Peter Koons

Climate Change Institute | Geodynamics

I have a deep interest in the application of continuum mechanics to understanding the interaction of the earth and atmosphere at many different time scales. Our research group here at the University of Maine links individuals with research interests ranging from short term climatic variation to mantle:crust interaction. We have been investigating the influence of atmospheric processes on the development of mountain ranges from the scales of the entire mountain range to that of single large river catchments like that of the Indus or the Tsangpo. We employ geodetic, seismic, geomorphic, and petrological techniques to develop an integrated image of a developing mountain system. To produce some understanding of the behavior of the deeper parts of the earth, often not exposed during the active phase of mountain building, we work closely with petrologists and structural geologists looking at the exposed roots of the mountains. The image assembled from these observations then provides many of the constraints for constructing a comprehensive numerical model that allows us to examine the dynamics of the mountain building processes across many scales.

Currently, we have active research interests in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, western and eastern Himalaya, southeastern Alaska, the Appalachians and the Norwegian Caledonides.