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, NY. My research involves the integration of field structural geology, geophysics, geomechanics, and modelling to understand 1) how the earth’s crust and 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. 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 utilize field observations of fault deformation zones and fracture systems, structural analyses of mappable structures in seismic reflection and potential fields geophysics datasets, laboratory geomechanics testing of rock samples (obtained from the field and in drill cores), and finite element numerical modelling of deformational processes.

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


Published on 1 April 2022

The Malawi Active Fault Database: An onshore-offshore database for regional assessment of seismic hazard and tectonic evolution

Williams, J.N., Wedmore, L.N.J., Scholz, C.A., Kolawole, F. et al.(2022).Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 23, e2022GC010425. doi: 10.1029/2022GC010425

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  • Sept. 2022   National Association of Black Geoscientists (NABG) 2022 Annual Conference

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

Upcoming Invited Talks: 
  • September 2022 - Syracuse University

  • 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


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