The Department of Earth Sciences has been in existence for over a decade, growing from a small pool of geology-orientated academics associated with the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Geography and Geology. The Department now hosts 17 research and teaching staff, a number of Honorary (adjunct) staff and a substantial group of research students (30-35 at any one time) working towards MPhil and PhD degrees.
A key feature of research carried out in the department is the team approach, as this enables us to tackle problems and examine geological phenomena in a way that is often more thorough and effective than is the case with individual specialists addressing such matters. Currently we operate with three main research groups: Geodynamics, Petrology and Geochemistry, and Engineering and Environmental Geology.
The Geodynamics Group aims to contribute to the understanding of fundamental geological processes such as the growth of oceans and island arcs, continental collision, mountain building, formation of large igneous provinces etc. The team draws upon a range of techniques/methodologies including petrology, sedimentology, structural geology, paleomagnetism, paleontology, geochemistry, radiometric dating, remote sensing etc. Most of the work is carried out in the E-SE Asia region, with a smaller programme in the W-SW Pacific.
The Petrology & Geochemistry Group uses mineralogy, petrology and geochemistry as indicators of the processes and timing of Earth evolution, and to reconstruct paleo-environments and guide mineral exploration. In addition, the group has been involved with developing/refining cutting-edge analytical methods for trace element analysis of rocks and fossils, platinum group element investigations, laser probe-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb isotope analysis, and thermoluminescence dating.
The Engineering and Environmental Geology Group has expertise in engineering geology, marine geotechnics, geophysics, hydrogeology, Quaternary and coastal geology and applied geochemistry. The research carried out is related to societal concerns and has an immediate practical value. Research is focused mainly on Hong Kong and Mainland China, but also includes Taiwan and the Philippines.
The environment change research group has an exciting and active research programme (please make a link to current research projects) in the areas of climate and environmental change, paleoceanography and paleohydrology, and coastal evolution, hazards and geoarcheology. Research activities are carried out in Asia, Austronesia and tropical oceans.
Other research groups: