College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Michael Halford Taylor

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Geology,
Ph.D., Geology, University of California, Los Angeles
Primary office:
Lindley Hall
Room 114
University of Kansas
1475 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045


Geography and culture, Tibetan plateau


Ph.D., Geology, University of California, Los Angeles

M.S., Geology, University of California, Los Angeles

B.S., Geology, University of North Carolina

Teaching Interests

  • Structural Geology
  • Field Mapping
  • Neotectonics
  • Tibet
  • Himalaya


I am first and foremost a field geologist. My research focus lies in understanding the processes associated with deformation of the continental lithosphere, and is firmly grounded in the acquisition of field-based observational data. Because orogenic belts span vast areas, remote sensing is required to accurately portray the behavior of an actively deforming mountain range. The integration of field observations, structural analysis, cosmogenic dating, remote sensing, and space geodesy to quantify fault system behavior over various time scales comprises the core of my research. My PhD research has focused on the Himalaya-Karakoram-Tibet collision zone and addresses four highly debated topics regarding the deformation of continents: 1) The relationship between the present day and ancient kinematics of the Tibetan orogen, 2) testing models of intracontinental deformation: microplate vs. thin-viscous sheet, 3) The function of strike-slip faulting during orogenesis, and 4) the mechanics of conjugate strike-slip faults.

Research Interests

  • Geometry, kinematics, and earthquake potential for active fault systems
  • Mechanics of continental deformation with emphasis on the Himalaya, Tibet, and the Andes

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