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Dr Alastair Sloan


 Structural Geology and Tectonics

 Department of Geological Sciences

 Ph: (021) 650 2924

 Fax: (021) 650 3783







I use geophysical datasets, seismology, geomorphology and geodesy to study recent earthquakes, large historical earthquakes and regional tectonics. I am currently working on areas in South Africa, Malawi, China, Botswana, Scandinavia and Namibia. I am particularly interested in using these observations to understand seismic hazard in slowly deforming regions and understanding how large-scale rheological variations affect earthquake systematics and the tectonic evolution of the continents. I am also involved in projects studying long wavelength mantle-driven uplift in southern and western Africa.

Available postgraduate research projects

Rifting in Botswana and Namibia - This project involves using aeromagnetic datasets to investigate the orientation and scaling of post-Karoo faulting in Botswana and Namibia and comparing these structures with geomorphological evidence of neotectonic activity and seismic datasets.


S. A. Carolin, R. T. Walker, C. C. Day, V. Ersek, R.A. Sloan, M. W. Dee, M. Talebian and G. M. Henderson, 2018. Precise timing of abrupt increase in dust activity in the Middle East coincident with 4.2 ka social change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(1), pp.67-72.

R.A. Sloan, J.R. Elliott, M.P. Searle and C.K. Morley, 2017. Active tectonics of Myanmar and the Andaman Sea Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 48, 19-52.

R. T. Walker, K.W. Wegmann, A. Bayasgalan, R. J. Carson, J. Elliott, M. Fox, E. Nissen, R.A. Sloan, J. M. Williams & E. Wright. 2017. The Egiin Davaa rupture, central Mongolia: a large- magnitude prehistoric normal faulting earthquake from a slowly-deforming continental interior. Special Publication of the Geological Society of London. Seismicity, Fault Rupture and Earthquake Hazards in Slowly Deforming Regions. 432, 187-212

R.T. Walker, M. Telfer, R.L. Kahle, M.W. Dee, B. Kahle, J.L. Schwenninger, R.A. Sloan, and A.B. Watts, 2016. Rapid mantle-driven uplift along the Angolan margin in the late Quaternary. Nature Geoscience, 9(12), pp. 909–914.

E. Nissen, J.R. Elliott, R.A. Sloan, T.J. Craig, G.J. Funning, A. Hutko, B.E. Parsons, T.J. Wright. 2016. Limitations of rupture forecasting exposed by instantaneously triggered earthquake doublet. Nature Geoscience. doi: 10.1038/NGEO2653

M. Talebian, A.C. Copley, M.Fattahi, M. Ghorashi, J.A. Jackson, H. Nazari, R.A. Sloan, and R.T. Walker, 2016. Active faulting within a megacity: the geometry and slip rate of the Pardisan thrust in central Tehran, Iran. Geophysical Journal International, 207(3), pp.1688-1699.

K.E. Abdrakhmatov, R.T. Walker, G.E. Campbell, A.S. Carr, A. Elliott, C. Hillemann, J. Hollings- worth, A. Landgraf, D. Mackenzie, A. Mukambayev, M. Rizza, R.A. Sloan. 2016. Multisegment rupture in the 11 July 1889 Chilik earthquake (Mw 8.0–8.3), Kazakh Tien Shan, interpreted from remote sensing, field survey, and paleoseismic trenching. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. doi: 10.1002/2015JB012763

A. Copley, S. Mitra, R.A. Sloan, K. Reynolds & S. Goankar. 2014. Active faulting in apparently stable peninsular India: rift inversion and a Holocene-age great earthquake on the Tapti Fault. Journal of Geophysical Research.

M. Fattahi, R.T. Walker, M. Talebian, R.A. Sloan & A. Rasheedi. 2013. Late Quaternary active faulting and landscape evolution in relation to the Gowk Fault in the South Golbaf Basin, S.E. Iran. Geomorphology 204:334–343.

R.A. Sloan, & J.A. Jackson. 2012. Upper mantle earthquakes beneath the Arafura Sea and the southern Aru Trough: Implications for continental rheology. Journal of Geophysical Research. doi: 10.1029/2011JB008992

M. Fattahi, R.T. Walker, M. Talebian, R.A. Sloan & A. Rasheedi. 2011. The structure and Late Quaternary slip-rate of the Rafsanjan strike-slip fault, SE Iran. Geosphere 7(5):1159–1174.

R.A. Sloan, J.A. Jackson, D. McKenzie & K. Priestley. 2011. Earthquake depth distributions in central Asia, and their relations with lithosphere thickness, shortening and extension. Geophysical Journal International 181(1):1–29.

J.R. Elliott, B. Parsons, J.A. Jackson, X. Shan, R.A. Sloan & R.T. Walker. 2011. Depth segmen- tation of the seismogenic continental crust: The 2008 and 2009 Qaidam earthquakes. Geophysical Research Letters doi:10.1029/2011GL046897.

R.T. Walker, M. Talebian, S. Saiffori, R.A. Sloan, A. Rasheedi, N. MacBean & A. Ghassemi. 2010. Active faulting, earthquakes, and restraining bend development near Kerman city in southeastern Iran. Journal of Structural Geology 32(8):1046–1060.

R.T. Walker, M. Talebian, R.A. Sloan, A. Rasheedi, M. Fattahi & C. Bryant. 2010. Holocene slip- rate on the Gowk strike-slip fault and implications for the distribution of tectonic strain in eastern Iran. Geophysical Journal International 181(1):221–228.



  • PhD, University of Cambridge, Earth Sciences, 2012
  • BA/MSci University of Cambridge, 2008


  • Lecturer, University of Cape Town, 2015 - present
  • Junior Research Fellow, Christ Church, University of Oxford, 2012-2016