John Platt

Professor of Earth Sciences

Contact Information
E-mail: jplatt@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 821-1194
Office: ZHS 3153

LINKS
Curriculum Vitae
Faculty Profile on Departmental Website
Personal Website
 

Education

  • B.A. Geology, Oxford University, 1/1969
  • Ph.D. Geology, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1/1973


  • Postdoctoral Training

    • University Research Fellow, University of Adelaide, 01/1975-08/1976  

    Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    Tenure Track Appointments
    • Yates-Goldsmid Professor, University College London, 01/01/1995-01/01/2004  
    • Tutorial Fellow, St. Anne's College, Oxford, 01/01/1979-01/01/1994  
    • University Lecturer, Oxford University, 01/01/1979-01/01/1994  
    • University Lecturer, City University of Amsterdam, 01/01/1975-01/01/1979  

    Visiting and Temporary Appointments
    • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Visiting Professor, University of Kyoto, Spring 2000   
    • Visiting Professor, University of Calabria, Italy, Spring 1985   

    Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Professor Platt studies the processes of deformation in the Earth's crust and lithosphere, using a unique combination of field, theoretical and quantitative approaches. A highly lauded scholar in the fields of structural geology and geodynamics and the author of more than 65 publications, his research interests include current and historical tectonic plate margin interactions, collisional mountain chains and tectonophysics, among many other topics.
    Research Specialties
    Tectonics, Structural analysis, Microstructure
    Detailed Statement of Research Interests
    My primary interests are in the mechanics of crustal deformation, particularly on convergent plate boundaries and in collisional orogens. My research tools include field-based structural geology, integrated with the mechanical analysis of large-scale dynamic systems such as thrust belts and collisional plateaux. This is supported by microstructural analysis to elucidate deformation mechanisms, rheology, and crustal strength; thermobarometry and geochronology to define pressure-temperature-time paths of rocks; and paleomagnetism to determine the rotational history. I work in collaboration with scientists from many other disciplines, including petrology, geochronology, sedimentology, observational geophysics, and geodynamics. My current research projects include (1) the origin and structural significance of detachment faults in extended orogens, such as the Basin & Range Province of North America and the back-arc basins of the Mediterranean; (2) the exhumation of high pressure rocks in accretionary and collisional orogens, such as the Franciscan Complex of California and the Alps, (3) the formation of orogenic arcs, such as the Gibraltar arc; and 4) the distribution of strain and rotation in continental transforms, such as the San Andreas transform system of California.

    Funded Research

    Contracts and Grants Awarded
    • Collaborative Research: PICASSO: Program to Investigate Convective Alboran Sea System Overturn (National Science Foundation), J.P. Platt, T.W. Becker, $720,001, 06/2008-05/2013  
    • Crustal strength profiles across the brittle-ductile transition (National Science Foundation), J. P. Platt, $267,112, 06/2008-05/2011  
    • Bookshelf slip on rotating panels of sinistral faults (Southern California Earthquake Center), John Platt, Thorsten Becker, $15,000, 02/01/2010-01/31/2011  
    • Acquisition of Integrated EBSD/EDS Attachments and Software for the Field Emission SEM at the Univer (NSF), John P Platt, $142,017, 2009-2010   
    • The 3-D strain-rate field in California and its implications for (United States Geological Survey), J.P. Platt, T.W. Becker, $71,113, 12/2008-11/2009  
    • Testing the along-strike variability in long-term slip rate on the southern San Andreas fault (Southern California Earthquake Center), J. P. Platt, $30,000, 01/02/2008-01/31/2009  
    • Improved Determination of a Geologic Slip Rate for the southern San Andreas Fault (Southern California Earthquake Center), J.P. Platt, $35,000, 02/01/2007-01/31/2008  

    Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

    • Southern California Earthquake Center, http://www.scec.org/

    Publications


    Journal Article
    • Platt, J. P., Behr, W. M. (2011). Deep structure of lithospheric fault zones. Geophysical Research Letters.
    • Platt, J. P., Behr, W. M. (2011). Grainsize evolution in ductile shear zones: implications for strain localization and the strength of the lithosphere. Journal of Structural Geology. Vol. 33, pp. 537-550.
    • Platt, J. P., Behr, W. M. (2011). Lithospheric shear zones as constant stress experiments. Geology. Vol. 39, pp. 127-130.
    • Behr, W. M., Platt, J. P. (2011). A naturally constrained stress profile through the middle crust in an extensional terrane. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 303, pp. 181-192.
    • Cooper, F. J., Platt, J. P., Anczkiewicz, R. (2011). Constraints on early Franciscan subduction rates from 2-D thermal modeling. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 312, pp. 69-79.
    • Platt, J. P., Becker, T. W. (2010). Where is the real transform boundary in California?. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. Vol. 11, pp. Q06012.
    • Cooper, F. J., Platt, J. P., Platzman, E. S., Grove, M. J., Seward, G. (2010). Opposing shear senses in a subdetachment mylonite zone: Implications for core complex mechanics. Tectonics. Vol. 29, pp. TC4019.
    • Behr, W. M., Rood, D. H., Fletcher, K. E., Guzman, N., Finkel, R., Hanks, T. C., Hudnut, K. W., Kendrick, K. J., Platt, J. P., Sharp, W. D., Weldon, R. J., Yule, J. D. (2010). Uncertainties in slip-rate estimates for the Mission Creek strand of the southern San Andreas fault at Biskra Palms Oasis, southern California. Geological Society of America Bulletin. Vol. 122, pp. 1360-1377.
    • Cooper, F. J., Platt, J. P., Anczkiewicz, R., Whitehouse, M. J. (2010). Footwall dip of a core complex detachment fault: thermobarometric constraints from the northern Snake Range (Basin and Range, USA). Journal of Metamorphic Geology. Vol. 28, pp. 997-1020.
    • Wallis, S. R., Anczkiewicz, R., Endo, S., Aoya, M., Platt, J. P., Thirlwall, M., Hirata, T. (2009). Plate movements, ductile deformation and geochronology of the Sanbagawa belt, SW Japan: tectonic significance of 89–88 Ma Lu–Hf eclogite ages. Journal of Metamorphic Geology. Vol. 27, pp. 93–105.
    • Endo, S., Wallis, S., Hirata, T., Anczkiewicz, R., Platt, J. P., Thirlwall, M., Asahara, Y. (2009). Age and early metamorphic history of the Sanbagawa belt: Lu–Hf and P–T constraints from the Western Iratsu eclogite. Journal of Metamorphic Geology. Vol. 27, pp. 371-384.
    • Platt, J. P., Kaus, B. J., Becker, T. W. (2008). The mechanics of continental transforms: an alternative approach with applications to the San Andreas system and the tectonics of California. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 274, pp. 380-391.
    • Jiménez-Munt, I., Fernàndez, M., Vergés, J., Platt, J. P. (2008). Lithosphere structure underneath the Tibetan Plateau inferred from elevation, gravity and geoid anomalies. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 267, pp. 276-289.
    • Platt, J. P. (2007). From orogenic hinterlands to Mediterranean-style back-arc basins: A comparative analysis. Journal of the Geological Society of London/Geological Society of London. Vol. 164, pp. 297–311.
    • Platt, J. P. (2006). Early Miocene continental subduction and rapid exhumation in the western Mediterranean. Geology/Geological Society of America. Vol. v. 34, pp. p. 981–984; doi.
    • Broadley, L., Platzman, E. S., Platt, J. P. (2006). Paleomagnetism and the tectonic evolution of the Ionian zone, northwestern Greece. Geological Society of America Special Paper. Vol. Special Paper 409, pp. pp.137-155.
    • Jiménez-Munt, I., Platt, J. P. (2006). Influence of mantle dynamics on the topographic evolution of the Tibetan Plateau: Results from numerical modelling. Tectonics. Vol. 25, pp. TC6002.
    • Jiménez-Munt, I., Platt, J. P. (2005). Gravitational and tectonic forces controlling postcollisional deformation and the present-day stress field of the Alps: Constraints from numerical modeling. Tectonics/American Geophysical Union. Vol. v. 24, pp. TC5009, doi.
    • Platt, J. P., Kelley, S. P., Carter, A., Orozco, M. (2005). Timing of tectonic events in the Alpujárride Complex, Betic Cordillera, S. Spain. Journal of the Geological Society, London. Vol. 162, pp. 451-462.
    • Anczkiewicz, R., Platt, J. P., Thirlwall, M., Wakabayashi, J. (2004). Franciscan subduction off to a slow start: Evidence from high-precision Lu-Hf garnet ages on high grade-blocks. Earth and Planetary Science letters/Elsevier. Vol. v, pp. 225, p. 147-161. doi.
    • Orozco, M., Platt, J. P. (2004). Internal structure of a collapsed terrain: The Lujar syncline and its significance for the fold- and sheet-structure of the Alborán Domain (Betic Cordilleras, Spain). Tectonophysics/Elsevier Science. Vol. v, pp. 385, p. 85-104..
    • Platzman, E., Platt, J. P. (2004). Kinematics of a twisted core complex: Oblique axis rotation in an extended terrane (Betic Cordillera, southern Spain). Tectonics. Vol. 23, pp. 6.
    • Platt, J. P., Allerton, S., Kirker, A., Mandeville, C., Mayfield, A., Platzman, E. S., Rimi, A. (2003). The ultimate arc: differential displacement, oroclinal bending, and vertical axis rotation in the External Betic-Rif arc. Tectonics. Vol. 22, pp. 1017.
    • Platt, J. P., Argles, T. W., Carter, A., Kelley, S. P., Whitehouse, M. J., , L. L. (2003). Exhumation of the Ronda peridotite and its crustal envelope: constraints from thermal modelling a PT-time array. Journal of the Geological Society, London. Vol. 160, pp. 655-677.
    • Platt, J. P., Whitehouse, M. J., Kelley, S. P., Carter, A., L, H. (2003). Simultaneous extensional exhumation across the Alboran basin: Implications for the causes of late-orogenic extension. Geology. Vol. 31, pp. 259-262.
    • Platt, J. P., Whitehouse, M. J. (2003). Dating high-grade metamorphism: constraints from rare-earth elements in zircon and garnet. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology. Vol. 145, pp. 61-74.
    • Platzman, E., Platt, J. P., Kelley, S. P. (2000). Large clockwise rotations in an extensional allochthon, Alboran Domain (southern Spain). Journal of the Geological Society, London. Vol. 157, pp. 1187-1197.
    • Platt, J. P. (2000). Calibrating the bulk rheology of active obliquely convergent thrust and accretionary wedges from surface profiles and velocity distributions. Tectonics. Vol. 19, pp. 529-548.
    • Argles, T. W., Platt, J. P. (1999). Stepped fibres in sillimanite-bearing veins: valid shear-sense indicators in high grade rocks?. Journal of Structural Geology. Vol. 21, pp. 153-160.
    • Platt, J. P., Argles, T. W., Platt and D.J. Waters, J. P. (1999). Attenuation and excision of a crustal section during extensional exhumation: The Carratraca Massif, Betic Cordillera, Southern Spain. Journal of the Geological Society, London. Vol. 156, pp. 149-162.
    • Platt, J. P., Whitehouse, M. J. (1999). Early Miocene high-temperature metamorphism and rapid exhumation in the Betic Cordillera (Spain): evidence from U-Pb zircon ages. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 171, pp. 591-605.
    • Soto, J. I., Platt, J. P. (1999). Petrological and structural evolution of high-grade metamorphic rocks from the floor of the Alboran Sea basin, Western Mediterranean. Journal of Petrology. Vol. 40, pp. 21-60.
    • Turner, S. P., Platt, J. P., George, R. M., Kelley, S. P., Pearson, D. G., Nowell, G. M. (1999). Magmatism associated with orogenic collapse of the Betic-Alboran Domain, S. Spain. Journal of Petrology. Vol. 40, pp. 1011-1036.
    • Kirker, A. I., Platt, J. P. (1998). Unidirectional slip vectors in the western Betic Cordillera: implications for the formation of the Gibraltar arc. Journal of the Geological Society, London. Vol. 155, pp. 193-208.
    • Platt, J. P., Soto, J. -., Whitehouse, M. J., Hurford, A. J., Kelley, S. P. (1998). Thermal evolution, rate of exhumation, and tectonic significance of metamorphic rocks from the floor of the Alboran extensional basin, western Mediterranean. Tectonics. Vol. 17, pp. 671-689.
    • Platt, J. P., Soto, J. I., Comas, M. C., Shipboard Scientists, L. 1. (1996). Decompression and high-temperature - low-pressure metamorphism in the exhumed floor of an extensional basin, Alboran Sea, western Mediterranean. Geology. Vol. 24, pp. 447-450.
    • Lonergan, L., Platt, J. P. (1995). The Malaguide-Alpujarride boundary: a major extensional contact in the Internal Zone of the eastern Betic Cordillera, SE Spain. Journal of Structural Geology. Vol. 17, pp. 1655-1671.
    • Platt, J. P., Allerton, S., Kirker, A., Platzman, E. S. (1995). Origin of the western Subbetic arc, southern Spain: palaeomagnetic and structural evidence. Journal of Structural Geology. Vol. 17, pp. 765-775.
    • Vissers, R. L., Platt, J. P., van der Wal, D. (1995). Late orogenic extension of the Betic Cordillera and the Alboran Domain: A lithospheric view. Tectonics. Vol. 14, pp. 786-803.
    • Allerton, S., Reicherter, K., Platt, J. P. (1994). A structural and palaeomagnetic study of a section through the eastern Subbetic, southern Spain. Journal of the Geological Society, London. Vol. 151, pp. 659-668.
    • Lonergan, L., Platt, J. P., Gallagher, L. (1994). The Internal-External Zone Boundary in the eastern Betic Cordillera, SE Spain. Journal of Structural Geology. Vol. 16, pp. 175-188.
    • Platt, J. P., England, P. C. (1994). Convective removal of lithosphere beneath mountain belts: Thermal and mechanical consequences. American Journal of Science. Vol. 294, pp. 307-336.
    • Platzman, E. S., Platt, J. P., Tapirdamaz, C., Sanver, M., Rundle, C. C. (1994). Why are there no clockwise rotations along the North Anatolian Fault Zone, Turkey?. Journal of Geophysical Research. Vol. 99, pp. 21705-21715.
    • Allerton, S., Lonergan, L., Platt, J. P., Platzman, E. S., McClelland, E. (1993). Palaeomagnetic rotations in the eastern Betic Cordillera, southern Spain. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 119, pp. 225-241.
    • Platt, J. P. (1993). Mechanics of oblique convergence. Journal of Geophysical Research. Vol. 98, pp. 16239-16256.
    • Platzman, E. S., Platt, J. P., Olivier, P. (1993). Palaeomagnetic rotations and fault kinematics in the Rif arc of Morocco. Journal of the Geological Society, London. Vol. 150, pp. 707-718.
    • Wallis, S. R., Platt, J. P., Knott, S. D. (1993). Recognition of syn-convergence extension in accretionary wedges with examples from the Calabrian arc and the Eastern Alps. American Journal of Science. Vol. 293, pp. 463-495.
    • Watts, A. B., Platt, J. P., Buhl, P. (1993). Tectonic evolution of the Alboran Sea basin. Basin Research. Vol. 5, pp. 153-177.
    • Platt, J. P. (1993). Exhumation of high-pressure metamorphic rocks: A review of concepts and processes. Terra Nova. Vol. 5, pp. 119-133.
    • Menard, G., Molnar, P., Platt, J. P. (1991). Budget of crustal shortening and subduction of continental crust in the Alps. Tectonics. Vol. 10, pp. 231-244.
    • Critelli, S., De Rosa, R., Platt, J. P. (1990). Sandstone detrital modes in the Makran accretionary wedge, southwest Pakistan: implications for tectonic setting and long-distance turbidite transportation. Sedimentary Geology. Vol. 68, pp. 241-260.
    • Platt, J. P., Compagnoni, R. (1990). Alpine ductile deformation and metamorphism in a Calabrian basement nappe (Aspromonte, south Italy). Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae. Vol. 83, pp. 41-58..
    • Platt, J. P., Behrmann, J. H., Cunningham, P. C., Dewey, J. F., Helman, M., Parish, M., Shepley, M. G., Wallis, S., Weston, P. J. (1989). Kinematics of the Alpine arc and the motion history of Adria. Nature. Vol. 337, pp. 158-161.
    • Platt, J. P., Lister, G. S., Cunningham, P., Weston, P., Peel, F., Baudin, T., Dondey, H. (1989). Thrusting and backthrusting in the Briançonnais domain of the Western Alps. Geological Society of London Special Publication. Vol. 45, pp. 135-152.
    • Platt, J. P., Vissers, R. L. (1989). Extensional collapse of thickened continental lithosphere: a working hypothesis for the Alboran Sea and the Gibraltar arc. Geology. Vol. 17, pp. 540-543.
    • Platt, J. P. (1988). The mechanics of frontal imbrication: a first-order analysis. Geologische Rundschau. Vol. 77, pp. 577-589.
    • Platt, J. P., K, L. J., Alam, S. (1988). Slip vectors and fault mechanics in the Makran accretionary wedge, SW Pakistan. Journal of Geophysical Research. Vol. 93, pp. 7955-7973.
    • Platt, J. P. (1987). The uplift of high-pressure - low-temperature metamorphic rocks. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London. Vol. A 321, pp. 87-103.
    • Platt, J. P. (1986). Dynamics of orogenic wedges and the uplift of high-pressure metamorphic rocks. Geological Society of America Bulletin. Vol. 97, pp. 1037-1053.
    • Platt, J. P., Behrmann, J. H. (1986). Structures and fabrics in a crustal-scale shear zone, Betic Cordillera, SE Spain. Journal of Structural Geology. Vol. 8, pp. 15-34.
    • Platt, J. P., Leggett, J. K. (1986). Stratal extension in thrust footwalls, Makran accretionary prism: implications for thrust tectonics. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin. Vol. 70, pp. 191-203.
    • Platt, J. P., Leggett, J. K., Young, J., Raza, H., Alam, S. (1985). Large-scale sediment underplating in the Makran accretionary prism. Geology. Vol. 13, pp. 507-511.
    • Platt, J. P., Lister, G. S. (1985). Structural history of high-pressure metamorphic rocks in the Vanoise massif, French Alps, and their relation to Alpine tectonic events. Journal of Structural Geology. Vol. 7, pp. 19-36.
    • Platt, J. P., Lister, G. S. (1985). Structural evolution of a nappe complex, southern Vanoise massif, French Penninic Alps. Journal of Structural Geology. Vol. 7, pp. 145-160.
    • Platt, J. P. (1984). Secondary cleavages in ductile shear zones. Journal of Structural Geology. Vol. 6, pp. 439-422.
    • Platt, J. P. (1984). Balanced cross-sections and their implications for the deep structure of the northwest Alps: discussion. Journal of Structural Geology. Vol. 6, pp. 603-606.
    • Platt, J. P., Behrmann, J. H., Martinez, J. M., Vissers, R. M. (1984). A zone of mylonite and related ductile deformation beneath the Alpujarride nappe complex, Betic Cordilleras, S. Spain. Geologische Rundschau. Vol. 73, pp. 773-785.
    • Platt, J. P. (1983). Progressive refolding in ductile shear zones. Journal of Structural Geology. Vol. 5, pp. 619-622.
    • Platt, J. P., van den Eeckhout, B., Janzen, E., Konert, G., Simon, O. J., Weijermars, R. (1983). The structure and tectonic evolution of the Aguilón fold-nappe, Sierra Alhamilla, Betic Cordilleras, SE Spain. Journal of Structural Geology. Vol. 5, pp. 519-538.
    • Behrmann, J. H., Platt, J. P. (1982). Sense of nappe emplacement from quartz c-axis fabrics; an example from the Betic Cordilleras (Spain). Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 59, pp. 208-215.
    • Platt, J. P. (1982). Emplacement of a fold-nappe, Betic Orogen, Southern Spain. Geology. Vol. 10, pp. 97-102.
    • Platt, J. P. (1980). Archaean greenstone belts: a structural test of tectonic hypotheses. Tectonophysics. Vol. 65, pp. 127-150.
    • Platt, J. P., Vissers, R. L. (1980). Extensional structures in anisotropic rocks. Journal of Structural Geology. pp. 2.
    • Platt, J. P., Allchurch, P. D., Rutland, R. W. (1978). Archaean tectonics in the Agnew supracrustal belt, Western Australia. Precambrian Research. Vol. 7, pp. 3-30.
    • Platt, J. P. (1976). The petrology, structure and geologic history of the Catalina Schist terrain, southern California. University of California Publications in Geological Sciences. Vol. 112, pp. 1-111.
    • Platt, J. P. (1975). Metamorphic and deformational processes in the Franciscan Complex, California: Some insights from the Catalina Schist terrane. Geological Society of America Bulletin. Vol. 86, pp. 1337-1347.

    Honors and Awards

    • Wollaston Fund, Geological Society of London, 1998  
    • Best Paper Award in Structural Geology and Tectonics, Geological Society of America, 1989  
    • Nuffield Science Research Fellowship, 1984-1985  

    Service to the Profession


    Editorships and Editorial Boards
    • Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, The Island Arc, 2005-2010  
    • Member of the Editorial Board, Geology, 2004-2006  
    • Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Structural Geology, 1991-1996  
    • Associate Editor, Journal of Structural Geology, 1983-1991  

    Professional Memberships
    • American Geophysical Union, 1994-2028  
    • Fellow, Geological Society of London, 1980-2028  
    • Geological Society of America, 1972-2028  




  • Zumberge Hall of Science (ZHS)
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0740
  • Phone: (213) 740-6106
  • Email: earthsci@usc.edu