Associate Professor

Deta Gasser

Field of work

I am a field-based structural geologist interested in understanding lithospheric deformation and tectonics at various scales and different crustal levels: from the outcrop architecture and deformation behavior of brittle faults near the Earth`s surface (Gasser & Mancktelow, 2009), to P-T-d-t paths of mid-crustal gneiss complexes (Gasser et al., 2011), to lower-crustal behavior of large-scale collisional nappe stacks (Gasser et al., 2015).

My research has so far centered around the tectonic evolution and geodynamics of convergent settings, such as the central European Alps, the accretionary orogen of the North American Cordillera, and the deeply eroded, large-scale collisional orogen of the Caledonides of Scandinavia, Greenland and Svalbard. Convergent tectonic settings are responsible for the most spectacular topographic features on Earth, they fundamentally reshape the continental margins involved in convergence, they are the locus of active deformation and are prone to seismic and other natural hazards, and they control the distribution of important natural resources such as ore, water and hydrocarbons.

In my research, I pursue an interdisciplinary approach, combining detailed, modern field investigations with state-of-the-art metamorphic petrology, geo- and thermochronology, geochemistry, stratigraphy and geophysics. The aim is to understand lithospheric deformation and tectonic evolution in 4D, relying on proper reconstructions of P-T-d-t paths for the investigated areas. Such field-based, integral 4D models of convergent tectonic settings are a prerequisite for understanding the fundamental geodynamic processes behind lithospheric deformation, interpreting and assessing numerical models of lithospheric deformation, and understanding the occurrence and distribution of natural resources and geohazards.


Courses taught

  • GE414 - Structural Geology and Tectonics
  • GE414 - 5 day field mapping course
  • GE406 Introduction to Geology
  • GE491 Bachelor thesis in Geology
  • GE481 - Engineering Geology bedrock

Research areas

  • Structural Geology and Tectonics
  • Geochronology
  • Metamorphic Petrology
  • Regional geological evolution of convergent settings (Alps, Caledonides, North American Cordillera)