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Folarin Kolawole, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Structural Geology, Columbia University | Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Hi! I am an Assistant Professor of Structural Geology at Columbia University, New York, U.S.A.

My research involves the integration of field observation of fault deformation zones and fracture systems, structural analyses of mappable features in
geophysical datasets, laboratory geomechanics testing of rock samples, and numerical modelling of deformational processes to understand:
1) how the earth’s crust and lithosphere breaks up to form new sedimentary basins and deform existing basins,
2) how industrial subsurface activities 'wake-up' ancient faults in the crust (i.e. anthropogenically induced earthquakes) in areas of wastewater injection, CO2 injection etc., and
3) how ancient faults are 'woken up' by natural tectonic forces in areas far away from active tectonic boundaries (i.e. geogenic intraplate earthquakes).
In summary, I integrate .

Current projects are 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 of basement-rooted faults in areas of induced seismicity [Natural Laboratory: Central U.S.], and natural intraplate seismicity [Natural Laboratory: Western & Southern Africa].

I am very passionate about promoting racial and gender diversity in the Geosciences... because it is the right thing to do. When I'm not working or spending time with family, you'll likely find me at a climbing gym or outdoor crag bouldering or sport climbing.
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Figure 1_Weakening Processes.jpg

Geodynamics of Continental Rift Initiation and Evolution

Brune, S., Kolawole, F., Olive, J-A., Stamps, S., Buck, W.R., Buiter, S. In review at Nature Reviews Earth & Environment. Preprint on EarthArXiv

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Published in Journ. Afr. Earth Sci. (Oct. 21, 2022)

Localization of Large Intraplate Earthquakes along Faulted Density-Contrast Boundaries: Insights from the 2017 Mw6.5 Botswana Earthquake

Chisenga, C., Kolawole, F., Rajaonarison, T., Atekwana, E.A., Yan, J. and Shemang, E.M. Journ. Afr. Earth Sci., p.104752.




  • August. 2022   Gordon Research Conference & Seminar (GRS, GRC), Maine

  • Dec. 2022    American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2022, Chicago

Upcoming Invited Talks: 
  • October 2022 - New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
    When Continents Stretch, Their 'Cracks' Grow: Insights from Active Rifting in East Africa

  • September 2022 - Syracuse University
    When Continents Stretch, Their 'Cracks' Grow: Insights from Active Rifting in East Africa


  • September 2022 - University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Structural Styles of Basement-Driven Fault Propagation within Sedimentary Sequences

  • August 2022 - Gordon Research Seminar, Rock Deformation 2022
    Panel discussion on Perspectives for Early Career Researchers


  • May 2022 - PEMEX Mexico
    Rift Interaction Zones: Insights from Active Rifts and Implications for Rifted Passive Margins


  • May 2022 - AAPG Petroleum Structure & Geomechanics Division
    Hiding in Plain Sight: Small-Throw Basement-Rooted Faults and the Induced Seismicity of Anadarko Basin

  • April 2022 - Geological Survey of Brazil
    Basement-Rooted Faults: Geophysical Imaging of Non-Unique but Unique Structural Aeromagnetic Anomalies

  • February 2022 - Georgia Tech., GA
    Continental Intraplate Seismicity of Africa: Controls of Basement, Fault Structure, and Regional Stress


Thanks for reaching out

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