Delores M. Robinson

Professor|Graduate Program Director

  • (205) 348-4034
  • 2015 Bevill


BS, Guilford College, 1994

MS, Vanderbilt University, 1997

PhD, University of Arizona, 2001

Courses Taught

•Comparative Structural Geology (Graduate. GEO 565)
•Global Tectonics (Graduate. GEO 583)
•Graduate Writing “Communicating Geology” (GEO525)
•The Dynamic Earth (GEO 101)
•Field Camp (GEO 496)

Curriculum Vitae

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Research Interests


The 2016-2017 academic year has begun and our group is large with 8 graduate students plus graduated members are still publishing papers.

-Welcome new MS student, Claire Battistella!

-Subho published a paper in Tectonics in 2016.

-Will has a full time job at the Alabama Geologic Survey is coming down to the finish line for his Ph.D.

-Liz joined our field team in Nepal for field work in April-May 2016.

-Dido and Gourab completed field work in NW India in May and June 2016.

-Liz, Dido, and Gourab will present at AGU in San Francisco in December 2016.

-Caleb, Lee and Lexie presented at AAPG Calgary in June 2016.

-Caleb has submitted his MS and will graduate in December 2016.

-Lee and Lexie are working on revision to their theses so that they can graduate soon.



Will Jackson, 5th year of his Ph.D., He is working on the Mesozoic evolution of East Tibet.

Somiddho (Dido) Bosu, 3rd year Ph.D. He is working on his dissertation proposal and his first paper.

Gourab Bhattacharya, 3rd year Ph.D. He will completing his dissertaion proposal in the Spring 2016 and is working on his first paper.

Lee Drago, 3rd year M.S., He is working on the source to reservoir migration of the Mississippian reservoirs in the Black Warrior Basin.

Lexie Taggart, 3rd year M.S. She is working on the basement structure of the Gulf of Mexico.

Liz Olree, 2nd year M.S. She is working on thrust belt kinematics in central Nepal.

Claire Battistella, 1st year M.S. She is working on thrust belt kinematics in far western Nepal.



Marty Gates, M.S. Fall 2006, “Structure of the Wills Valley Anticline in the Vicinity of Mentone, Alabama”, employed at U.S. Corps of Engineers

Ryan Bailey, M.S. Fall 2007, ”Seismic Interpretation and Structural Restoration of a Seismic Profile through the Southern Appalachian Thrust belt under Gulf Coastal Plain Sediments”€, employed and a manager at Anadarko Oil Company

Rachael Czechowskyj, M.S. Fall 2007, “Kinematic Reconstruction of the Sevier Thrust Belt using the Synorogenic Beverhead Group, Southwest Montana”, employed at Murphy Oil Company

Subodha Khanal, M.S. Fall 2009, “Upper Crustal Shortening and Forward Modeling of the Himalayan Fold-Thrust Belt along the Budhi-Gandaki River, Central Nepal”

Lance Wilson, M.S. Fall 2011, “Basement Architecture and Tectonic Evolution of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico”, employed at Marathon Oil Company

Bryan Hunt, M.S. Spring 2013, “Regional Norphlet Facies Correlation, Analysis and Implications for Paleostructure and Provenance, Eastern Gulf of Mexico” employed at Sandridge Oil Company

Subodha Khanal, Ph.D. December 2014 “Structural and Kinematic Evolution of the Himalayan thrust belt, Central Nepal”

Subho Mandal, Ph.D. December 2014 “Strucural, Kinematic and Geochronologic Evolution of the Himalayan fold-thrust belt in Kumaum, Uttaranchal, Northwest India” employed at Core Labs

Craig Cato, M.S. December 2014 “Seismic Interpretation and Structural Analysis of teh Alleghanian fold-thrust belt in Central Alabama” employed at Alabama Oil and Gas Board

Ian Hunter, M.S. December 2014 “Origin and Development of the Apalachicola Basin”

Andrea Gregg, M.S. December 2014 “Tectonic Evolution of the West Florida Basin, Eastern Gulf of Mexico”

Caleb Essex M.S. December 2016 “Regional Correlation of facies within the Haynesville Formation from Onshore Alabama: Analysis and implications for provenance and paleostructure”


Graduate Program Director and Chair of the Graduate Program Committee

Lab Coordinator and Supervisor– All Dynamic Earth Labs (14-16 TAs)

Field Camp Committee

Assessment Committee

Tenure, Promotion, and Retention Committee


2014-2016 PUBLICATIONS– Papers & Presentations (see C.V. for full publication list)

2016 Mandal, S., Robinson, D.M., Kohn, M.J., Khanal, S., Das, O., and Bose, S., Zircon U-Pb ages and Hf isotopes of the Askot klippe, Kumaun, northwest India: Implications for Paleoproterozoic tectonics, basin evolution and associated metallogeny of the northern Indian cratonic margin, Tectonics, accepted manuscript online March 11, doi: 10.1002/2015TC004064.

2015 Weislogel, A.L., Hunt, B., Lisi, A., Lovell, T., and Robinson, D., Late Jurassic Continental Sediment Dispersal and Paleogeography of North America: Constraints from detrital zircon provenance of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico Subsurface, accepted, GSA Special Publications.

2015 Khanal, S., Robinson, D.M., Kohn, M.J., and Mandal, S., Evidence for a far traveled thrust sheet in the Greater Himalayan thrust system, and an alternative model to building the Himalaya, Tectonics, v. 34, p. 31-52, doi:10.1002/2014TC003616.

2015 Mukherjee, S., Carosi, R., van der Beek, P., Mukherjee, B.K, and Robinson, D.M., Tectonics of the Himalaya: an introduction, Geological Society of London Special Publications, 412, doi: 10.1144/SP412.

2016 Gomes, S.W., Weislogel, A.L., Barbeau, Jr., D.L., and Robinson, D.M., Neoproterozoic provenance of the Early Jurassic Norphlet Formation, Mobile Bay, Alabama: Mexican and South American Connection with Eastern Gulf of Mexico through Continental Sclae Paleo Drainage System; Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 48.

2016 Drago, L.W., Robinson, D.M., and Lu, Y., Comparison of crude oils found in Mississippian reservoir rock and potential source rocks in the Black Warrior basin, southeastern United States, AAPG Abstracts with Programs.

2016 Essex, C.W., Robinson, D.M., Weislogel, A.L., and Barbeau, Jr., D.L, Regional Correlation of Facies within the Haynesville Formation from onshore Alabama: Analysis and Implications for Provenance and Paleo-Structure, AAPG Abstracts with Programs.

2016 Taggart, C., Robinson, D.M., Weislogel, A.L., and Essex, C.W., Structural control on Upper Jurassic sedimentation south of the Middle Ground Arch, Eastern Gulf of Mexico, AAPG Abstracts with Programs.

2016 Bosu, S.*, Robinson, D.M., and Bhattacharya, G., Kinematic Analysis of the Almora Klippe: Testing Tectonic Models of the Himalayan Thrust Belt, SC GSA Abstracts with Programs.

2015 Robinson, D.M., Jackson, W.T., Jr., Weislogel, A.L., Shang, F., and Jian, X., Crustal Development of the Eastern Tibetan Plateau Preceding and Post India-Asia continent-continent collision: Insights from terrestrial ‘redbed’ basins in the Yidun Arc Terrane, AGU Abstracts with Programs.

2015 Robinson, D.M., and Weislogel, A.L., Structural Controls on Sediment Transport Pathways in the Jurassic Eastern Gulf of Mexico, GSA Abstracts with Program, v. 47.

2015 Jackson, W.T., Jr., Robinson, D.M., Weislogel, A.L., Shang, F., and Jian, X., 2015, Utilizing Detrital Zircon Data to Understand Indistinct Provenance Age Signatures Throughout the Eastern Tibetan Plateau, GSA Abstracts with Program, v. 47.

2015 Mandal, S., Robinson, D.M., Kohn, M.J., Das, O., and Khanal, S., Upper Crustal Structure and Shortening in the Himalayan thrust belt in Kumaun, Northwest India, GSA Abstracts with Program, v. 47.

2015 Das, O., Robinson, D.M., Andrus, F., Mandal, S.*, Sen, K., and Khanal, S., Stable Isotopic Variation of the Gangolihat and Deoban Formations in Garhwal-Kumaun, Northwestern India: Implications for the Correlation of the Lower Lesser Himalayan Stratigraphy, GSA Abstracts with Program, v. 47.

2015 Shang, F., Weislogel, A.W., Robinson, D.M., Shikha, S., Ruiqian, C., Jackson, W.T., Jr., Qi, Z., and Tripati, A., 2015, Low Latitude Terrestrial Climate of Southeastern Tibet Revealed Through Clumped Isotope Thermometry: Implications for the Late Cretaceous Elevation History of Southeastern Tibet, GSA Abstracts with Program, v. 47.

2015 Weislogel, A., and Robinson, D., Structural and Paleogeographic Controls on Sediment Transport Pathways in the Jurassic Eastern Gulf of Mexico: Implications for Along-Strike Provenance Variation Within the Norphlet Erg, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Abstracts with Programs.




Current Research Projects


I enjoy discovering and researching how orogenic systems evolve from the proto-magmatic arc to fully mature collapsing systems. I want to understand how mountain belts grow and change in different tectonic environments. I combine tectonics, structural geology, geochemistry, geochronology, sedimentology, petrology, and field mapping to decipher the evolved structural architecture in orogenic systems. I concentrate my effort in the Himalaya–Nepal, India, Bhutan, southern Tibet. My research in the U.S. focuses on the development of the Appalachian Mountains in Alabama and the Cordilleran in Montana, and the rifting of Pangea and evolution of the Gulf of Mexico.


NW India: The PhD of Subho Mandal was focused in NW India and was funded by NSF. This project was to determine whether the channel flow model or the critical taper model best explains the geologic features in this part of India. I travelled twice to NW India and Subho did 4 seasons of research. Subho published a paper about this work (Mandal et al., 2014) and is working on more papers. PhD students, Dido and Gourab, will focus their research in this region.

Nepal: My Ph.D. was completed on the structure, stratigraphy, and kinematic history of western Nepal. I have walked 100′€™s of kilometers in the region and produced a geologic map (Robinson et al., 2006) and balanced cross sections (Robinson, 2008). Subodha completed his dissertation in Central Nepal. Recently, we have published four papers about Nepal (Robinson and DeCelles, 2014; Khanal et al., 2014, Robinson and Martin, 2014; Khanal et al., 2015) and are working on more.

Eastern Tibet: Amy Weislogel (WVU) and I have a funded NSF collaborative research project in Eastern China that began in July 2011. We are working near Garze on the structure, stratigraphy, and sedimentology of hypothesized Mesozoic Basins. The objective is to understand the tectonic history of the basin with a goal of determining the pre-Cenozoic contribution to the building of the Tibetan Plateau. This is the subject of Will Jackson’s PhD.

Southern Tibet: In 2006, Nadine McQuarrie and I traveled to southern Tibet to look at the Tibetan fold-thrust belt. We flew into Lhasa and traveled by vehicle southward to Qomolangma and eastward toward Kodari. We had a Chinese field assistant, Sunxia, from Chengdu. This is an active research project for me. I am interested in the stratigraphy of the Tethyan sediments and how those sediments correlate to rocks of the same age in the Himalayan fold-thrust belt. Students interested in working on this project have to possess the qualities of determination, patience, curiosity, and a willingness to deal with the unknown.

Bhutan: In 2006, I went with Nadine McQuarrie to Bhutan (McQuarrie et al., 2008). Djordie Grujic was also on this trip. I went as an advisor to teach her the Lesser Himalayan stratigraphy. In the process, I gained a greater understanding of how the Lesser Himalayan stratigraphy changes across the Himalayan arc. I am not actively working in Bhutan but using what I learned in other papers. If a student wished to work in Bhutan, I would try to make that happen.


I finish the 5th year of working on a project in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico with Amy Weislogel (WVU) in conjunction with Murphy Oil and Exploration Company and Spectrum. This project involves understanding the dynamics of the opening of the Gulf of Mexico, particularly the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and understanding the depositional pathways of the Upper Jurassic Norphlet Formation. See Lance and Bryan in the student section for more information about what they are did. Ian Hunter and Andrea Gregg are the two most recent graduates. This project combines seismic data, well data, and core data in try to determine how the Eastern Gulf of Mexico opened. I anticipate that this project will be funded for another 3 years. Caleb Essex will likely work on this project.


The University of Alabama is located just within the Black Warrior Basin, which means, unfortunately, the university is not in the Appalachian fold-thrust belt. I have had three students (Gates, 2006; Bailey, 2007; Cato, 2014) work on seismic data from the fold-thrust belt and produce balanced cross sections. I also have an interest in tying the synorogenic sediment from the foreland basin to the rocks from the different terranes in the Appalachians. I have not made much progress on that research and would welcome a student who wanted to pursue it.


I am interested in using synorogenic sediment to understand how a thrust belt evolves over time. Montana is a great spot to do this because not a lot of work has been done in the region. One of my student has completed an M.S. thesis in the Beaverhead Conglomerate in Bannack, near Dillon, Montana (Czeckowskyj, 2007) and relating that to the evolution of the Sevier fold-thrust belt. Students should contact me if they are interested in studying the sediments to determine how a thrust belt works.


Research Group

Structural Geology and Tectonics