Our current research covers a wide range of topics in tectonics, including:
Plate Rigidity and Wide Plate Boundary Zones: Using marine geophysical and space geodetic data, our group has been placing quantitative limits on plate rigidity and identifying regions of the world where plates deform over very wide zones, which we interpret as diffuse plate boundaries, and modeling deformation within these zones using a thin viscous sheet model.
Tectonic Paleomagnetism: Our group is also analyzing the shapes of magnetic anomalies due to seafloor spreading; using this information we estimate paleomagnetic poles averaged over small, precisely dated time intervals.
Absolute Plate Motions: Our current studies include a global set of current plate motion relative to the hotspots, a global model of absolute plate motion inferred from the orientation of seismic anisotropy determined from shear-wave splitting, implications for the tectonic and volcanic evolution of the Pacific, tests for motion between hotspots, and estimates of true polar wander.
Global plate velocities relative to the subasthenospheric mantle in SKS-MORVEL (Zheng et al., 2014).