Dr. Michael Halford Taylor

Michael Taylor
  • Professor
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Geology

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Department Phone:
Lindley Hall, room #114
University of Kansas
1475 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045


Ph.D. in Geology, University of California, Los Angeles, 2004


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


Teaching interests:

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

Grants & Other Funded Activity

Collaborative Research: Dry Rifting In the Albertine-Rhino graben (DRIAR), Uganda. EAR-NSF. $417798.00. (12/1/2020 - 11/30/2024). Federal. Status: Funded
Topographic Development of the Southern Gangdese Range, Tibet: Birth of the Yarlung River and the Internally Drained Tibetan Plateau. National Science Foundation. $225135.00. (9/1/2019 - 10/31/2022). Federal. Status: Funded
Collaborative Research: Filling in the Central Himalayan Seismic Gap: A Structural, Neotectonic, and Paleoseismic Investigation of the Western Nepal Fault System. 13460. National Science Foundation. $335684.00. (8/15/2018 - 7/31/2021). Federal. Status: Funded