – from MSc to professorial level. Recommended reading:

Short-course 2: Fracture network topology analysis in Network GT

A second short-course in “Fracture network topology analysis in Network GT” will be offered by Dr. Bjørn Nyberg and Dr. Casey Nixon (University of Bergen). Topology has become increasingly important in the assessment of fault and fracture networks, particularly their connectivity and flow properties. Casey has, along with others (notably Tom Manzocchi and David Sanderson), pioneered the use of topology in the analysis of fault and fracture networks. Björn is a an expert in geospatial analysis and has developed NetworkGT, a toolkit for analysing network geometry and topology in ArcGIS. In this short-course, participants will learn to use NetworkGT to analyse their own fracture network data, or on a sample dataset provided at the course. Recommended reading (open access):

More information will follow, stay up to date by following updates on the TSG twitter feed: @TSG_since1970.

On behalf of the organising committee: best regards and see you in Bergen in January 2019.

Organising committee:
Atle Rotevatn – chair (University of Bergen)
Emilie Randeberg – secretary (University of Bergen)
Karen Mair (University of Oslo)
Casey Nixon (University of Bergen)
Izzy Edmundson (University of Bergen)
Anette BM Tvedt (Petrolia Noco)
Thomas Berg Kristensen (University of Bergen)

29/05/2018- Belated report on TSG & MSG joint meeting 2018, University of Plymouth 2018

The TSG hosted their annual general meeting at the University of Plymouth 2nd – 5th January. This year it was jointly arranged with a special interest group of The Geological Society of London, the Metamorphic Studies Group (MSG). It was superbly organised by a strong committee consisting of Luca Menegon, Sarah Boulton, Iain Stewart, Mark Anderson, Aude Gebeli.

The conference was well attended with a total of 128 registered delegates with 24 from MSG and 104 from TSG. The conference began with a meet and greet on the first evening to welcome new and seasoned members of both MSG and TSG jointly. This set the tone for the conference that offers a relaxed and open environment for young researchers to present their promising work.

There was excellent international representation from the key note speakers who delivered four very well attended talks. They were Giulio Viola from Bologna, Italy, Stephen Cox from ANU Canberra, Australia, Sandra Piazolo from Leeds, UK and Alberto Vitale-Brovarone from Paris, France.

A fully packed programme allowed many students at various stages of their research to present their current work and ideas. These talks were interspersed with coffee breaks allowing attendees to read over 42 posters contributing to a wide range of topics, including: earthquake sources, faults and shear zones, regional geology, neotectonics, metamorphism & deformation, mountain building processes, geo-resources and fluid flow.

On Wednesday afternoon there was a panel and audience discussion complete with online interaction where members could post questions and vote for their preference. Chaired by Professor Ian Stewart, the topic, ‘Not Under My Backyard: technical versus social challenges to UK subsurface geoscience’ generated some lively opinions, all with merit and illustrated the difficulty but crucial importance of clear communication of science and safety to the general public. A problem that could be partially solved in the way the session was concluded, with a glass wine or two!  Thanks to Tony Batchelor (Geoscience Ltd), Jonathan Turner (NDA), Clare Bond (Aberdeen) and Jen Roberts (Strathclyde) for their contributions as the panel.

The conference dinner held on the Thursday evening offered the chance for more networking over some good food and drink. It was also a suitable occasion to celebrate the worthy winners of the annual TSG awards. They are as follows:

The Ramsay Medal Winner which is awarded annually for the best publication to appear within two years of a doctoral award was awarded to Christopher Harbord  from Durham University for his work on  ‘Earthquake nucleation on rough faults’.

The David Johnstone Mapping Prize for best undergraduate dissertation was awarded to Yee-Lap Leung from Imperial College London on her work covering the Alpesde-Haute-Provence, SE France.

The BP Prize was awarded to Adam Cawood from the University of Aberdeen for his talk on ‘Fracture attributes from two frontal anticlines, NW Montana: contrasting patterns and inferred structural development’.

The Mike Coward for the best post-graduate talk was awarded to Amy Hughes from the University of Liverpool on her talk entitled ‘Shear localisation and frictional melting during volcanic flank collapse – Arequipa volcanic landslide deposit’.

The Sue Tregess for the student best poster was awarded to Alexander Minor from KU Leven, Belgium for his work on ‘Single Grain Orientation Analysis on a Naturally Deformed Quartzite showing a strong rhomb preferred orientation’.

The Britrock prize for for the best student contribution (poster or talk) that presents research with a significant element of laboratory rock deformation was awarded to Carolina Giorgetti  from Sapienza, University of Rome for her work on ‘Fault reactivation: insights from triaxial saw-cut experiments’.

After the conference, workshop has been successfully held on Saturday. In the morning, Dr Florian Fusseis from the University of Edinburgh has delivered a lecture on 3D and 4D x-ray imaging in Earth Science. In the afternoon, Dr. Srah Boulton from the University of Plymouth has presented an introductory lecture to GIS with applications to neotectonics studies.

All that remains to say is a big thank you to Plymouth University for allowing us to use Roland Levinsky Building and an even bigger thank you to the committee for organising the conference and social events. It was a great success and we now eagerly anticipate next year’s AGM. Next year’s meeting will be special since it will be abroad, this time in Bergen, Norway! We look forward to seeing many of you there.

Izzy Edmundson and Ri Cao

Post-graduate representatives

12/02/2018- TSG 2018 Prize winners!

Each year at the TSG annual meeting a number of prizes are awarded to outstanding and stellar early career researchers and students. These prestigious awards support and celebrate the next excellent crop of researchers within the tectonics and structural geology community. Well done to all the prize winners at this years annual meeting, hosted at the University of Plymouth in January, and thank you to all of the judges!

Ramsay Medal

The Ramsay medal is awarded to an early career researcher who has published an exceptional independent publication resulting from their PhD thesis, and as always we had a number of excellent nominations this year. The winner of this prestigious award was Christopher Harbord, who is completing his PhD at Durham University, for his outstanding publication ‘Earthquake nucleation on rough faults in the journal Geology. The judges felt that the publication stood out because ‘not only was it impressively punchy and neat, and a pleasure to read, the results are significant’ noting that it ‘challenges conventional velocity weakening/strengthening understanding of fault stability, and contributes to efforts representing the complexity, heterogeneity and structure of natural faults within rupture models. The research is therefore relevant to researchers in a broad range of fields.’

All in all, this is a super piece of work and the judging panel were unanimous in their agreement of its high standard. Christopher is completing his PhD at Durham University and was nominated by Stefan Nielsen, who added that Christopher has shown an outstanding level of independence and original thinking throughout his PhD.

Christopher Harbord, winner of the 2018 Ramsay Medal, enjoying time in the field

Christopher Harbord, winner of the 2018 Ramsay Medal, enjoying time in the field

Other highly commended publications are those of Amicia Lee and Luke Wedmore. Amicia´s publication ‘Modeling the impact of melt on seismic properties during mountain building’ was published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems presents ‘innovative modelling of the effect of melt distribution in migmatites on seismic wave velocities and anisotropy´ and the judges felt that it was ‘an impressive piece of work, presenting a pronounced step forward in the field, and are relevant for the interpretation of seismic data of mid-lower continental crust and in the development of tectonic models.’

The publication ‘A 667 year record of coseismic and interseismic Coulomb stress changes in central Italy reveals the role of fault interaction in controlling irregular earthquake recurrence intervals’ by Luke Wedmore was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. The paper ‘analysed the historical seismic record of the central Apennines to explore the relative importance of co-seismic stress changes and interseismic tectonic loading. The work presents a very nice application of Coulomb stress modelling which the judges are very keen to see applied to other tectonic regimes in the future.’

There was also a special mention to James Gilgannon for his publication ‘Hierarchical creep cavity formation in an ultramylonite and implications for phase mixingpublished in Solid Earth Discussion. Incredibly this publication was the result of his MSc work at the University of Edinburgh and is ‘the first paper to ever map porosity in a shear zone on the micron scale, contributing to the ongoing discussion on the significance of creep cavities in ultramylonites’. Clearly an outstanding student, James is now doing a PhD at Bern.

Congratulations to Chris, Amicia, Luke and James for publishing some outstanding papers. Also thank you to our excellent judging panel, Stephen Cox (Australian National University), Lauren Hoyer (University of KwaZulu-Natal), Alodie Bubeck (University of Leicester), Ake Fagereng (Cardiff University) and Giorgio Pennacchioni (University of Padova).

Dave Johnston Mapping Prize  

The Dave Johnston Mapping Prize for the best undergraduate student mapping dissertation was awarded to Yee-Lap Leung, from Imperial College London. Yee-Lap’s superb mapping project in the Alpesde-Haute-Provence (SE France) focussed on foreland sedimentation and allochthonous salt tectonics in a polyphase deformation setting on the NW margin of the Tertiary Valensole Basin. Yee-Lap has undertaken several junior research projects during his MSci Geology programme, from which he will graduate later this year. Yee-Lap felt the mapping project presented an invaluable challenge and geological training experience. When reflecting on the project, he recalls the strenuous nature of fieldwork; it was physically demanding and mentally challenging. Yee-Lap had to safely traverse across deep gorges and up steep ridges in the field, while trying to unravel the tectonic history. Only much later, once the fieldwork was over and following painstaking reading and repeated hypothesising, did the tectonic history make sense. I expect this experience will be very familiar to many members of the TSG community! Well done, Yee-Lap, and all the best for the next steps of your career.

The runner up was Duncan Perkins from the University of Edinburgh who focused on the geological evolution of the Carboneras Fault Zone, El Saltadoe Bajo (SE Spain). Special mentions also go to Liz Pedley (Birkbeck, University of London) and Lucy Milligan (Durham University).

A huge thank you goes to the judges who took the time and effort to assess all nominations, including Dave McCarthy (BGS), Elisabetta Mariani (University of Liverpool), Tom Blenkinsop (Cardiff University), Mark Anderson (University of Plymouth) and Clare Bond (University of Aberdeen).

Sue Treagus Prize for Best Student Poster  

This year’s winner of the Sue Treagus Prize for Best Student Poster was Alexander Minor, a 3rd Year PhD student from KU Leuven, Belgium. His poster ‘Single Grain Orientation analysis on a naturally deformed quartzite showing a strong room preferred orientation’ was a very detailed discussion of quartz microstructures. The judging panel thought that this poster scored highly in both the visual and originality criteria and clearly conveyed a range of complex data in a concise manner. Furthermore, the poster had a set of clear research questions which were addressed by the presenter.

A special mention also goes to Phoebe Sleath (Durham University) whose poster ‘Remote image analysis of structures in the Precambrian basement of Northern Scotland and possible implications for Lewisian terrane models’ presented research she had carried out as a 1st year undergraduate student! Her work focussed on identifying basement fractures on the North Rona and Sula Sgeir islands using remote sensing. This research was clearly at an early stage but still compared well with many of the other posters. Phoebe is certainly to be commended for her efforts, and we look forward to her future contributions to TSG.

We thank this year’s judges Dave McCarthy, Penelope Wilson, Lucia Perezdiaz and Florian Fusseis for their efforts in assessing all the posters.

Mike Coward Prize for Best Student Talk

The winner of the Mike Coward Prize for Best Student Talk was Amy Hughes from University of Liverpool, who gave a talk on ‘Shear localisation and frictional melting during volcanic flank collapse – Arequipa volcanic landslide deposit, Peru’. The judges felt her talk illustrated a novel approach and was a very clean, easy to follow presentation. She summarised fantastic field observations and provided a very stimulating discussion of the processes involved in volcanic landslides. Amy is currently in the 2nd Year of her PhD studies investigating volcanic flank instability and catastrophic sector collapse with particular focus on their frictional properties.

A close runner up was Giacomo Pozzi (Durham University). His talk ‘From cataclysmic to viscous flow during dynamic weakening of carbonate gouges: insights from acoustic emission monitoring’ illustrated a systematic experimental study with very nice visuals and a convincing summary with high relevance. A special mention also went to Paul Wallace (University of Liverpool) for his very well organized and thought-provoking presentation on ‘Geochemical response to frictional melting in a volcanic conduit: implications for eruption dynamics’.

We thank this year’s judges for their efforts and attention during all the student presentations, which included Sandra Piazolo, Giulio Viola, Stuart Clarke, Graham Lesley and Casey Nixon.

Amy Hughes while enjoying being in the field.

Amy Hughes while enjoying being in the field.

BP Prize

The BP Prize is new this year and is awarded to the overall best student contribution at the TSG annual meeting, as with most years the judging panels for both the talks and posters had a difficult time picking the best contribution. This was partly due to the high standard of student presentations. This year´s BP prize was awarded to Adam Cawood, a 3rd Year PhD student from the University of Aberdeen for his poster showcasing the eRock website (, an open access repository of virtual outcrops. This was slightly different from previous winners in that the panel felt that it was perhaps not the best presentation in terms of scientific content, but there were clear and practical uses and that this work would have significant impact as both a research and teaching tool. The eRock website showcases some superb models of renowned outcrops and has potential for significant impact across the earth sciences.

Winner of the BP Prize Adam Cawood during fieldwork

Winner of the BP Prize Adam Cawood during fieldwork

BritRock Prize

The BritRock prize is awarded for the best PhD presentation (poster or talk) that incorporates a significant element of laboratory rock deformation in the course of the research. A lot of high quality research, involving challenging laboratory methods, was presented at the 2018 TSG and the judging panel (again) had a tricky time picking a winner.

The judges particularly enjoyed the work that Giacomo Pozzi (Durham University) who presented on high velocity friction in calcite, and the novel and carefully designed experiments simulating fluid driven tensile fracture presented by Stephan Gehne (Portsmouth University). The winner was Carolina Giorgetti, a 3rd Year PhD student from Sapienza University of Rome, who combined a series of experiments to support new field evidence for understanding the mechanics of faults bearing phyllosillicates, using saw-cut triaxial experiments and structural geology methods. Her talk ‘Fault reactivation: insights from triaxial saw-cut experiments’ was given to the highest standards, and with fresh and novel scientific conclusions. A worthy winner.

Congratulations to Carolina, Giacomo and Stephan, and thank you to the judging panel, Phil Benson, Dave Healy and Chris Harbord (last year’s BritRock winner).

23/01/2018- TSG announce five bursary’s of £200 to support attendance to the “Young Researchers in Structural Geology and Tectonics”.

TSG are delighted to announce the opening of five £200 bursary’s supporting attendance to the Young Researchers in Structural Geology and Tectonics (YORSGET) conference, 2-6 July 2018! To apply for a bursary please follow the link below:


 For previous news please follow the following links 

2017 News

2016 News

2015 News

2014 News