Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty

Seth C. Kruckenberg

Assistant Professor

Assistant Chair


My research aims to understand deformation in the lithosphere over a range of levels, conditions, and spatial scales, with a particular focus on processes that affect its dynamic evolution, including: the growth and collapse of orogenic systems; feedbacks between deformation and melt migration in the mid-crust through upper mantle; and mechanisms of strain localization and rheological weakening. Understanding these processes across a range of spatial scales and tectonic settings requires expertise in a variety of analytical methods, which I believe are best complemented by research fundamentally rooted in comprehensive field-based investigation.

As a quantitative, field-oriented structural geologist, I employ a multi-disciplinary approach to research that draws upon a variety of analytical techniques applicable to tectonic studies, including: detailed field-based mapping and structural analysis, crystallographic textural analysis using electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), geochronology and thermochronology studies, and petrologic investigations. These research interests have led to student research opportunities on diverse topics in regions of the Earth spanning from Antarctica to New England.

I am always looking for new students interested in Structural Geology and Tectonics studies, so for more information about current opportunities please see my personal website on the pages linked below.

  • Lauren Shea: Field and microstructural investigation of crystallographic texture development in naturally deformed polycrystalline materials from the lower crust.
  • Martha Parsons: Field and microstructural constraints on deformation conditions and shear zone kinematics in the Burlington Mylonite Zone, Massachusetts (2017)
  • William Montz: Cretaceous partial melting, deformation, and exhumation of the Potters Pond migmatite domain, west-central Idaho (2016)
  • Shaina Cohen: An assessment of heterogeneity within the lithospheric mantle, Marie Byrd Land, west Antarctica (2016)
RECENT PUBLICATIONS ( * = Kruckenberg student coauthor;  = SEM Facility user/collaborator)
  • *Montz, W.J. and Kruckenberg, S.C. (2017) Cretaceous partial melting, deformation, and exhumation of the Potters Pond migmatite domain, west-central Idaho. Lithosphere; 9 (2): 205-222. doi: 10.1130/L555.1
  • Chatzaras, V., Kruckenberg, S.C., *Cohen, S., Medaris Jr., L.G., Withers, A.C., and Bagley, B. (2016) Axial-type olivine crystallographic preferred orientations: the effect of strain geometry on mantle texture. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth; 121 (7): 4895-4922. doi: 10.1002/2015JB012628
  • Michels, Z.D., Kruckenberg, S.C., Davis, J.R., and Tikoff, B. (2015) Determining vorticity axes from grain-scale dispersion of crystallographic orientations. Geology; 43 (9): 803-806. doi: 10.1130/G36868.1
  • Kruckenberg, S.C., Tikoff, B., Toy, V.G., Newman, J., and Young, L. (2013) Strain localization associated with channelized melt migration in upper mantle lithosphere: insights from the Twin Sisters ultramafic complex, Washington, USA. Journal of Structural Geology; 50: 133-147. doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2012.10.009
  • Kruckenberg, S.C., Vanderhaeghe, O., Ferré, E.C., Teyssier, C., and Whitney, D.L. (2011) Flow of partially molten crust and the internal dynamics of a migmatite dome, Naxos, Greece. Tectonics; 30: TC3001. doi: 10.1029/2010TC002751