Dr Luca Menegon

Dr Luca Menegon

Associate Professor of Structural Geology and Tectonics

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)


Associate Professor of Structural Geology and Tectonics


Academic History:

  • 2013-2017: Lecturer in Structural Geology and Tectonics, Plymouth University, UK
  • 2015 (June): Guest Professor at the Department of Geodynamics and Sedimentology, University of Vienna (Austria)
  • 2014-2015: Adjunct Associate Professor of Structural Geology, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø (Norway)
  • 2009-2012: Postdoctoral researcher in Structural Geology, Tromsø University (Norway)
  • 2008-2009: Visiting scientist at Stockholm University (Sweden)
  • 2007-2009: Field geologist for the Geological Survey of Italy
  • 2006-2009: Postdoctoral researcher in Structural Geology,Padua University (Italy)
  • 2005: Visiting PhD student, Basel University (Switzerland)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (since 2014)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (Plymouth University, 2014)
  • PhD in Earth Sciences (Padua University,Italy, 2006)
  • M.Sc. in Geological Sciences (Padua University, Italy, 2002)

Professional membership

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • European Geosciences Union (EGU)
  • Geological Society of Norway
  • Italian Group of Structural Geology
  • Geological Society of America (GSA)

Roles on external bodies

  • 2009-2011: Member of the Programme Committee of the Division 'Tectonics and Structural Geology' of the European Geosciences Union 
  • 2010, 2012, 2015, and 2017: Member of the Scientific Committe of the 'EGU Summer School: Structural Analysis of Crystalline Rocks', Neves area, Eastern Italian Alps
  • 2015-2017: Committee member of the UK Metamorphic Studies Group
  • 2015-Present: Member of the Science Team of the ICDP COSC-1 project "Collisional orogens in the Scandinavian Caledonides" (http://are-jarpen.icdp-online.org/)
  • 2017-Present: Committee member of the UK Tectonics Studies Group 
  • 2017-Present: Secretary of the UK Metamorphic Studies Group
  • 2017-Present: Member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Structural Geology

Teaching interests

My teaching interest is in the broad field of Structural Geology, Rock Deformation and Plate Tectonics. As the field is the most important natural laboratory for geologists, I am particularly interested in field-based teaching in general. Field observations are critical to understand geological processes and principles, as well as to tune models and design experiments appropriately.

I am currently teaching on the following modules:

  • GEOL1001 Dynamic Earth
  • GEOL2002 Structures, Magmas and Volcanoes
  • GEOL2005 Structural and Metamorphic Geology (module leader)
  • GEOL2006 Geological Fieldwork (module leader)
  • GEOL2010 Geology with Ocean Sciences Fieldwork (module leader)
  • GEOL3005 Tectonics (module leader)
  • GEOL5003 Advanced Analytical Skills
I am also involved in the following fieldtrips and mapping/research projects:
  • Stage 2 - Mapping training, SE Pyrenees, Spain
  • Stage 2 - Mapping training, SW Wales
  • Stage 4 - Independent mapping projects, northern Norway
  • Stage 5 - MGeol Research projects

Staff serving as external examiners

External examiner of PhD theses:

  • Tine Derez, University of Leuven, Belgium (2015)
  • Friedrich Hawemann, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2017)

Research interests

My main research interests are in the field of structural geology and deformation processes of Earth materials. I am interested in understanding how grain-scale deformation mechanisms, fluid-rock interaction and rheological properties of rocks control lithosphere dynamics and strain loalization in the framework of plate tectonics. Shear zones are the main target of my research. I currently pursue research in the following main areas:

(1) Strength of the continental lithosphere
(2) Fluid-rock interaction, metamorphism and deformation in the continental lower crust
(3) Brittle/viscous transition in the continental crust
(4) Quantitative microstructural analysis (EBSD, image analysis)
(5) Deformation partitioning and exhumation processes in collisional orogens (Alps, Scandinavian Caledonides)
(6) Fault zone structure and fault mechanics

My research is field based, and typically brings me to work in spectacular mountain ranges and collisional belts such as the Alps and the Scandinavian Caledonides. I integrate field work and geological mapping with detailed microstructural studies of deformed rocks primarily through SEM-based techniques and digital image analysis. I conduct my SEM and EBSD studies at the Electron Microscopy Centre of Plymouth University (www.plymouth.ac.uk/emc). 

Grants & contracts

  • 2017 Research contract commissioned by Posiva Oy, Finland (http://www.posiva.fi/) 'Brittle-viscous deformation cycles in quartz veins at the base of the seismogenic zone', £39,000.
  • 2017 NERC Standard Grant 'The Geological Record of the Earthquake Cycle in the Lower Crust', £451,340.
  • 2015 NERC Ion Microprobe Facility, Edinburgh, 'Investigating therelationships between lower crust shear localization and water content', £15,000
  • 2014 NERC Ion Microprobe Facility, Edinburgh, 'Water in nominally anhydrous minerals (NAMs): Implications for the strength and rheology of the continental lower crust', £7,500
  • 2014 FAPESP Grant, project 'Strain localization at the frictional-viscous transition in granitic mylonite: examples from the Pernambuco shear zone (Borborema Province, NE Brazil). £56,500 (PI of the visiting postdoc project of Dr Gustavo Viegas)
  • 2013 Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (CIG), project EVOCOS 'Evolution of Continental Strength from Rifting to Collision - A Journey through the Wilson Cycle' 4-year, 100,000 Euros
  • 2013 Geological Survey of Norway, Financial Support for the Project 'Geological mapping and Structural Analysis in the Nusfjord area, Lofoten' 50000 NOK

Key publications are highlighted

Jamtveit B, Petley-Ragan A, Incel S, Dunkel KG, Aupart C, Austrheim H, Corfu F, Menegon L & Renard F 2019 'The Effects of Earthquakes and Fluids on the Metamorphism of the Lower Continental Crust' Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth , DOI
Marchesini B, Garofalo PS, Menegon L, Mattila J & Viola G 2019 'Fluid-mediated, brittle–ductile deformation at seismogenic depth – Part 1: Fluid record and deformation history of fault veins in a nuclear waste repository (Olkiluoto Island, Finland)' Solid Earth 10, (3) 809-838 , DOI
Marchesini B, Garofalo PS, Menegon L, Mattila J & Viola G 2019 'Fluid-mediated, brittle-ductile deformation at seismogenic depth: Part I – Fluid record and deformation history of fault-veins in a nuclear waste repository (Olkiluoto Island, Finland)' Solid Earth Discussions 1-43 , DOI
Ceccato A, Menegon L, Pennacchioni G & Morales LFG 2018 'Myrmekite and strain weakening in granitoid mylonites' Solid Earth and Discussions , DOI PEARL
Ceccato A, Menegon L, Pennacchioni G & Morales LFG 2018 'Myrmekite and strain weakening in granitoid mylonites' Solid Earth Discussions 1-39 , DOI
Giuntoli F, Menegon L & Warren CJ 2018 'Replacement reactions and deformation by dissolution and precipitation processes in amphibolites' Journal of Metamorphic Geology , DOI PEARL
Zibra I, White JC, Menegon L, Dering G & Gessner K 2018 'The ultimate fate of a synmagmatic shear zone. Interplay between rupturing and ductile flow in a cooling granite pluton' Journal of Structural Geology 110, 1-23 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Gilgannon J, Fusseis F, Menegon L, Regenauer-Lieb K & Buckman J 2017 'Hierarchical creep cavity formation in an ultramylonite and implications for phase mixing' Solid Earth 8, (6) 1193-1209 , DOI PEARL
Menegon L, Pennacchioni G, Malaspina N, Harris K & Wood E 2017 'Earthquakes as Precursors of Ductile Shear Zones in the Dry and Strong Lower Crust' Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems , DOI PEARL
Ceccato A, Pennacchioni G, Menegon L & Bestmann M 2017 'Crystallographic control and texture inheritance during mylonitization of coarse grained quartz veins' Lithos , DOI PEARL
Molli G, Menegon L & Malasoma A 2017 'Switching deformation mode and mechanisms during subduction of continental crust: a case study from Alpine Corsica' Solid Earth 8, (4) 767-788 , DOI PEARL
Macente A, Fusseis F, Menegon L, Xianghui X & John T 2017 'The strain-dependent spatial evolution of garnet in a high-pressure ductile shear zone from the Western Gneiss Region (Norway): a synchrotron X-ray microtomography study' Journal of Metamorphic Geology , DOI PEARL
Degli Alessandrini G, Menegon L, Malaspina N, Dijkstra AH & Anderson MW 2017 'Creep of mafic dykes infiltrated by melt in the lower continental crust (Seiland Igneous Province, Norway)' Lithos, 274-275, 169-187 , DOI PEARL
Viegas G, Menegon L & Archanjo C 2016 'Brittle grain-size reduction of feldspar, phase mixing and strain localization in granitoids at mid-crustal conditions (Pernambuco shear zone, NE Brazil)' Solid Earth 7, (2) 375-396 , DOI
Kjøll HJ, Viola G, Menegon L & Sørensen BE 2015 'Brittle–viscous deformation of vein quartz under fluid-rich lower greenschist facies conditions' Solid Earth 6, (2) 681-699 , DOI
Gasser D, Jerábek P, Faber C, Stünitz H, Menegon L, Corfu F, Erambert M & Whitehouse MJ 2015 'Behaviour of geochronometers and timing of metamorphic reactions during deformation at lower crustal conditions: phase equilibrium modelling and U-Pb dating of zircon, monazite, rutile and titanite from the Kalak Nappe Complex, northern Norway' Journal of Metamorphic Geology 33, (5) 513-534 , DOI
Menegon L, Fusseis F, Stunitz H & Xiao X 2015 'Creep cavitation bands control porosity and fluid flow in lower crustal shear zones' Geology 43, (3) 227-230 , DOI PEARL
Negrini M, Stünitz H, Nasipuri P, Menegon L & Morales LFG 2014 'Semibrittle deformation and partial melting of perthitic K-feldspar: An experimental study' Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 119, (4) 3478-3502 , DOI
Menegon L, Stünitz H, Nasipuri P, Heilbronner R & Svahnberg H 2013 'Transition from fracturing to viscous flow in granulite facies perthitic feldspar (Lofoten, Norway)' Journal of Structural Geology 48, 95-112 , DOI
Rosenbaum G, Menegon L, Glodny J, Vasconcelos P, Ring U, Massironi M, Thiede D & Nasipuri P 2012 'Dating deformation in the Gran Paradiso Massif (NW Italian Alps): Implications for the exhumation of high-pressure rocks in a collisional belt' Lithos 144-145, 130-144 , DOI
Bistacchi A, Massironi M, Menegon L, Bolognesi F & Donghi V 2012 'On the nucleation of non-Andersonian faults along phyllosilicate-rich mylonite belts' Geological Society, London, Special Publications 367, (1) 185-199 , DOI
Massironi M, Bistacchi A & Menegon L 2011 'Misoriented faults in exhumed metamorphic complexes: rule or exception?' Earth and Planetary Science Letters 307, (1-2) 233-239 , DOI
Menegon L, Piazolo S & Pennacchioni G 2011 'The effect of Dauphiné twinning on plastic strain in quartz' Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 161, (4) 635-652 , DOI
Menegon L, Nasipuri P, Stünitz H, Behrens H & Ravna E 2011 'Dry and strong quartz during deformation of the lower crust in the presence of melt' Journal of Geophysical Research 116, (B10) , DOI
Bistacchi A, Massironi M & Menegon L 2010 'Three-dimensional characterization of a crustal-scale fault zone: The Pusteria and Sprechenstein fault system (Eastern Alps)' Journal of Structural Geology 32, (12) 2022-2041 , DOI
Pennacchioni G, Menegon L, Leiss B, Nestola F & Bromiley G 2010 'Development of crystallographic preferred orientation and microstructure during plastic deformation of natural coarse grained quartz veins' Journal of Geophysical Research 115, (B12) , DOI
Menegon L & Pennacchioni G 2009 'Local shear zone pattern and bulk deformation in the Gran Paradiso metagranite (NW Italian Alps)' International Journal of Earth Sciences 99, (8) 1805-1825 , DOI
Menegon L, Pennacchioni G, Heilbronner R & Pittarello L 2008 'Evolution of quartz microstructure and c-axis crystallographic preferred orientation within ductilely deformed granitoids (Arolla unit, Western Alps)' Journal of Structural Geology 30, (11) 1332-1347 , DOI
Menegon L, Pennacchioni G & Spiess R 2008 'Dissolution-precipitation creep of K-feldspar in mid-crustal granite mylonites' Journal of Structural Geology 30, (5) 565-579 , DOI
Pennacchioni G, Bistacchi A, Di Toro G, Massironi M, Menegon L & Pittarello L 2007 'A geological database collecting pseudotachylyte occurrences in the Alps' Rendiconti della Societa Geologica Italiana 4, 281-282
Menegon L, Toro GD & Pennacchioni G 2007 'Cyclic production of pseudotachylyte at greenschist facies conditions (Dent Blanche nappe, NW Alps): Evidence for a ductile fault asperity' Rendiconti della Societa Geologica Italiana 4, 249-250
Pennacchioni G, Di Toro G, Brack P, Menegon L & Villa IM 2006 'Brittle–ductile–brittle deformation during cooling of tonalite (Adamello, Southern Italian Alps)' Tectonophysics 427, (1-4) 171-197 , DOI
Menegon L, Pittarello L, Pennacchioni G & Heilbronner R 2006 'Microstructural and textural evolution of quartz during incremental ductile deformation of mid-crustal granitoids (Arolla Unit, Western Alps)' Rendiconti della Societa Geologica Italiana 2, 152-153
MENEGON L, PENNACCHIONI G & STÜNITZ H 2006 'Nucleation and growth of myrmekite during ductile shear deformation in metagranites' Journal of Metamorphic Geology 24, (7) 553-568 , DOI
Menegon L & Pennacchioni G 2005 'Coexistence of albite- and k- feldspar-replacing myrmekite in the Gran Paradiso granitic mylonites' Rendiconti della Societa Geologica Italiana 1, 125-126
Prando F, Menegon L, Anderson MW, Marchesini B, Mattila J & Viola G 0 'Fluid-mediated, brittle-ductile deformation at seismogenic depth: Part II – Stress history and fluid pressure variations in a shear zone in a nuclear waste repository (Olkiluoto Island, Finland)' , DOI
Prando F, Menegon L, Anderson MW, Marchesini B, Mattila J & Viola G 0 'Fluid-mediated, brittle-ductile deformation at seismogenic depth: Part II – Stress history and fluid pressure variations in a shear zone in a nuclear waste repository (Olkiluoto Island, Finland)' , DOI

Other academic activities


Post-doctoral mentor 

  • 2014-2016 – Gustavo Viegas (guest postdoc from the University of SaoPaulo, Brazil) 
  • 2016-2018 - Francesco Giuntoli (Swiss National Science Foundation Early Career Mobility Scheme)
  • 2017-2020 - Lucy Campbell (NERC postdoc)

PhD supervision

  • 2017-2019 - Francesca Prando (Director of Studies)
  • 2016-2018 – Louise Koornneef (3rdsupervisor), Livia Nardini (hosted by the University of Potsdam, Germany, 2ndsupervisor)
  • 2015-2017 – ChristianMarien (3rdsupervisor), Alberto Ceccato (hosted by the Universityof Padua, Italy, 2nd supervisor)
  • 2014-2016 – Giulia degliAlessandrini (Director of Studies) 

MGeol and MSc students’ advisor

  • 2016-2017 - Libby Flannagan
  • 2015-2016 – Neil McLauchlan
  • 2014-2015 – Jamie Lott,Colin Moyle (2ndadvisor)
  • 2013-2014 – KatherineHarris, Elliot Wood, Nadia Narayan (2nd advisor).