Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty

Seth C. Kruckenberg

Associate Professor

Associate Chair


My research lies at the intersection of structural geology, structural petrology, tectonic analysis, and metamorphic / igneous geology. As a quantitative, field-based geologist, I integrate a variety of analytical methods in my research to investigate how intrinsic rock properties (e.g., composition, melt fraction, grain size, crystallographic texture) and extrinsic conditions (e.g., pressure-temperature conditions) affect the development of petrofabrics in rocks, the rheology and deformation history of the lithosphere, and metamorphic and tectonic processes in modern and ancient orogenic systems. 

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, structural and petrologic analysis, crystallographic textural analysis using electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), geochronology, and magnetic fabric studies. These research interests have led to diverse undergraduate and graduate student research opportunities in regions of the Earth spanning from Antarctica to New England.

I am always looking for new students, so for more information about current opportunities please see my personal website on the pages linked below.

Current Graduate Students and Projects

  • Olivia Burek: Fall 2021 start
  • Rebecca Richards: Fall 2020 start

Recent M.S. Alumni and Projects

  • Miranda Wiebe: Field-based constraints on lower crustal rheology and strain localization processes in the Capricorn Ridge shear zone, Mount Hay block, central Australia (2021)
  • Lauren Shea: Microstructural and textural analysis of naturally deformed granulites in the Mount Hay block of central Australia: implications for the rheology of polyphase lower crustal materials (2019)
  • 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)

  • Chatzaras, V. and Kruckenberg, S.C., (2021) Effects of melt-percolation, refertilization, and deformation on upper mantle seismic anisotropy: constraints from peridotite xenoliths, Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica. Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 56, doi: 10.1144/M56-2020-16
  • †Chatzaras, V., Tikoff, B., Kruckenberg, S.C., Titus, S.J., Teyssier, C., and Drury, M.R. (2020) Stress variations in space and time within the mantle section of an oceanic transform zone: Evidence for the seismic cycle. Geology, 46(6), 569-573, doi: 10.1130/G47137.1
  • Zhao, N., Hirth, G., Cooper, R.F, Kruckenberg, S.C., and Cukjati, J. (2019) Low viscosity mantle rocks linked to phase boundary sliding. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 517, 83-94, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2019.04.019
  • Stewart, E., Newman, J., Tikoff, B., Donnely, S., German, L., Chatzaras, V., Lamb, W.M., Miller, B., and Kruckenberg, S.C., (2019) Coupled deformation and melt-migration events recording subduction initiation, Dun Mountain Ophiolite, New Zealand. Geological Society, London Memoirs January 2019, 49(1), 93-117, doi: 10.1144/M49.5
  • Kruckenberg, S.C., Michels, Z.D.  and *Parsons, M. (2019) From intracrystalline distortion to plate motion: unifying structural, kinematic, and textural analysis in heterogeneous shear zones through crystallographic orientation-dispersion methods. Geosphere, special themed issue honoring Arthur W. Snoke: “Active Margins in Transition”; doi: 10.1130/GES01585.1