Peter CliftPeter Clift 


Charles T. McCord Endowed Professor

Fellow - Geological Society of America (GSA)

Lyell Medal - Geological Society of London (GSL)

Murchison Prize awardee - Geological Society of London

Bachelor's Degree(s): BA, University of Oxford

Master's Degree: MA, University of Oxford

PhD: PhD Edinburgh University (Mesozoic-Cenozoic sedimentation and tectonics of the southern Greek Neotethys.)

Phone: (225) 578-2153

Fax: (225) 578-2302


Office: 355 Howe-Russell Building

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2004-2012, Kilgour Professor of Geology (6th Century Chair) at University of Aberdeen, UK.
2005-2007, Humboldt Foundation Fellow at Universität Bremen, Germany.
1999-2004, Associate Scientist, 1995-1999 Assistant Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
1993-1995, Staff Scientist, Ocean Drilling Program, Texas A&M University.
1990-1993, BP/Royal Society of Edinburgh research fellow, University of Edinburgh.

Area of Interest

Stratigraphic development of continental margins. Controls on erosion and sediment transport, especially theinteractions between climate and tectonics in Asia. The history of the Asian monsoon and its influence on orogenic processes in Asia. The origin of the continental crust and the recycling of continental material through subduction zones

Awards & Honors

GSA Fellow, Murchison Prize - Geological Society of London,  Fellow of the Hanse Institute for Advanced Studies Germany,  Visiting professor Chinese Academy of Sciences,  ECORD distinguished lecturer, USAC-IODP distinguished lecturer, Worcester College Oxford University prize for excellence

Selected Publications

Clift, P.D., Blusztajn, J. and Nguyen, D.A., 2006. Large-scale drainage capture and surface uplift in Eastern Tibet before 24 Ma. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L19403, doi:10.1029/2006GL027772.   

Clift, P.D., Lee, J. I., Blusztajn, J. and Clark, M.K., 2002. Erosional response of South China to arc rifting and monsoonal strengthening recorded in the South China Sea. Marine Geology, 184, 207-226.

Clift, P.D., and Plumb, R. A., 2008. The Asian Monsoon: Causes, History and Effects, Cambridge University Press,  pp. 270, ISBN  978-0-521-84799-5.

Limmer, D. R., P. Boening, L. Giosan, C. Ponton, C. M. Köhler, M. J. Cooper, A. R. Tabrez, and P. D. Clift. 2012. Geochemical Record of Holocene to Recent Sedimentation on the Western Indus continental shelf, Arabian Sea, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 13, doi:10.1029/2011GC003845.

Draut, A.E. and Clift, P.D., 2011. Basins in arc-continent collisions, in Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances, edited by Busby, C. and Perez, A.A., Blackwell, 347­368.

Alizai, A., Carter, A., Clift, P. D., VanLaningham, S., Williams, J.C., Kumar, R., 2011. Sediment provenance, reworking and transport processes in the Indus River by U-Pb dating of detrital zircon grains. Global and Planetary Change 76, 33­55.

Clift, P.D. and VanLaningham, S., 2010. A Climatic Trigger for a Major Miocene Unconformity in the Himalayan Foreland Basin. Tectonics, 29(TC5014), doi: 10.1029/2010TC002711.

Clift, P.D., 2010, Enhanced global continental erosion and exhumation driven by Oligo-Miocene climate change, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L09402, doi:10.1029/2010GL043067.

Clift, P.D., Vannucchi, P. and Phipps-Morgan, J., 2009.  Crustal redistribution, crust-mantle recycling and Phanerozoic evolution of the continental crust. Earth Science Reviews, 97, 80-104, doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2009.10.003

Clift, P.D., Hodges, K., Heslop, D., Hannigan, R., Hoang, L.V. and Calvès, G., 2008. Greater Himalayan exhumation triggered by Early Miocene monsoon intensification. Nature Geoscience, 1, 875­880, doi:10.1038/ngeo351.

Clift, P.D., Lee, G.H., Nguyen, A.D., Barckhausen, U., Hoang, V.L., and Sun, Z., 2008. Seismic reflection evidence for a Dangerous Grounds mini-plate: No extrusion origin for the South China Sea, Tectonics, 27, TC3008, doi:10.1029/2007TC002216.

Clift, P.D., Giosan, L., Blusztajn, J., Campbell, I.H., Allen, C., Tabrez, A.R., Danish, M., Rabbani, M.M., Alizai, A., Carter, A., and Lückge, A., 2008. Holocene erosion of the Lesser Himalaya triggered by intensified summer monsoon. Geology, 36 (1), 79-82.

Clift, P.D., 2006. Controls on the erosion of Cenozoic Asia and the flux of clastic sediment to the ocean, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 241,571­580

Clift, P.D. and Blusztajn, J., 2005. Reorganization of the western Himalayan river system after five million years ago. Nature, 438, 1001­1003, doi:10.1038/nature04379.

Clift, P.D. and Vannucchi, P., 2004. Controls on tectonic accretion versus erosion in subduction zones: Implications for the origin and recycling of the continental crust. Reviews of Geophysics, 42, RG2001, doi:10.1029/2003RG000127.

Draut, A.E., Clift, P.D., Hannigan, R., Layne, G.D. and Shimizu, N., 2002. A model for continental crust genesis by arc accretion: rare earth element evidence from the Irish Caledonides. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 203 (3­4), 861­877.


Monsoons and mountains article

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