James Kirkpatrick

Assistant Professor

Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences
3450 University St.
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 0E8

Email: james.kirkpatrick [at] mcgill.ca

Tel: 514.398.7442

Research website






EPSC 203 Structural Geology 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


The hundreds of earthquakes that are felt around the world every week are a constant reminder that the Earth is a dynamic place. Appreciating and forecasting the hazard from earthquakes requires an understanding of the stresses that drive faults to fail and what happens to the rocks cut by a fault during slip. These aspects of fault mechanics can't be addressed directly through seismology. My research uses field observations of faults to investigate the earthquake source directly. What can we learn from the rocks themselves? The goal is to use high-resolution digital field data (ground-based LiDAR, differential GPS, structure-from-motion photogrammetry) combined with microstructural work (SEM, TEM, EBSD and microprobe) and statistical and numerical models to show how fault geometry, composition and fluid transport properties control faulting, and more broadly deformation throughout the brittle crust.

Recent Publications

Bose, S., Saha, P., Mori, J. J., Rowe, C., Ujiie, K., Chester, F. M., Conin, M., Regalla, C., Kameda, J., Toy, V., Kirkpatrick, J. D., Remitti, F., Moore, J. C., Wolfson-Schwehr, M., Nakamura, Y., and Gupta, A., (2015). Deformation structures in the frontal prism near the Japan Trench: Insights from Sandbox Models. Journal of Geodynamics, 89, 29–38, doi:10.1016/j.jog.2015.06.002.

Kirkpatrick, J. D., Strasser, M., Kodaira, S., Sample, J. C., Mori, J., and Saito, S., (2015). IODP Workshop: Tracking the Tsunamigenic slips Across and Along the Japan Trench (JTRACK). Scientific Drilling, 19, 27–32, doi:10.5194/sd-19-27-2015.

Kirkpatrick, J., Rowe, C.D., Ujiie, K., Moore, J.C., Regalla, C.A., Remitti, F., Toy, V., Wolfson-Schwehr, M., Kameda, J., Bose, S., and Chester, F M., (2015). Structure and lithology of the Japan Trench subduction plate boundary fault. Tectonics, 34, 53-69.

Rabinowitz, H., Savage, H. M., Plank, T., Polissar, P. J., Kirkpatrick, J. D., and Rowe, C. D., (2015). Multiple major faults at the Japan Trench: Chemostratigraphy of the plate boundary at IODP Exp. 343: JFAST. Earth & Planet. Sci. Lett., 423, 57-66, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.04.010.

Complete list