Folarin Kolawole, Ph.D.
Structural Geologist, BP America
Hi! I am a structural geologist and currently working in the upstream exploration section of BP America, Houston, USA. My research involves the integration of structural geology, near-surface geophysics, and geomechanics to understand 1) how the earth’s lithosphere breaks up to form new sedimentary basins and deform existing basins, and 2) how industrial subsurface activities 'wake-up' ancient faults in the crust (i.e. induced earthquakes in areas of wastewater injection, CO2 injection etc.), and 3) the dynamics of natural earthquakes in areas far away from active tectonic boundaries (i.e. intraplate earthquakes). In other words, I use field observations of fault deformation zones and fracture systems, structural analyses of mappable features in seismic reflection and aeromagnetic datasets, laboratory geomechanics testing of rock samples (obtained from the field and in drill cores), and finite element numerical modelling of deformational processes.
My ongoing research projects are focused on 1.) strain accommodation during the early-stages of continental rifting [Natural Laboratory: East African Rift Zones and Rio Grande Rift], 2.) basement structure and reactivation mechanics of basement-rooted faults in areas of induced seismicity [Natural Laboratory: Central-Eastern U.S.], and 3) structural geology and geomechanics of hydrothermally-altered sedimentary reservoirs.

I enjoy rock climbing. Also, I am very passionate about promoting racial and gender diversity in the Geosciences... because it is the right thing to do.
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The Malawi Active Fault Database: an onshore-offshore database for regional assessment of seismic hazard and tectonic evolution

Williams, J.N., Wedmore, L.N., Scholz, C.A., Kolawole, F., Wright, L.J., Shillington, D., Fagereng, A., Biggs, J., Mdala, H., Dulanya, Z. and Mphepo, F.
Submitted to G3. 
Preprint on ESSOAr


Published on 07 August 2021

Rift interaction zones and the stages of rift linkage in active segmented continental rift systems

Kolawole, F., Firkins, M.C., Al Wahaibi, T.S., Atekwana, E.A., Soreghan, M.J. (2021) Basin Research, 00:1-37.


#Black In Geoscience

EGU Blog post highlighting Black geoscientists, among whom is yours truly, as a show of support for #BlackLivesMatter and #BlackInSTEM movements.

University of Oklahoma's MCEE Press Release

OU press release article on my PhD paper published in #NatureGeoscience. The study reveals the susceptibility of Oklahoma’s rocks to wastewater injection-related earthquakes.



  • Sept. 2021   National Association of Black Geoscientists (NABG) 2021 Annual Conference

  • Oct. 2021     Geological Society of America (GSA) 2021 Annual Meeting

  • Dec. 2021    American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2021

Upcoming Invited Talks: 

  • October 2021 - GSA Annual Meeting, Session T46: Rifts, Rifted Margins, Backarcs, and Spreading Ridges: Understanding Extensional Processes across Tectonic Settings and Time Scales
    Talk Title: TBD

  • September 2021 - University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
    When Continents Stretch, Their Cracks Grow: Insights from Juvenile Rifting in East Africa

  • June 2021 - USGS Earthquake Science Center, Moffett Field, CA
    Waking the Sleeping Giants: Basement-Rooted Deformation and the Injection Induced Seismicity of U.S. Mid Continent.

  • June 2021 - NSF/GeoPRISMS Rift Ridge Margins meeting
    Key note talk on juvenile continental rifting.


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