Richard Walker

Richard Walker

Professor of Tectonics
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 282115

My research combines remote sensing, detailed field investigation, earthquake studies, and Quaternary dating methods to quantify the distribution, rates, and evolution of active faulting within deforming parts of the continents.

My approach is to combine the use of remote-sensing data with field-based observations for identifying active faults in remote regions. I have extensive experience of working in actively deforming areas (e.g. Mongolia, Iran, Tibet, Taiwan, Greece, Morocco) and have investigated Earth deformation ranging in scale from individual earthquakes through to the evolution of entire mountain ranges.

One of my major interests is in working to expand the use of analytical dating techniques for quantifying fault slip-rates on timescales of 10-100 ka.  Reliable estimates of fault slip-rates are key to understanding the distribution of crustal strain in active mountain ranges.  The precise dating of landforms displaced by faulting also provides data relevant for studies of local earthquake hazard and past environmental change.


I am involved in teaching in organised lecture and practical courses, tutorials in small groups, field courses, and independent research projects.

At present, I teach a course of lectures in structural geology to the 2nd-year undergraduates and also run practical classes in remote-sensing. I have accompanied fieldtrips to Pembrokeshire (1st-year) and Greece (3rd-year).

I have supervised five final-year undergraduate research projects and have had a role in the supervision of four research students.

  • R.T. Walker, M. Fattahi. A framework of Holocene and Late Pleistocene environmental change in eastern Iran inferred from the dating of periods of alluvial fan abandonment, river terracing, and lake deposition. Quaternary Science Reviews, in press
  • J. Hollingsworth, H. Nazari, J-F. Ritz, R. Salamati, M. Talebian, A. Bahroudi, R. Walker, M. Rizza, J. Jackson (2010). Active tectonics of the East Alborz mountains, NE Iran: rupture of the left-lateral Astaneh fault system during the great 856AD Qumis earthquake. Journal of Geophysical Research115, B12313, doi:10.1029/2009JB007185.
  • R.T. Walker, M. Talebian, R.A. Sloan, A. Rasheedi, M. Fattahi, C. Bryant (2010). Holocene slip-rate on the Gowk strike-slip fault and implications for the distribution of tectonic strain in eastern Iran. Geophysical Journal International, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04538.x
  • E. Nissen, R. Walker, A. Bayasgalan, A. Carter, M. Fattahi, E. Molor, C. Schnabel, A.J. West, S. Xu (2009). The late Quaternary slip-rate of the Har-Us-Nuur fault (Mongolian Altai) cosmogenic 10Be and luminescence dating. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 286, 467-478.
  • R.T. Walker, E. Molor, M. Fox, A. Bayasgalan (2008). Active tectonics of an apparently aseismic region: distributed active strike-slip faulting in the Hangay Mountains of central Mongolia. Geophysical Journal International, 174, 1121-1137. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03874.x.
  • L.A. Ramsey, R.T. Walker, J.A. Jackson (2007). Geomorphic constraints on the active tectonics of southern Taiwan. Geophysical Journal International, 170, 1357-1372.
  • M. Fattahi, R. Walker, M.M. Khatib, A. Dolati, A. Bahroudi. (2007). Past earthquakes and slip-rate estimate on the Doruneh fault, NE Iran. Geophysical Journal International, 168, 691-709.
  • M. Fattahi, R. Walker, J. Hollingsworth, A. Bahroudi, M. Talebian, S. Stokes (2006). Holocene slip-rate on the Sabzevar thrust fault, NE Iran, determined using Optically-stimulated Luminescence (OSL). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 245, 673-684.
  • M.B. Allen, R. Walker, J. Jackson, E.J-P, Blanc, M. Talebian, M.R. Ghassemi (2006). Contrasting styles of convergence in the Arabia-Eurasia collision: Why escape tectonics does not occur in Iran. Geological Society of America Special Paper 409, 579-589.
  • R.T. Walker, E. Bergman, J. Jackson, M. Ghorashi and M. Talebian (2005). The 22 June 2002 Changureh (Avaj) earthquake in Qazvin province, NW Iran: Epicentral re-location, source parameters, surface deformation and geomorphology. Geophysical Journal International, 160, 707-720.