Department of Earth Sciences
Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth Sciences

Christian Teyssier


344-01 Tate Hall


PhD, 1986, Monash University (Australia)

Structure, tectonics, and metamorphic petrology research group


Research Interests

I am interested in tectonic processes, including subduction, collision, crustal thickening, partial melting of crust, orogenic collapse, and the development of continental and oceanic core complexes. Our research group combines structural geology, metamorphic geology, geochemical and geochronological techniques, numerical simulations, microstructural and microfabric analyses using electron backscatter diffraction, and rock and mineral experiments. Current research topics include the hydration of oceanic lithosphere in relation to oceanic core complexes and transform shear zones, the flow of partially molten crust in orogenic plateaux and metamorphic core complexes, the exhumation mechanisms of high-pressure rocks in subduction complexes, the exhumation of subducted continental crust and ultrahigh-pressure rocks, and the coupling between subducted slab dynamics and crustal-surface processes in active tectonic regions. Current field areas include the North American Cordillera, the Alpine belt in the Aegean and Anatolian domains, the Norwegian Caledonides, and the Variscan belt of western Europe.


Courses Taught

  • Polar Environments: Rocks, Ice, and Human Impacts (freshman seminar)
  • Earth and its Environments
  • Graduate seminars

Recent Publications

  • Brocard G., Willenbring, J., Suski, B., Audra, P., Authemayou, Cozensa Muralles, B., Moràn-Ical, S., Demory, F., P. Rochette C., Vennemann, T., Holliger, K., and Teyssier, C. (2012) Rate and processes of river network rearrangement during incipient faulting: the case of the Cahabón River, Guatemala. American Journal of Science. 312, 449-507; doi:10.2475/05.2012.01
  • Gébelin, A., Mulch, A., Teyssier, C., Chamberlain, C.P., Heizler, M. (2012). Coupled basin-detachment systems as paleoaltimetry archives of the western North American Cordillera. EPSL, 335-336, 36-47.
  • Gébelin, A., Mulch, A., Teyssier, C., Heizler, M., Vennemann, T., Seaton, N.C.A., (2011) Detachment-controlled meteoric fluid flow in exhuming footwall rocks of the Northern Snake Range detachment, Nevada. Tectonics, 30, TC5010, DOI: 10.1029/2010TC002797
  • Teyssier, C. (2011) Exhumation of deep orogenic crust. Lithosphere, 3, 439-443.
  • Rey, P.F., Teyssier C., Kruckenberg, S.C., and Whitney D.L. (2011) Viscous collision in channel explains double domes in metamorphic core complexes. Geology, 39, 4, 387-390.
  • Authemayou, C., Brocard, G., Teyssier, C., Simon-Labric, T., Guttierez, A., Chiquin, E.N., and Moran, S. (2011) The Caribbean-North America-Cocos triple junction and the dynamics of the Polochic-Motagua fault systems: Pull-up and zipper models. Tectonics, 30, DOI:10.1029/2010TC002814.
  • Brocard, G, Teyssier, C., Dunlap, W.J., Authemayou, C., Simon-Labric, T., Chiquín, L., Guttierrez-Orrego, A., and Morán-Ical, S. (2011) Reorganization of a deeply incised drainage: role of deformation, sedimentation and groundwater flow. Basin Research, 23, 631-651.
  • Whitney, D.L., Teyssier, C., Toraman, E., Seaton, N.C.A., and Fayon, A.K. (2011) Metamorphic and tectonic evolution of a structurally continuous blueschist-to-Barrovian terrane, Sivrihisar massif, Turkey. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 29, 193-212.
  • Kruckenberg, S. C., Vanderhaeghe, O., Ferré, E. C., Teyssier, C., and Whitney, D. L. (2011) Flow of partially molten crust and the internal dynamics of a migmatite dome, Naxos, Greece. Tectonics, doi:10.1029/2010TC002751
  • Gottardi, R., Teyssier, C., Mulch, A., Vennemann, T.W., Wells, M.L. (2011) Preservation of an extreme transient geotherm in the Raft River detachment shear zone, Geology, 39, 759-762.
  • Teyssier, C., Whitney, D.L., Seaton, N.C.A., Toraman, E. (2010). Lawsonite vorticity and subduction kinematics. Geology 38, 12, 1123-1126.
  • Kruckenberg, S.C., Ferré, E.C., Teyssier, C., Vanderhaeghe, O., Whitney, D.L., Seaton, N.C.A., Skord, J.A. (2010) Viscoplastic flow in migmatites deduced from Naxos dome, Greece. Journal of Geophysics Research, 115, B09401.
  • McFadden, R. R., Siddoway, C.S., Teyssier, C., Fanning, C.M. (2010) Cretaceous oblique extensional deformation and magma accumulation in the Fosdick Mountains migmatite-cored gneiss dome, West Antarctica. Tectonics, 29, TC4022.
  • Suski, B., Brocard, G., Authemayou, C., Muralles, B.C., Teyssier, C., Holliger, K. (2010) Localization and characterization of an active fault in an urbanized area in central Guatemala by means of geoelectrical imaging. Tectonophysics, 480, 1-4, 88-98.
  • Rey, P.F., Teyssier C., and Whitney D.L. (2010) Limit of channel flow in orogenic plateaux. Lithosphere, 2, 328-332, doi:10.1130/L114.1.
  • McFadden, R. R., Teyssier, C., Siddoway, C.S., Whitney, D.L., Fanning, C.M. (2010) Oblique dilation, melt transfer, and gneiss dome emplacement, Geology, 4, 375-378.
  • Seaton, N.C.A., Whitney, Teyssier, C., Toraman, E., and Heizler, M.T. (2010) Recrystallization of high-pressure marble (Sivrihisar, Turkey). Tectonophysics.
  • Whitney, D.L., Teyssier, C., and Rey, P.F. (2009 ) The consequences of crustal melting in continental subduction Lithosphere , v. 1 , p. 323 - 327 , doi: 10.1130/L62.1.  
  • Rey, P.F., Teyssier, C., and Whitney, D.L. (2009) Crustal melting and core complex dynamics, Geology, 37, 391-394.
  • Rey, P.F., Teyssier, C., and Whitney, D.L. (2009) The role of partial melting and extensional strain rates in the development of metamorphic core complexes. Tectonophysics, 477, 3-4 135-144.


Recent Research Support

  • NSF-EAR- Colliding Channels and Double Domes in Metamorphic Core Complexes (2011-14; Teyssier, PI; Whitney, co-PI)
  • NSF-EAR- Continental Dynamics: Collaborative research: Surface to mantle dynamics during collision to escape (CD-CAT, Central Anatolian Tectonics) (2011-16; Whitney, PI; Teyssier, co-PI
  • NSF-EAR-0838541, Field and Numerical Analyses of the Thermal, Mechanical, and Fluid Evolution of Extensional Detachment Zones (2009-13; Teyssier, PI; Saar, co-PI)
  • NSF-EAR Collaborative Research: Titanium in deforming quartz and the thermomechanics of detachment and thrust systems (Whitney, PI; Teyssier, co-PI; in coll. with Hirth, Brown University)


Honors and Awards

  • 2003 University of Minnesota Distinguished Teaching Award for Outstanding Contributions to Post-Baccalaureate Graduate and Professional Education
  • 2001 Best Paper Award, Geological Society of America (Structure & Tectonics Division)
  • Chair, Structural Geology and Tectonics Division, Geological Society of America
  • Fellow, Geological Society of America (elected 1997)
  • McKnight Land-Grant Professor, University of Minnesota, 1989-1992