The strength of the lithosphere: from the lab to the lithosphere

The overarching goal of our studies is to characterise the strength of the lithosphere from geodetic to geologic time-scales and explore its implications for landscape evolution and mantle dynamics. The strength of the lithosphere allows for the support of high topography in the Tibetan Plateau, controls the formation of rift basin stratigraphic architecture, and modulates the effect of dynamic topography in South East Asia. We work towards developing a model for lithospheric strength that is consistent with experimental rock mechanics, gravity observations, and elastic layer thickness estimates, and apply it to the Earth and the other planets.

Funding Sources: 

  • Earth Observatory of Singapore

Project Years: 


EOS Team: 

Principal Investigator



Justin Dauwels, SEEE, NTU

Nick Drake, Kings College London

Charlie Bristow, Birkbeck College London

Simon Lamb and Tim Stern, Victoria University of Wellington

Michelle Parks, Nordic Volcanological Center, Iceland

Frederik Simons, Princeton

Lars Hansen, University of Oxford

Stefan Nielsen and Jon Wade, University of Oxford

Richard Palin, Colorado School of Mines.