Dr. Webb, Alex

Dr. Webb

Dr. Webb, Alex

Associate Professor

I explore tectonic processes and their interactions with other planetary systems. Early work focused on testing and developing models for the construction of the Himalaya, Earth's premier natural laboratory of continent-continent collision. Continuing Himalayan research includes investigations of (i) initial collision and shortening, (ii) development of the range's crystalline core, and (iii) modes of ongoing shortening. Since 2013 I have also investigated the tectonics of early Earth and development of hot terrestrial planets. Initial work on these subjects specifically assesses the kinematics of rapid volcanic resurfacing, which appears to be a major, underappreciated control on long-term evolution. Other ongoing projects explore (a) salt tectonics and surface processes along the southern Chinese Tian Shan and (b) tectonic, climatic, and anthropogenic impacts on the Mississippi River delta.

My research approach integrates geologic mapping with analytical research to dissect the architecture and evolution of complex tectonic systems. Principal analytical tools are geo-/thermo-chronology and balanced palinspastic reconstruction, by which means the timing, rates, and magnitudes of deformation are determined. As my interests diversify, I am increasingly pursuing collaborative research employing a range of techniques (e.g., geochemistry, geodesy, numerical modeling, petrology, remote sensing, sedimentology).

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EASC2409   Regional field studies (kyushu)
EASC3404   Structural geology
EASC4407   Regional geology
EASC4955   Integrated field studies
GEOS8214   Structural geology

Selected Publications

  1. Tang, C.A., Webb, A.A.G., Moore, W.B., Wang, Y.Y., Ma, T.H., Chen, T.T., 2020, Breaking Earth's shell into a global plate network. Nature Communications, v. 11, 3621, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17480-2 
  2. Webb, A.A.G., Müller, T., Zuo, J., Haproff, P.J., Ramírez-Salazar, A., 2020, A non–plate tectonic model for the Eoarchean Isua supracrustal belt. Lithosphere, v. 12, p. 166-179.
  3. Webb, A.A.G., Guo, H., Clift, P.D., Husson, L., Müller, T., Costantino, D., Yin, A., Xu, Z., Cao, H., Wang, Q., 2017, The Himalaya in 3D: slab dynamics controlled mountain building and monsoon intensification. Lithosphere, v. 9, p. 637-651.
  4. Moore, W.B., Simon, J.I., Webb, A.A.G., 2017, Heat-pipe Planets. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 474, p. 13-19.  
  5. Moore, W.B., Webb, A.A.G., 2013, Heat-pipe Earth. Nature, v. 501, p. 501-505.