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Robert Moucha

Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences

Research and Teaching Interests

My primary research interest is in modeling of the Earth's surface evolution driven by mantle convection and its interaction with the crust and surface process controlled by the atmosphere. I believe that the integration of independent geophysical techniques and geological observations provides a roadmap for a greatly improved understanding of the tectonic evolution of our planet.

A key ingredient in my research is the incorporation of observational constraints from varying fields such as seismology, geodesy, sedimentology, geochemistry, structural geology and geomorphology. This extensive list is made possible through a number of key collaborations across different fields that I have formed over the past few years.

Current Projects:

  • Geodynamic & Geomorphologic evolution of the southwestern US
  • African Topography throughout the Cenozoic; coupling of surface processes with mantle dynamics
  • Long term sea level change; the role of mantle and lithospheric dynamics
  • Numerical Modeling of Mantle & Lithospheric Dynamics


Numerical Methods In Geosciences, EAR 400/600, Fall 2011
Dynamic Earth, EAR 101, Spring 2012
Applied Geophysics, EAR TBD, Fall 2012


I have an opening for a graduate student, MSc or PhD, interested in geodynamics, surface processes and/or the coupling of these across a wide range of space and temporal scales. My research is naturally open to collaborations across varying fields. 


Selected Publications


Moucha, R. and Forte, A.M. "Changes in African topography driven by mantle convection", Nature Geoscience, (advance online: doi:10.1038/ngeo1235).


• Forte, A.M., Moucha, R., Mitrovica, J.X., Simmons, N.A, & Grand, S.P., "Deep mantle contributions to the surface dynamics of the North American continent", Tectonophysics, Tectonophysics, 481, 3-15, 2010.

• Forte, A.M., Quéré, S., Moucha R., Simmons, N.A., Grand, S.P., Mitrovica, J.X. & Rowley, D.B. "Joint seismic–geodynamic-mineral physical modelling of African geodynamics: A reconciliation of deep-mantle convection with surface geophysical constraints, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 295, 329-341, 2010.


Moucha, R., Forte, A.M., Rowley, D.B., Mitrovica, J.X., Simmons, N.A, & Grand, S.P, "Deep mantle forces and the uplift of the Colorado Plateau", Geophysical Research Letters, 36, 2009.

• Forte, A.M., Moucha, R., Rowley, D.B, Quéré, S., Mitrovica, J.X., Simmons, N.A, & Grand, S.P, "Recent tectonic plate decelerations driven by mantle convection ", Geophysical Research Letters, 36,2009.


Moucha, R., Forte, A.M., Rowley, D.B., Mitrovica, J.X., Grand, S.P, & Simmons, N.A, "Mantle Convection And The Recent Evolution Of The Colorado Plateau And The Rio Grande Rift Valley", Geology, 36(6), 439-442, 2008.

Moucha, R., Forte, A.M., Mitrovica, J.X., Rowley, D.B., & Quéré, S., " Dynamic Topography and Long-Term Sea-Level Variations: There May Be No Such Thing as a Stable Continental Platform ", Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 271, 101-108, 2008.

2007 & prior 

Moucha, R., Forte, A.M., Mitrovica, J.X. & Daradich A., "Geodynamic implications of lateral variations in mantle rheology on convection related observables and inferred viscosity models", Geophys. J. Int., 169 (1), 113-135, 2007.

• Forte, A.M., Mitrovica, J.X., Moucha, R., Simmons, N.A., & Grand, S.P., "Descent of the ancient Farallon slab drives localized mantle flow below the New Madrid seismic zone", Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L04308, 2007.

• Latychev, K., Mitrovica J.X., Tamisiea, M.E., Tromp, J., Christara, C.C., and Moucha, R., "GIA-Induced Secular Variations in the Earth's Long Wavelength Gravity Field: Influence of 3-D Viscosity Variations", Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 240, 322-327, 2005.

• Latychev, K., Mitrovica J.X., Tamisiea, M.E., Tromp, J., and Moucha, R., "Influence of Lithospheric Thickness Variations on 3-D Crustal Velocities Due to Glacial Isostatic Adjustment", Geophysical Research Letters, 32, 2005.

Moucha, R., Bailey, R.C., "An Accurate And Robust Multigrid Algorithm For 2D Forward Resistivity Modelling", Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. 52, 197-212, 2004. 

• Shokr, M. E., and Moucha, R., "Co-location of pixels in satellite remote sensing images with demonstrations using sea ice data", Int. Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 19, 855-869, 1998.

Moucha, R., Holladay, J. S., and Prinsenberg, S.J., "Airborne Electromagnetic Sea Ice Sounder Measurements of RADARSAT Validation Project 1996", Can. Contract. Rep. Hydrogr. Ocean Sci., 51: vii+349, 1998. (Technical Report)

• Holladay, J. S., Moucha, R., "Electromagnetic/Laser Ice Thickness Data from the Labrador Shelf 1994", Can. Contract. Rep. Hydrogr. Ocean Sci., 49: viii+340, 1998. (Technical Report)