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Dr Frances Cooper

Mechanics of large-scale continental deformation, evolution of orogenic systems, formation of ore deposits

My research is focused on understanding the mechanics of large-scale continental deformation and the evolution of orogenic systems. I use a multidisciplinary approach that includes structural geology, isotope geochemistry, metamorphic and igneous petrology, geothermobarometry, U-Th-Pb geochronology, (U-Th)/He and 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology, paleomagnetism, satellite remote sensing, and thermal modelling.

I have studied active normal faulting in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece, the evolution of metamorphic core complexes in the Basin and Range province, and the role of extension in the Bhutan Himalaya.

At Bristol I am involved in a multidisciplinary project funded by BHP that integrates volcanology, structural geology, geomorphology, experimental petrology, and geochronology to understand the formation of porphyry copper deposits in the Central Andes (

Research keywords

  • continental tectonics
  • structural geology
  • economic geology
  • geochronology
  • thermochronology
  • isotope geochemistry
  • igneous petrology
  • metamorphic petrology
  • field geology
  • remote sensing