Professor Mark Anderson

Professor Mark Anderson

Professor of Geology

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

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

Professor of Geology


PhD University of Wales, Cardiff
B.Sc. 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

Chair, University Geoscience UK 2018-present
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

GEOL2003 - Geospatial Techniques

GEOL2012 - Structural Geology and Tectonics (module leader)

GEOL3005 - Advanced Tectonics

In addition to teaching lectures and practical sessions, I am also heavily involved in fieldwork, including:

Stage 1 - Local trips studying the Geology of Plymouth Bay

Stage 2 - Specialist field skills in structural geology, SW England

Stage 2 - Mapping and project training, SW England

Stages 3 and 4 - Field mapping camps (Arctic Norway, Pyrenees, Scotland)

Stage 3 - Death Valley

Stage 4 - Bristol Channel Basin

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 follwoing main areas:

(1) The tectonic evolution of Palaeozoic and Alpine orogens in NW Europe (involves fully integrated, multidisciplinary studies);
(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 Francesca Prando (2nd supervisor) - Brittle-viscous deformation cycles in quartz veins at the base of the seismogenic zone.

Mr 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

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 PEARL
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 PEARL
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 , DOI PEARL
Morris A, Meyer M, Anderson MA & MacLeod C 2019 'What do variable magnetic fabrics in gabbros of the Oman ophiolite reveal about lower crustal magmatism at fast spreading ridges?' Geology 47, (3) 275-278 , DOI PEARL
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 PEARL
Peacock DCP, Anderson MW, Rotevatn A, Sanderson DJ & Tavarnelli E 2017 'The interdisciplinary use of “overpressure”' Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research , 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
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 PEARL
Morris A, Meyer M, Anderson MW & MacLeod CJ 2016 'Clockwise rotation of the entire Oman ophiolite occurred in a suprasubduction zone setting' Geology , DOI PEARL
Rice AHN & Anderson MW 2016 'Restoration of the external Scandinavian Caledonides' GEOLOGICAL MAGAZINE 153, (5-6) 1136-1165 , DOI PEARL
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 PEARL
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 PEARL
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 Author Site , 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 Author Site , 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 Author Site , 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 Author Site , 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 Author Site , 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 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 Author Site , DOI
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 Author Site , 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
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 Author Site , 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 Author Site , 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 Author Site
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 , 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 , 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