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Spatial distributions of crustal deformation and fault zone morphology divulge the behavior and evolution of fault zones on timescales ranging from seconds to millions of years.

STGL members study how landforms reflect the rates and modes of erosive processes over time, ranging from tectonically active mountain belts to quiescent regions responding to base-level adjustment.

We know that natural hazards impact people and human enterprises.  But how do we get individuals to take action to protect themselves?  Members of our group have studied what causes people to prepare for large earthquakes, and how to communicate with them in ways that motivate them to act.


In the Stanford Tectonic Geomorphology Lab our research centers on exploring interactions between tectonic, geomorphic, and geochemical processes at scales ranging from individual landforms to entire mountain belts. Check out our research page for more information.

Prospective Students

Interested in becoming a part of the STGL? Contact us at and see the Geological Sciences graduate admissions page for further information.

Recent Publications

Are submarine and subaerial drainages morphologically distinct?

Dobbs, Stephen C., Tim McHargue, Matthew A. Malkowski, Jared T. Gooley, Chayawan Jaikla, et al. 2019. “Are Submarine and Subaerial Drainages Morphologically Distinct?” GEOLOGY 47 (11). GEOLOGICAL SOC AMER, INC: 1093–97.

DOI: 10.1130/G46329.1

Earth's topographic relief potentially limited by an upper bound on channel steepness

Hilley, George E., Stephen Porder, Felipe Aron, Curtis W. Baden, Samuel A. Johnstone, et al. 2019. “Earth's Topographic Relief Potentially Limited by an Upper Bound on Channel Steepness.” NATURE GEOSCIENCE 12 (10). NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP: 828-+.

DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0442-3

Regional‐scale detection of fault scarps and other tectonic landforms: Examples from Northern California

Sare, Robert, George E. Hilley, and Stephen B. DeLong. 2019. “Regional‐Scale Detection of Fault Scarps and Other Tectonic Landforms: Examples from Northern California.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 124. Wiley.

DOI: 10.1029/2018JB016886