Browse below for publications, figures, maps, data sets, and images about tectonics, stress in the lithosphere, fault activity, and earthquake hazard. You are welcome to download many of my finite-element and graphical programs, and to use any figures, maps, or images that you might find useful in teaching or research presentations.

Peter Bird

Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles

In 2013:    OLD pictures...

SPECIAL for 2022!   Jean & Peter's 50th Wedding Anniversary!


Fellow, Geological Society of America, 1989
Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 1990
Woollard Award, Geological Society of America, 2013

NEW!   TWO on-line Guides to (1) dynamic neotectonic modeling with Shells, and (2) kinematic neotectonic modeling with NeoKinema.


CITATION HISTORY from Google Scholar Citations

ORCID: 0000-0001-9034-1287

" The great thing is to last and get your work done and see and hear and learn and understand; and write when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damned much after. " [Ernest Hemingway]

Geographical index map

(Note: An abstract, marked by “A,” is only included if it has not yet been followed by a paper.)

82. Bird, P., and R. V. Ingersoll [2022] Kinematics and paleogeology of the western United States and northern Mexico computed from geologic and paleomagnetic data: 0 to 48 Ma, Geosphere, 18(5), 1563-1599, doi: org/10.1130/GES02474.1.

81. Shen, Z.-K., and P. Bird [2022] NeoKinema deformation model for the 2023 update to the U.S. National Seismic Hazard Model, Seismol. Res. Lett., 93(6), 3037-3052,, 16 pages.

80. Carafa, M. M. C., D. Di Naccio, C. Di Lorenzo, V. Kastelic, and P. Bird [2022] A meta-analysis of fault slip rates across the Central Apennines, J. Geophys. Res., 127, e2021JB023252;, 25 pages.

79. Carafa, M. M. C., A. Galvani, D. Di Naccio, V. Kastelic, C. Di Lorenzo, S. Miccolis, V. Sespe, G. Pietrantonio, C. Gizzi, A. Massucci, G. Valensise, and P. Bird [2020] Partitioning the ongoing extension of the Central Apennines (Italy): Fault slip rates and bulk deformation rates from geodetic and stress data, J. Geophys. Res., 125, e2019JB018956,, 23 pages.

78. Bird, P. [2018] Ranking some global forecasts with the Kagan information score, Seismol. Res. Lett., 89(4), 1272-1276, doi: 10.1785/0220180029.

77. Carafa, M. M. C., V. Kastelic, P. Bird, F. Maesano, and G. Valensise [2018] A "geodetic gap" in the Calabrian Arc: Evidence for a locked subduction megathrust?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 45(11), 1794-1804, doi: 10.1002/2017GL076554.

76. Tunini, L., I. Jimenez-Munt, M. Fernandez, J. Verges, and P. Bird [2017] Neotectonic deformation in central Eurasia: A geodynamic model approach, J. Geophys. Res., 122(11), 9461-9484, doi: 10.1002/2017JB014487.

75. Bird, P. [2017] Stress field models from Maxwell stress functions: southern California, Geophys. J. Int., 210(2), 951-963, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggx207.

74. Carafa, M. M. C., G. Valensise, and P. Bird [2017] Assessing the seismic coupling of shallow continental faults and its impact on seismic hazard estimates: a case-study from Italy, Geophys. J. Int., 209(7), 32-47, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggx002.

73. Carafa, M. M. C., and P. Bird [2016] Improving deformation models by discounting transient signals in geodetic data, 2: Geodetic data, stress directions, and long-term strain rates in Italy, J. Geophys. Res., 121(7), 5557-5575, doi: 10.1002/2016JB013038.

72. Bird, P., and M. M. C. Carafa [2016] Improving deformation models by discounting transient signals in geodetic data, 1: Concept and synthetic examples, J. Geophys. Res., 121(7), 5538-5556, doi: 10.1002/2016JB013056.

71. Rong, Y., P. Bird, and D. D. Jackson [2016] Earthquake potential and magnitude limits inferred from a geodetic strain-rate model of southern Europe, Geophys. J. Int., 205(1), 509-522, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggw018.

70. Carafa, M. M. C., S. Barba, and P. Bird [2015] Neotectonics and long-term seismicity in Europe and the Mediterranean region, J. Geophys. Res., 120(7), 5311-5342, doi: 10.1002/2014JB011751.

69. Bird, P., D. D. Jackson, Y. Y. Kagan, C. Kreemer, & R. S. Stein [2015] GEAR1: a Global Earthquake Activity Rate model constructed from geodetic strain rates and smoothed seismicity, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 105(5); 2538-2554, doi: 10.1785/0120150058.

68. Bird, P., and C. Kreemer [2015a] Revised tectonic forecast of global shallow seismicity based on version 2.1 of the Global Strain Rate Map, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 105(1), 152-166 plus electronic supplements, doi: 10.1785/0120140129.
    See also::
Bird, P., and C. Kreemer [2015b] Erratum to ..., Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 105(3), 1823-1824, doi: 10.1785/0120150068.

67. Curren, I. S., and P. Bird [2014] Formation and suppression of strike-slip fault systems, Pure Appl. Geophys., 171(11), 2899–2918, doi: 10.1007/s00024-014-0826-7.

66. Petersen, M. D., Y. Zeng, K. M. Haller, R. McCaffrey, W. C. Hammond, P. Bird, M. Moschetti, Z. Shen, J. Bormann, and W. Thatcher [2014] Geodesy- and geology-based slip-rate models for the Western United States (excluding California) national seismic hazard maps, U.S. Geol. Surv. Open-File Rep., 2013-1293, 38 pages (main report) + 5 Appendices,
Bird, P. [2014] Appendix C—Estimation of fault slip rates in the conterminous western United States with statistical and kinematic finite-element programs. 10 pages.

65. Field, E. H., G. P. Biasi, P. Bird, T. E. Dawson, K. R. Felzer, D. D. Jackson, K. M. Johnson, T. H. Jordan, C. Madden, A. J. Michael, K. R. Milner, M. T. Page, T. Parsons, P. M. Powers, B. E. Shaw, W. R. Thatcher, R. J. Weldon, II, and Y. Zeng [2013] Unified California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, version 3 (UCERF3)-The time-independent model, U.S. Geol. Surv. Open-File Rep., 2013-1165 (and Cal. Geol. Surv. Spec. Rep. 228, and Southern California Earthquake Center Pub. 1792), 97 pages (main report) + 20 Appendices;;
Parsons, T., K. M. Johnson, P. Bird, J. Bormann, T. E. Dawson, E. H. Field, W. C. Hammond, T. A. Herring, R. McCaffrey, Z.-K. Shen, W. R. Thatcher, R. J. Weldon, II, and Y. Zeng [2013] Appendix C—Deformation Models for UCERF3. 66 pages.
    Also condensed and republished as::
Field, E. H., R. J. Arrowsmith, G. P. Biasi, P. Bird, T. E. Dawson, K. R. Felzer, D. D. Jackson, K. M. Johnson, T. H. Jordon, C. Madden, A. J. Michael, K. R. Milner, M. T. Page, T. Parsons, P. M. Powers, B. E. Shaw, W. R. Thatcher, R. J. Weldon II, and Y. Zeng [2014] Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast version 3 (UCERF3)—The time-independent model, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 104(3), 1122-1180, doi: 10.1785/0120130164.

64. Chu, A., F. P. Schoenberg, P. Bird, D. D. Jackson, and Y. Y. Kagan [2011] Comparison of ETAS parameter estimates across different global tectonic zones, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 101(5), 2323–2339, doi: 10.1785/0120100115.

63. Austermann, J., Z. Ben-Avraham, P. Bird, O. Heidbach, G. Schubert, and J. M. Stock [2011] Quantifying the forces needed for the rapid change of Pacific plate motion at 6 Ma, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 307, 289-297, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2011.04.043.

62. Howe, T. C., and P. Bird [2010] Exploratory models of long-term crustal flow and resulting seismicity in the Alpine-Aegean orogen, Tectonics, 29, TC4023, doi:10.1029/2009TC002565.

61. Bird, P., C. Kreemer, and W. E. Holt [2010] A long-term forecast of shallow seismicity based on the Global Strain Rate Map, Seismol. Res. Lett., 81(2), 184-194, doi:10.1785/gssrl.81.2.184.
    N.B. For the latest update of this forecast, see #68 above.

60. Kagan, Y. Y., P. Bird, and D. D. Jackson [2010] Earthquake patterns in diverse tectonic zones of the globe, Pure Appl. Geoph., 167(6/7; Frank Evison volume), doi: 10.1007/s00024-010-0075-3.

59. Bird, P., Y. Y. Kagan, D. D. Jackson, F. P. Schoenberg, & M. J. Werner [2009] Linear and nonlinear relations between relative plate velocity and seismicity Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 99(6), 3097-3113, doi:10.1785/0120090082.

58. Bird, P. [2009] Long-term fault slip rates, distributed deformation rates, and forecast of seismicity in the western United States from joint fitting of community geologic, geodetic, and stress direction data sets, J. Geophys. Res., 114(B11), B11403, doi:10.1029/2009JB006317.

57. Bird, P., Z. Liu, and W. K. Rucker [2008] Stresses that drive the plates from below: Definitions, computational path, model optimization, and error analysis , J. Geophys. Res., 113, B11406, doi:10.1029/2007JB005460, plus electronic supplement.

56. Liu, Z., & P. Bird [2008] Kinematic modelling of neotectonics in the Persia-Tibet-Burma orogen, Geophys. J. Int., 172(2), 779-797; doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03640.x, + 3 digital file appendices.

55. Bird, P. [2007] Uncertainties in long-term geologic offset rates of faults: General principles illustrated with data from California and other western states, Geosphere, 3(6), 577-595; doi:10.1130/GES00127.1, + 9 digital file appendices.

54. Bird, P., and Z. Liu [2007] Seismic hazard inferred from tectonics: California, Seismol. Res. Lett., 78(1), 37-48.

53. Bird, P., Z. Ben-Avraham, G. Schubert, M. Andreoli, and G. Viola [2006] Patterns of stress and strain rate in southern Africa, J. Geophys. Res., 111(B8), B08402, doi:10.1029/2005JB003882.

52. Liu, Z., and P. Bird [2006] Two-dimensional and three-dimensional finite element modelling of mantle processes beneath central South Island, New Zealand, Geophys. J. Int., 165, 1003-1028.

51. Bird, P., and Y. Y. Kagan [2004] Plate-tectonic analysis of shallow seismicity: Apparent boundary width, beta, corner magnitude, coupled lithosphere thickness, and coupling in seven tectonic settings, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 94(6), 2380-2399, plus electronic supplement.

50. Bird, P. [2003] An updated digital model of plate boundaries, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 4(3), 1027, doi:10.1029/2001GC000252.

49. Liu, Z., and P. Bird [2002(b)] North America plate is driven westward by lower mantle flow, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29(24), 2164, doi:10.1029/2002GL016002.

48. Liu, Z., and P. Bird [2002(a)] Finite element modeling of neotectonics in New Zealand, J. Geophys. Res., 107(B12), 2328, doi:10.1029/2001JB001075.

47. Negredo, A. M., P. Bird, C. Sanz de Galdeano, and E. Buforn [2002] Neotectonic modeling of the Ibero-Maghrebian region, J. Geophys. Res., 107(B11), 2292, doi:10.1029/2001JB000743.

46. Bird, P., Y. Y. Kagan, and D. D. Jackson [2002] Plate tectonics and earthquake potential of spreading ridges and oceanic transform faults, in: S. Stein and J. T. Freymueller (editors), Plate Boundary Zones, Geodynamics Series, 30, 203-218, Am. Geophys. U., Washington, DC.

45. Bird, P. [2002] Stress-direction history of the western United States and Mexico since 85 Ma, Tectonics, 21(3), doi:10.1029/2001TC001319.

A55. Sato, K., and P. Bird [2002] Numerical modeling of neotectonics of Japan with SHELLS (abstract), Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting Supplement, SE22A-03.

AJ2. Sato, K., and P. Bird [2001] Numerical modeling of the neotectonics of Japan (2) (abstract, in Japanese), Programme and Abstracts, the Seismological Society of Japan, 2001 Fall Meeting, B70.

AJ1. Sato, K., and P. Bird [2000] Numerical modeling of the neotectonics of Japan (1) (abstract, in Japanese), Programme and Abstracts, the Seismological Society of Japan, 2000 Fall Meeting, C51.

44. Jimenez-Munt, I., M. Fernandez, M. Torne, and P. Bird, [2001] The transition from linear to diffuse plate boundary in the Azores-Gibraltar region: Results from a thin-sheet model , Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 192, 175-189.

43. Jimenez-Munt, I., P. Bird, and M. Fernandez [2001] Thin-shell modeling of neotectonics in the Azores-Gibraltar region , Geophys. Res. Lett., 28(6), p. 1083-1086.

42. Bird, P., and Z. Liu [1999] Global finite-element model makes a small contribution to intraplate seismic hazard estimation , Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 89(6), 1642-1647.

41. Bird, P. [1999] Thin-plate and thin-shell finite element programs for forward dynamic modeling of plate deformation and faulting, Computers & Geosciences, 25(4), 383-394.

40. Bird, P. [1998(b)] Kinematic history of the Laramide orogeny in latitudes 35°-49° N, western United States , Tectonics, 17, 780-801.

39. Bird, P. [1998(a)] Testing hypotheses on plate-driving mechanisms with global lithosphere models including topography, thermal structure, and faults , J. Geophys. Res., 103(B5), 10,115-10,129.

38. Kong, X., and P. Bird [1996] Neotectonics of Asia: Thin-shell finite- element models with faults, in: An Yin and T. M. Harrison (editors), The Tectonic Evolution of Asia, Cambridge University Press, 18-34.

37. Bird, P. [1996] Computer simulations of Alaskan neotectonics , Tectonics, 15, 225-236.

36. Bird, P., and Y. Li [1996] Interpolation of principal stress directions by nonparametric statistics: Global maps with confidence limits, J. Geophys. Res., 101, 5435-5443.

35. Kong, X., and P. Bird [1995] SHELLS: A thin-shell program for modeling neotectonics of regional or global lithosphere with faults , J. Geophys. Res., 100, 22,129-22,131.

33. Bird, P. [1995] Lithosphere dynamics and continental deformation , Rev. Geophys., Supplement: U.S. National Report to IUGG 1991-94, 379-383.

32. Bird, P. [1994] Isotopic evidence for preservation of Cordilleran lithospheric mantle during the Sevier-Laramide orogeny, western United States: Comment, Geology, 22 (7), 670-671.

31. Bird, P. and X. Kong [1994] Computer simulations of California tectonics confirm very low strength of major faults, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 106(2), 159-174.

30. Gratz, A. J., and P. Bird [1993(b)] Quartz dissolution: Theory of rough and smooth surfaces, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 57, 977-989.

29. Gratz, A. J., and P. Bird [1993(a)] Quartz dissolution: Negative crystal experiments and a rate law, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 57, 965-976.

A33. Kemp, D. V., and P. Bird [1992] Bending and dynamic support of subducted slabs (abstract), Eos Trans. AGU, 73(43), Fall Meeting Suppl., 386.

28. Bird, P. [1992] Deformation and uplift of North America in the Cenozoic era, in: K. R. Billingsley, H. U. Brown, III, and E. Derohanes (eds.), Scientific Excellence in Supercomputing: the IBM 1990 Contest Prize Papers, Baldwin Press, Athens, Georgia, 1, 67-105.

27. Bird, P. [1991] Lateral extrusion of lower crust from under high topography, in the isostatic limit, J. Geophys. Res., 96(B6), 10,275-10,286.

26. Gratz, A. J., P. Bird, and G. B. Quiro [1990] Dissolution of quartz in aqueous basic solution, 106-236° C: Surface kinetics of "perfect" crystallographic faces, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 54, 2911-2922.

A29. Bird, P., and D. R. Williams [1990] Lack of lateral extrusion on Venus limits thickness of the crust (abstract), Eos, 71, 1423.

25. Bird, P., and A. J. Gratz [1990] A theory for buckling of the mantle lithosphere and Moho during compressive detachments in continents, Tectonophysics, 177, 325-336.

24. Bird, P. [1989] New finite element techniques for modeling deformation histories of continents with stratified temperature-dependent rheologies, J. Geophys. Res., 94, (B4), 3967-3990.

22. Bird, P. [1988] Formation of the Rocky Mountains, western United States: a continuum computer model, Science, 239, 1501-1507.

21. Bird, P. [1986] Tectonics of the terrestrial planets, in: M. G. Kivelson (Ed.), The Solar System: Observations and Interpretations, Rubey Volume 4, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 176-206.

20. Bird, P. [1984(b)] Laramide crustal thickening event in the Rocky Mountain foreland and Great Plains, Tectonics, 3, 741-758.

18. Bird, P. [1984(a)] Hydration-phase diagrams and friction of montmorillonite under laboratory and geologic conditions, with implications for shale compaction, slope stability, and strength of fault gouge, Tectonophysics, 107, 235-260.

17. Bird, P., and J. Baumgardner [1984] Fault friction, regional stress, and crust-mantle coupling in southern California from finite element models, J. Geophys. Res., 89, 1932-1944.

16. Bird, P., and R. Rosenstock [1984] Kinematics of present crust and mantle flow in southern California, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 95, 946-957.

A15. Bird, P., and J. Baumgardner [1983] 3-D Finite element modeling of the Earth's free oscillations (abstract), Eos, 64, 754.

14. Bird, P. [1982] Reply re: Initiation of intracontinental subduction in the Himalaya, J. Geophys. Res., 86, 9323-9324.

13. Bird, P., and J. Baumgardner [1981] Steady propagation of delamination events, J. Geophys. Res., 86, 4891-4903.

12. Bird, P., and K. Piper [1980] Plane-stress finite-element models of tectonic flow in southern California, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 21, 158-175.

11. Bird, P. [1979] Continental delamination and the Colorado Plateau, J. Geophys. Res., 84, 7561-7571.

10. Bird, P., and D. A. Yuen [1979] The use of the minimum-dissipation principle in tectonophysics, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 45, 214-217.

9. Bird, P. [1978(b)] Finite-element modeling of lithosphere deformation: The Zagros collision orogeny, Tectonophysics, 50, 307-336.

8. Bird, P. [1978(c)] Stress and temperature in subduction shear zones: Tonga and Mariana, Geophys. J. R. Astron. Soc., 55, 411-434.

7. Bird, P. [1978(a)] Initiation of intracontinental subduction in the Himalaya, J. Geophys. Res., 83, 4975-4987.

6. Toksoz, M. N., and P. Bird [1977] Formation and evolution of marginal basins and continental plateaus, in: M. Talwani and W. C. Pitman, III (Ed.), Island Arcs, Deep Sea Trenches, and Back Arc Basins, Maurice Ewing Series 1, Am. Geophys. Union, Washington, 379-394.

5. Toksoz, M. N., and P. Bird [1977] Modeling of temperatures in continental convergence zones, Tectonophysics, 41, 181-193.

4. Bird, P., and M. N. Toksoz [1977] Strong attenuation of Rayleigh waves in Tibet, Nature, 266, 161-163.

3. Bird, P. [1976] Thermal and mechanical evolution of continental convergence zones: Zagros and Himalaya, Ph.D. dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 423 pages. [ 12-MB PDF file ]

2. Bird, P., M. N. Toksoz, and N. H. Sleep [1975] Thermal and mechanical models of continent-continent convergence zones, J. Geophys. Res., 80, 4405-4416.

1. Bird, P., and J. D. Phillips [1975] Oblique spreading near the Oceanographer Fracture, J. Geophys. Res., 80, 4021-4027.

Library of Finite-Element Codes for Geologic Modeling:

[click to enlarge]

I maintain a set of free downloadable files which includes 3 major thin-shell finite-element programs (Shells, NeoKinema, & Restore) that may be useful to geologists, geophysicists, and tectonophysicists. Associated map-plotting programs and other utilities for preparing inputs, and scoring outputs, are included. There are also tools for using tectonic models to compute either regional or global forecasts of long-term shallow seismicity, which is the basis of most estimations of long-term seismic hazard.

In previous years, these files were offered from an FTP server at the URL of However, in 2007 this material was moved to the present web site at URL of, where FTP service is not available.

UNFORTUNATELY, this new way of serving files has a major disadvantage: The current HTTP server (Microsoft IIS 6) will only serve files whose names include a “known extension.” The list of known extensions is rather short; those relevant on this web site are: .ai, .bas, .bin, .doc, .exe, .gif, .jpg, .mid, .mp3, .pdf, .txt, .xls., & .zip. The server does NOT recognize many other long-standing extensions found on files that I wish to serve to you, such as: .bat, .bi, .for, .f90, .mak, .nwc, .qlb, & .sib. Naturally, it does not recognize the filename extensions that I have created within my own suite of programs: .bcs, .dat, .dig, .eqc, .feg, .gps, .grd, .in, .mod, & .out. In every case, my work-around has been to add an extra .txt extension, e.g.:   Slippery.f90    becomes    Slippery.f90.txt    which will allow you to view the Fortran 90 code as text and download it as text. IN ALL CASES WHERE YOU DOWNLOAD FILES WITH TWO EXTENSIONS, THE SECOND EXTENSION OF .txt SHOULD BE REMOVED BY RENAMING THE FILE IMMEDIATELY AFTER DOWNLOADING. (Otherwise, the filenames will not match those in my documentation files.)

Now, there are two alternate ways to access these files:

(1) Download my whole archive of freeware, in Un-zip this into a new folder on your own computer. (Note: Windows 7+ can "Extract all" for you; you won't need any utility program.) Then, browse through it and discard whatever you don’t want.

(2) Enter the tree of folders at and navigate to the file(s) you want. Download each file that you want individually. (In Windows Internet Explorer, you would right-click on a file and select “Save Target As...”.) There is no way to download an entire folder with one command; but, see method (1) above.

For an overview outline of the available files, see "Bird_freeware_READ_ME.txt ", which is plain ASCII text.

The codes that you can obtain here are mostly in Fortran90 (.f90 files), except for some legacy versions and older utilities in Fortran77 (.for files). Treat all of these source-code files as ASCII text. You could compile them yourself for computer systems other than Windows (such as Unix, Linux, or MacOS), if you wish.

For most codes that are still in use, I also provide executable (.exe) file versions. Download these files as binary data, and either run them on a Windows computer, or within a Windows-emulator environment on Linux or Mac. Because there are now both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows, and because some users are interested in fast parallel processing (as opposed to slower but simpler sequential processing), I am gradually shifting the naming convention of my executable (.exe) files to include one of 4 suffixes:
...-Win32seq.exe (32-bit Windows, sequential processing)
...-Win32par.exe (32-bit Windows, parallel processing)
...-Win64seq.exe (64-bit Windows, sequential processing)
...-Win64par.exe (64-bit Windows, parallel processing)
(If you wish to try one of the parallel versions, then please first look into my folder "REQUIRED_libiomp5md.dll_file" for some necessary set-up steps.)

If you want to know what these programs do, and how they differ, a good starting point is my review paper:
Bird, P. [1999] Thin-plate and thin-shell finite element programs for forward dynamic modeling of plate deformation and faulting, Computers & Geosciences, 25(4), 383-394.

Most F-E modeling projects (using any of my 3 modern spherical-planet programs) will begin by creating a F-E grid (.feg file) with my interactive program OrbWin. Therefore, I have provided an on-line manual within OrbWin which includes brief introductions to ALL of my grid-preparation codes, F-E model applications, and F-E post-processing (mapping & scoring) programs. Thus, this manual is suggested reading for new users.

IMPORTANT!   TWO on-line Guides to (1) dynamic neotectonic modeling with Shells, and (2) kinematic neotectonic modeling with NeoKinema.

And, for dessert...

Geologic pictures from Iceland

A map of Middle-Earth

Fresh Choral Music Online

Random thoughts:

" If you are looking for the Lost Frontier, talk to us. "

Many of us are descended from pioneers: maybe from those early humans who migrated out of Africa, or the ones who chose to come settle in the New World. Or, maybe we just left our relatives on the east coast and moved to California. It's no surprise that we feel unsatisfied in a modern world that often seems completely fenced, civilized, and full of people. (A national park experience is nice, but after you wait 6 months for a reservation, and read the two pages of rules, it doesn't seem very wild.) Here in Earth, Planetary, & Space Sciences we know some routes back to the edge of the unknown. We could set you up with a mapping project in the deserts of Asia, South America, or Mexico. We cold train you to design and operate satellites that map the other planets and moons of our solar system. Or, we could teach you how (with a little tectonics, some stratigraphy, and some paleobiology) you can travel the most crowded landscapes and "see" them as they were in the Cretaceous. There's a lot of elbow room along the fourth axis of space-time.

" Science is the ultimate MMORPG. "

(MMORPG = Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, like Everquest or World of Warcraft.) It's online because that's where we search for literature, read e-journals, browse each others' Web pages, and download each others' data sets. It's role-playing because we must pretend to be logical, impartial, patient, and modest, even if most of us are quite different in person. It's a game --not a contest or a war-- because the total amount of goodness is increased by the playing. If you discover something, it doesn't hurt me. And if you tell me about it, we both benefit.

" My rant about stress, strain, and elasticity in planetary sciences "

If you are new to tectonic modeling, please take a few minutes to skim these 3 pages.

Now, to reward your patience in reading this far down, I am pleased to share with you the
Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Continental Drift, Seafloor Spreading, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Everything!

plate-driving synthesis (full-size image)    [Bird et al., 2008, JGR]

Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, the answer is not "42." There are actually at least 52 plates on Earth [Bird, 2003, G3].

P.B. 2018.11.30

How to get in touch:

E-mail to:

Fax to: (310) 825-2779 (shared with department; recipient must be clearly indicated)

Snail-mail to:

Peter Bird
Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567