Richard Walker

Research Interests

Continental interior earthquakes form a continuing and increasing threat to populations, sustainable development, and security. The challenge in mitigating their effects is that we do not know the controls on earthquake initiation, growth, and how they influence fault behaviour over periods of hours to decades. Our work contributes to increased understanding of earthquake occurrence, with an emphasis on the geological development of the active faults that host earthquakes, and the expression of past ground movements as preserved in the landscape. Topics range from detailed investigations of earthquake rupture through to unravelling the tectonics of wide regions. Much of our work focusses on the interior of Asia, where there is a long record of large earthquake events, a pristine environment, and a strong societal need. At present we have on-going research interests in the South Caucasus region, particularly in Azerbaijan, and in the Tien Shan mountains of central Asia. Of particular interest is in finding ways to better identify and quantify the distribution of past large earthquakes through combining historical, archaeological and geological analysis, and by using machine learning to identify references in digitised datasets. Our projects typically combine elements of satellite remote sensing, field-based observation, sample collection, and site survey, and the laboratory analysis of samples for age dating. We also work more broadly including elements of earthquake seismology, controlled source seismic imaging, hazard and risk modelling, and landscape evolution.


Qualifications and Experience

Academic Qualifications

1999-2003: Bullard Laboratories, Cambridge University. Ph.D. ‘Active Tectonics of Eastern Iran’ Supervisor: Prof. James A. Jackson 1998-1999: Dept. of Earth Sciences, Leeds University. M.Sc. in Exploration Geophysics (with distinction) 1995-1998: Exeter College, Oxford University. B.A. Honours in Earth Sciences (1st class)

I have 20 years of teaching and supervisory experience at undergraduate and graduate levels

Personal Research Keywords

earthquakes, active tectonics, active faults, geomorphology, remote sensing, geology