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Many of the processes that shape Earth's surface — from mountain building and subduction, to glacial flow and seafloor spreading — are driven by the flow and fracture of rocks on a microscopic scale.

In the Rock and Ice Deformation Laboratory, we use state-of-the-art experimental and microanalytical tools to characterize how rocks and minerals flow over timescales of tens to millions of years, from the atom to tectonic plate scale.


Active topics of research include:

  • The strength of the oceanic lower crust
  • Viscous weakening during mineral phase transformations
  • Microstructural controls on polar ice flow

RIDL group photo, June 2023. From left to right: Maia Cohen (Graduate Student), Rilee Thomas (Graduate Student), Andrew Cross (Assistant Scientist, RIDL lead PI)