Nikki Seymour in the field
Assistant Professor, Geology
B.A., M.S., University of Texas, Austin; Ph.D, Colorado State University
Appointed In
Hameetman Science Center 219
Thursdays 1-4 PM and by appointment in HSC 219

Nikki Seymour’s research primarily addresses how deformation related to plate tectonic motion is accommodated in the middle to upper crust, the interactions between magmatism and deformation, and effects of sediment subduction at convergent plate boundaries.

I find it incredible that we can walk on tracts of the lower crust or that one continent can be subducted beneath or be stitched to another! The details of processes that melt, metamorphose, and deform rocks within in the lithosphere fascinate me and form the central themes of my research. Based upon such experiences, I am continually impressed by the ability of plate tectonic theory to simply explain the magnitude, rates, and other key aspects of geologic processes. However, plate tectonic theory takes us only so far.  How wide is a continental margin, really? If deformation occurs in the interior of a continent, what does this imply about the plate “margin” processes? How do continents attenuate and break up into microplates or fully distinct plates? How does mass (as solid rock, magma, fluid, and metal) transit the continental crust? I address these fundamental questions through focused studies on dynamics and timescales of lithospheric deformation with an emphasis upon faulting and/or shear zone processes. My studies are characteristically designed with an eye towards the relationships between structural geology and magmatism, natural resources, and surface processes that record active tectonics and utilize a combined field and laboratory approach.