Professor Mueller's research is primarily focused on the study and analysis of actively deforming structures and earthquakes. He uses a variety of techniques that blend field geology with analysis of young sedimentary deposits, geomorphology and geophysics. Aimed at understanding how earthquakes act to build geologic structures and the boundary conditions that control coupled deformation and erosion, projects have taken him to Taiwan, Japan, Baja California, Italy the American Midcontinent and the Southwest USA. His work also seeks to understand how erosion drives stresses in the upper crust and how this affects active flow of ultraweak rock salt in the Paradox Basin of Utah. Professor Mueller has also worked to define how blind thrust faults grow early in the history of Mars and Mercury in response to secular cooling and how they might inform the evolution of the brittle to ductile transition and heat flow on these planets.
Erosional forcing of upper crustal strain, Seismotectonics of fold and thrust belts and transtentional fault systems, Origins of coastal uplift in Southern CA and Baja, Earthquake hazards, Ancient compressive structures and crustal rheology on Mars and Mercury
GEOL 3120 - Structural Geology
Introduces the basic principles and processes involved in deformation of natural rocks and minerals and the techniques used to analyze a variety of common geological structures (e.g., fractures, folds, fault zones). Recommended prerequisite: GEOL 2001.
GEOL 4712 - Structural Field Geology
Fall 2018 / Fall 2019
Explores methods of field study of structure of rocks, including observations, data collection and interpretation to understand geometry of deformation and causative processes and kinematics. Field projects are mapped using different scales, air photos, topographic maps and compass and tape.
GEOL 4721 - Field Methods in Active Tectonics
Spring 2018 / Spring 2019
Analysis of active geologic structures, including strike slip fault systems, secondary structures in stepovers and related eruptive centers. Includes the use of digital imagery, elevation models, offset geomorphic features and Quaternary deposits to determine local deformation rates and their relation to plate motions. Recommended prerequisite: GEOL 4712.
GEOL 5700 - Geological Topics Seminar
Offers seminar studies in geological subjects of special current interest. Primarily for graduate students, as departmental staff and facilities permit. May be repeated up to 15 total credit hours provided that topics vary.