Professor Mark Anderson

Professor Mark Anderson

Professor of Geology

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

Professor Mark Anderson can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Geology
  • Structural geology
  • Tectonics
  • Geology fieldwork
  • Energy resources


Professor of Geology

Associate Dean (Education) Faculty of Science and Engineering


PhD University of Wales, Cardiff
BSc (Hons) University of Southampton

Previous roles at the University of Plymouth:
Head of School (2013-2020)

Deputy Head of School (2010-2013)
Head of Earth Sciences (2002-2010)
Associate Head of School, Resources (2003-2009)
Project leader for fieldwork within the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (Experiential Learning in the Environmental and Natural Sciences) (2005-2010)
Geosciences Programme Manager (1997-2002)

Professional membership

Fellow of the Geological Society of London
Member of Geological Society of America
Member of the European Geosciences Union (EGU)
Executive Member of the Geological Society of Norway
Member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Academic Associate, Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Roles on external bodies

Trustee and elected Council member, Geological Society 2022-present
Member of the Publications and Information Committee, Geological Society 2022-present
Treasurer, University Geoscience UK 2022-present
Chair, Geological Society Accreditation Review Panel 2020-2022
Chair, University Geoscience UK 2018-2020
Executive Secretary, Committee of Heads of University Geoscience Departments 2009-2016
Committee member, Geological Society Higher Education Network 2011-2017
Chair, Geological Society of London, SW Regional Group, 2010 - 2012
Deputy Chair, Geological Society of London, SW Regional Group, 2007-2010 and 2013 
Geological Society of London, SW Regional Group Committee Member, 2001 - 2013
Ussher Society, Chair, 2010-2012 
Ussher Society, Vice-Chair, 2009-2010 
Ussher Society Elected Committee Member, 1995-1997 and 2000-2004



Teaching interests

Teaching in structural geology, mapwork and tectonics across the Earth Science degree scheme, with special interest in interpretation of the sub-surface in relation to fluid flow and deformation. I teach on the following modules:

GEOL1003 - Earth Systems

GEOL1005 - Geological Maps and Structural Geology

GEOL2003 - Geospatial Techniques

GEOL2006 - Geological Fieldwork (module leader)

GEOL2012 - Structural Geology and Tectonics (module leader)

GEOL3005 - Tectonics (module leader)

GEOL3015 - Energy Transition Geoscience

GEOL3008 - Advanced Geological Fieldwork

GEOL5002 - MGeol Advanced Fieldwork

Staff serving as external examiners

King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2013 - present)

University of Exeter, Camborne School of Mines (BSc Applied Geology, MGeol/MSci Applied Geology, BSc Resource and Exploration Geology, MSci Resource and Exploration Geology, BSc Engineering Geology and Geotechnics, MGeol/MSci Engineering Geology and Geotechnics, BSc Geology, MGeol/MSci Geology, BSc Environmental Geoscience, MSci Environmental Geoscience 2019-present)
Cardiff University (BSc Geology, 2012 - 2014)
Aberdeen University (6th Century Courses, 2013)
Aberdeen University (BSc Geology & Petroleum Geology, BSc Geoscience 2010 - 2013)



Research interests

I currently pursue research in the following main areas:

(1) The tectonic evolution of Palaeozoic and Alpine orogens in NW Europe;
(2) The integration of structural geology with palaeomagnetism to solve regional tectonic problems;
(3) Mineral growth and structural development during deformation in low-medium grade metamorphic terrains and the influence of fluid flow on both;
(4) The geometry and kinematics of fold and thrust belts.

Other research

External examining (all PhD)

Birmingham University (2020)
Durham University (2015)
Edinburgh University (2010)
Edinburgh University (2008)
Kingston University (2007)

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Ms Nathalie Dawe (Director of Studies) - Structural development and fluid flow along strike-slip faults in the Variscan belt of SW England. 

Mr. Joe Connolly (Director of Studies) - Partitioning of fluid flow along faults and fractures in the Bristol Channel Basin: implications for low carbon geoscience projects
in SW England

Ms Francesca Prando (2nd supervisor) - Brittle-viscous deformation cycles in quartz veins at the base of the seismogenic zone.

Dr Grant Cole (3rd supervisor) - Combined salt and extensional tectonic controls on facies distribution in the Early Cretaceous of the Maesrat Basin, Spain. PhD awarded May 2020

Dr Giulia Delgi Alessandrini (3rd supervisor) - Strain localisation in the mafic lower crust. PhD awarded August 2018

Dr Israel Etobro (2nd supervisor) - Sequence stratigraphy and structure of Dahomey Embayment. PhD awarded December 2017

Dr Hazel Gibson (4th supervisor) - Underground Britain. PhD awarded February 2017

Dr Mohammed Chaanda (3rd supervisor) - Terrestrial climate reconstructions across Cenozoic greenhouse and icehouse climate events using new organic and inorganic climate proxies. PhD awarded June 2016

Dr Matt Meyer (2nd supervisor) - An integrated palaeomagnetic and geochemical investigation of lower oceanic crustal accretion using ophiolitic analogues. PhD awarded January 2016.

Dr Ahmed Fatih Omer (2nd supervisor) - Integrated geophysical, geochemical and structural analyses of the Mersin ophiolite, Turkey. PhD awarded September 2014

Dr Chinwendu Elenwa (2nd supervisor) - Regional versus localised controls on the nature of deep-sea petroleum reservoirs in tectonically active settings using a sequence stratigraphic approach . PhD awarded April 2014

Dr Ben Dashwood (2nd supervisor) Palaeomagnetic and structural insights into the Central Andean Rotation Pattern, Chile. PhD awarded September 2007

Dr Jenny Inwood (2nd supervisor) Palaeomagnetic and structural analyses of the tectonic evolution of the Hatay ophiolite, southern Turkey. PhD awarded March 2006

Dr Alison Warwick (Director of Studies) Mineral Growth and fluid flow in mid-crustal shear zones. PhD awarded 2000 
Dr John Rogers (Director of Studies) The interpretation and characterisation of lineaments identified from Landsat TM imagery of SW England. PhD awarded 1997



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Chaanda MS, Grimes ST, Jerrett RM, Anderson M, Leng MJ, Fitzpatrick ME & Price GD (2023) 'Terrestrial carbon isotope stratigraphy of the Eocene–Oligocene transition, Petrockstowe and Bovey basins, Devon, UK' Proceedings of the Geologists' Association , DOI Open access
Slagstad T, Kulakov EV, Anderson MW, Saalmann K, Kirkland CL, Henderson IHC & Ganerød M (2022) 'Was Baltica part of Rodinia?' Terra Nova , DOI Open access
ÇAVDAR B, MORRIS A, ANDERSON M, MENEGON L & PARLAK O (2022) 'Magnetic anisotropy of a sub-ophiolitic metamorphic sole (Mersin ophiolite, Turkey)' Bulletin Of The Mineral Research and Exploration Publisher Site , DOI
Lorenz H, Rosberg J-E, Juhlin C, Klonowska I, Lescoutre R, Westmeijer G, Almqvist BSG, Anderson M, Bertilsson S & Dopson M (2022) 'COSC-2 – drilling the basal décollement and underlying margin of palaeocontinent Baltica in the Paleozoic Caledonide Orogen of Scandinavia' Scientific Drilling 30, 43-57 , DOI Open access
Juhlin C, Almqvist B, Anderson M, Dopson M, Klonowska I, Lehnert O, Lescoutre R, Lorenz H, Pascal C & Piazolo S (2021) 'Collisional Orogeny in the Scandinavian Caledonides (COSC): Some preliminary results from drilling of the 2.276 km deep COSC-2 borehole, central Sweden' Publisher Site , DOI
Slagstad T, Anderson M, Saalmann K & Hagen-Peter G (2021) 'The >494 Ma Lillevik ophiolite fragment (Gratangseidet Igneous Complex) near Narvik, Scandinavian Caledonides' Norwegian Journal of Geology 100, , DOI Open access
Giuntoli F, Menegon L, Warren CJ, Darling J & Anderson MW (2020) 'Protracted Shearing at Midcrustal Conditions During Large‐Scale Thrusting in the Scandinavian Caledonides' Tectonics 39, (9) , DOI Open access
Di Chiara A, Morris A, Anderson MW, Menegon L & Tremblay A (2020) 'Magnetic anisotropy reveals Acadian transpressional fabrics in an Appalachian ophiolite (Thetford Mines, Canada)' Geophysical Journal International 222, (2) 1034-1045 , DOI Open access
Prando F, Menegon L, Anderson M, Marchesini B, Mattila J & Viola G (2020) 'Fluid-mediated, brittle–ductile deformation at seismogenic depth – Part 2: Stress history and fluid pressure variations in a shear zone in a nuclear waste repository (Olkiluoto Island, Finland)' Solid Earth 11, (2) 489-511 Publisher Site , DOI Open access
Morris A, Meyer M, Anderson MA & MacLeod C (2019) 'What do variable magnetic fabrics in gabbros of the Oman ophiolite reveal about lower oceanic crustal magmatism at fast spreading ridges?' Geology 47, (3) 275-278 , DOI Open access
Morris A, Anderson MW, Omer A, Maffione M & van Hinsbergen DJJ (2017) 'Rapid fore-arc extension and detachment-mode spreading following subduction initiation' Earth and Planetary Science Letters , DOI Open access
Peacock DCP, Anderson MW, Rotevatn A, Sanderson DJ & Tavarnelli E (2017) 'The interdisciplinary use of “overpressure”' Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research , DOI Open access
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 Open access
Peacock DCP, Tavarnelli E & Anderson MW (2016) 'Interplay between stress permutations and overpressure to cause strike-slip faulting during tectonic inversion' Terra Nova 29, (1) 61-70 , DOI Open access
Morris A, Meyer M, Anderson MW & MacLeod CJ (2016) 'Clockwise rotation of the entire Oman ophiolite occurred in a suprasubduction zone setting' Geology , DOI Open access
Rice AHN & Anderson MW (2016) 'Restoration of the external Scandinavian Caledonides' GEOLOGICAL MAGAZINE 153, (5-6) 1136-1165 , DOI Open access
Morris A, Robertson AHF, Anderson MW & Hodgson E (2015) 'Did the Kyrenia Range of northern Cyprus rotate with the Troodos-Hatay microplate during the tectonic evolution of the eastern Mediterranean?' INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES 105, (1) 399-415 Author Site , DOI Open access
Anderson MW, Price GD, Peacock DCP & Page KN (2014) 'Field excursion to examine the Jurassic sedimentology and structure of the North Somerset coast' GEOSCIENCE IN SOUTHWEST ENGLAND 13, (3) 362-364
Maffione M, Morris A & Anderson MW (2013) 'Recognizing detachment-mode seafloor spreading in the deep geological past' Scientific Reports 3, , DOI Open access
FitzPatrick M, Anderson M & Truscott J (2012) 'Using mobile devices to extend experiential learning and fieldwork practice in the earth sciences' Planet (25) 33-39 Author Site Publisher Site , DOI
Inwood J, Anderson MW, Morris A & Robertson AHF (2009) 'Successive structural events in the Hatay ophiolite of southeast Turkey: Distinguishing oceanic, emplacement and post-emplacement phases of faulting' TECTONOPHYSICS 473, (1-2) 208-222 , DOI
Inwood J, Morris A, Anderson MW & Robertson AHF (2009) 'Neotethyan intraoceanic microplate rotation and variations in spreading axis orientation: Palaeomagnetic evidence from the Hatay ophiolite (southern Turkey)' EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS 280, (1-4) 105-117 , DOI
Price GD, Vowles-Sheridan N & Anderson MW (2008) 'Lower jurassic mud volcanoes and methane, Kilve, Somerset, UK' PROCEEDINGS OF THE GEOLOGISTS ASSOCIATION 119, 193-201 , DOI
Morris A, Anderson MW & Robertson AHF (2005) 'Comment on: "Tectonics of the Akamas and Mamonia ophiolites, Western Cyprus: magnetic petrofabrics and paleomagnetism" by G.J. Borradaile and K. Lucas' JOURNAL OF STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY 27, (1) 171-174 , DOI
Morris A, Anderson MW, Robertson AHF & Al-Riyami K (2002) 'Extreme tectonic rotations within an eastern Mediterranean ophiolite (Baer-Bassit, Syria)' Earth and Planetary Science Letters 202, (2) 247-261
Morris A, Anderson MW, Robertson AHF & Al-Riyami K (2002) 'Extreme tectonic rotations within an eastern Mediterranean ophiolite (Baer-Bassit, Syria)' EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS 202, (2) 247-261 , DOI
Morris A & Anderson MW (2002) 'Palaeomagnetic results from the Baer-Bassit ophiolite of northern Syria and their implication for fold tests in sheeted dyke terrains' PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY OF THE EARTH 27, (25-31) 1215-1222 , DOI
Anderson MW & Barker AJ (1999) 'Caledonian terrane analysis in Troms-Tornetrask, northern Scandinavia, utilizing the geochemistry of high-level metabasites' NORSK GEOLOGISK TIDSSKRIFT 79, (3) 145-159
Morris A & Anderson MW (1999) 'Comment on "Block rotations and continental extension in the central Aegean Sea: palaeomagnetic and structural evidence from Tinos and Mykonos (Cyclades, Greece)" by D. Avigad et al' EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS 171, (3) 511-512 , DOI
Peacock DCP, Anderson MW, Morris A & Randall DE (1998) 'Evidence for the importance of 'small' faults on block rotation' TECTONOPHYSICS 299, (1-3) 1-13 , DOI
Morris A, Anderson MW & Robertson AHF (1998) 'Multiple tectonic rotations and transform tectonism in an intraoceanic suture zone, SW Cyprus' TECTONOPHYSICS 299, (1-3) 229-253 , DOI
Morris A & Anderson MW (1998) 'Selected papers from the symposium "Crustal Rotations: Causes and Consequences", 9th Meeting European Union of Geosciences, Strasbourg, France, 23-27 March 1997 - Preface' TECTONOPHYSICS 299, (1-3) VII-VIII
Morris A (1996) 'First palaeomagnetic results from the Cycladic Massif, Greece, and their implications for Miocene extension directions and tectonic models in the Aegean' Earth and Planetary Science Letters 142, (3-4) 397-408 Publisher Site , DOI
Anderson MW, Barker AJ, Bennett D G & Dallmeyer RD (1992) 'A tectonic model for Scandian terrane accretion in the northern Scandinavian Caledonides' JOURNAL OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY 149, 727-741 , DOI
Barker AJ & Anderson MW (1989) 'The Caledonian structural-metamorphic evolution of south Troms, Norway' Evolution of metamorphic belts 385-390
Gamble B, Anderson M & Griffiths JS (2020) 'Chapter 13 Hazards associated with mining and mineral exploitation in Cornwall and Devon, SW England' Geological Society of London 321-367 Publisher Site , DOI
Morris A, Anderson MW, Inwood J & Robertson AHF (2006) 'Palaeomagnetic insights into the evolution of Neotethyan oceanic crust in the eastern Mediterranean' in Robertson AHF; Mountrakis D Tectonic Development of the Eastern Meditteranean Region The Geological Society, London 351-372 , DOI
Anderson MW & Morris A (2004) 'The puzzle of axis-normal magnetic lineations in folded low-grade sediments (Bude Formation, SW England). In: (Eds.),' in Martinez-Hernandez F; Lüneburg CA; Aubourg C; Jackson M Magnetic Fabrics: Methods and Applications, Geological Society Special Publication, 238, Geological Society, London 175-190
Anderson MW (1989) 'Basement-cover evolution during Caledonian Orogenesis, Troms, N Norway' The Caledonide Geology of Scandinavia Springer 101-110
Barker AJ & Anderson MW (1989) 'The Caledonian structural--metamorphic evolution of south Troms, Norway' in Daly JS; Cliff RA Evolution of Metamoprhic Belts The Geological Society, London 385-390 , DOI
Other Publications
Anderson M, Connolly J, Mottram C, Price G & Sanderson D Fluid-mediated reactivation of brittle faults in the Bristol Channel Basin, UK. Publisher Site , DOI


Conferences organised

Ussher Society, Annual General Meeting, Exmouth, January 2012.
Ussher Society, Annual General Meeting, Plymouth, January 2010.
Fermor Flagship Meeting of the Geological Society "Minerals, Magmas and Megastructures", Natural History Museum, London, (Co-convenor September 2006).
Tectonic Studies Group of the Geological Society of London Annual General Meeting, University of Plymouth, (Convenor January 2005).
Ussher Society Annual General Meeting, Plymouth, Conference Secretary, January 2003.
Special Session 42 “Crustal rotations - causes and consequences”. European Union of Geosciences 9, Strasbourg, (Co-convenor March 1997).
Ussher Society Annual General Meeting, Dartington, Conference Secretary, January 1993.


Centre for Research in Earth Sciences