Mike Oskin standing alongside a fence railing where tibetan prayer flags have been tied. In the background are mountains.

Mike Oskin at a mountain pass near the town of Jiulong (nine dragons), Sichuan Province, May 2012. Anomalously high exhumation rates in this part of the southeast Tibetan Plateau may be driven by glacial erosion.

Michael E. Oskin

Professor and Department Chair
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology (2002)
Structural Geology and TectonicsEarth-Surface Processes

As a structural geologist and geomorphologist, I specialize in active crustal deformation and its relationships to surface processes and topography. My research program addresses three themes:

  1. Quantifying variation of deformation rates and their relationship to earthquakes.
  2. Constraining the forces and processes that govern continental deformation.
  3. Predicting topographic responses to the growth of geologic structures.

These themes build toward a common framework for understanding active crustal deformation and its expression in landscapes. The first two research themes differ largely by time scale, with the first focused on short-term deformation processes over one or more earthquake cycles, and the second concerned with longer-term accumulated deformation and time-averaged processes. The third theme includes the development of new tools to quantify deformation from topography. I also pursue the inverse problem of quantifying surface processes from geomorphic responses to crustal deformation.

(530) 752-3993