Department of Earth Sciences
Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth Sciences

Peter Hudleston


385-02 Tate Hall


PhD, 1969, Imperial College, London

Structural Geology Research Group

  Research Interests

My interests are focused on trying to understand the processes by which deformation is accommodated in rocks and in the mechanisms of deformation that result in the development of structures and fabrics. I am also interested in using structures and fabric to decipher tectonic history. My projects typically involve field analysis, analysis in the laboratory, and numerical or physical modeling.

I have devoted much time over the years to the study of folds, first with an emphasis on trying to determine folding mechanisms from fold geometry and strain patterns, and later to gain information about rheological conditions from a study of fold shape and strain. This work has led me to look at folds in many different environments, including the "high grade" environments of folding in glacier ice, which simulates nicely conditions in basement nappes in orogenic belts.

A specific theme I have focused on is deformation in ductile shear zones, or deformation localization. Shear zones provide excellent opportunities to study deformation mechanisms under conditions of non-coaxial flow, and they are key to understanding how deformation is accommodated in much of the crust. I am particularly interested at present in trying to understand how shear zones develop as networks and how the strain that may be measured in individual zones is related to the bulk strain of the rocks.

It has always been a challenge to understand how rocks can behave simultaneously in ductile and brittle fashions, and I have, with my students, focused attention on studying the mechanisms by which brittle and ductile processes contribute to fault-related folds in fold-and-thrust belts. This is in contrast to much of the work on these structures that addresses only fold and fault geometry. We have found that a particularly fruitful approach is provided by numerical analysis, using codes that account for combined brittle and ductile behavior.

I have long had an interest in the tectonics and structures of the very old rocks of the Canadian Shield, and I have carried out a number of projects, with colleagues in the Minnesota Geological Survey and elsewhere, studying the Archean rocks of the Superior Province of the shield. In term of tectonics, these rocks appear to be both strikingly similar to and strikingly different from younger rocks deformed as a result of plate tectonics.

  Courses Taught

  • Earth and Its Environments (Introduction to Geology)
  • Structural Geology
  • Tectonic Styles
  • Advanced Structural Geology
  • Freshmen Seminar

Selected Publications

  • Hudleston, P.J. & Treagus, S.H. 2010. Information from folds; a review. Journal of Structural Geology, v. 32, in press.
  • Carreras, J., Czeck, D.M., Druguet, E., Hudleston, P.J., 2010. Structure and development of an anastomosing network of ductile shear zones. Journal of Structural Geology, v. 32, p.656-666.
  • Baird, G.B., & Hudleston, P.J., 2007. Modeling the influence of tectonic extrusion and volume loss on the geometry, displacement, vorticity, and strain compatibility of ductile shear zones. Journal of Structural Geology, 29, v. 29, p. 1665-1678.
  • Czeck, D.M. and Hudleston, P.J., 2004. Physical experiments of vertical transpression with localized nonvertical extrusion. J. Structural Geology, v. 26, p. 573-581.
  • Czeck, D.M. and Hudleston, P.J., 2003. Testing models for obliquely plunging lineations in transpression: a natural example and theoretical discussion. J. Structural Geology, v. 25, p. 959-982.
  • Ormand, C. and Hudleston, P.J., 2003. Strain paths of three small folds from the Appalachian Valley and Ridge, Maryland. J. Structural Geology, v. 25, p. 1841-1854.
  • Strayer, L.M., Hudleston, P.J. and Lorig, L.J., 2001. A numerical model of deformation and fluid-flow in an evolving thrust wedge. Tectonophysics, v. 335, p. 121-145.
  • Bhattacharyya, P. and Hudleston, P.J., 2001. Strain in ductile shear zones in the Caledonides of northern sweden: a three-dimensional puzzle. J. Structural Geology, v. 23, p.1549-1565.
  • Hudleston, P.J., 1999. Strain compatibility and shear zones: is there a problem? J. Structural Geology, v. 21, p. 923-932.
  • Kusky, T. and Hudleston, P.J., 1999 Growth and demise of an Archean carbonate platform, Steep Rock Lake, Ontario, Canada. Canadian J. Earth Sci., v. 36, p. 565-584.

  Recent Research Support

  • 3M, 3M Foundation Engineering Retention Initiative Grant
  • NSF, Shear zone geometry, strain and fabrics in high-grade rocks, northern Sweden.
  • NSF, Anisotropy and fold development in rocks.

  Recent Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, Geological Society of America
  • Best Instructor Award, Geology & Geophysics, IT Student Board, 2008-2009