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Fellows Directory

Richard Walcott

Richard Walcott

Professor Richard Walcott FRS


Elected: 1991


Richard Walcott is well known for his work on lithospheric flexure and continental deformation. His early work on flexure of the oceanic and continental lithosphere, produced by volcanic sedimentary and ice loading, led to an understanding of the rheology of the lithosphere on geological timescales and started a new field of geophysics. Since returning to New Zealand, he has showed how to use geodetic observations to study continental deformation, and has applied these methods to New Zealand with great success. He has also made careful palaeomagnetic observations, and has demonstrated that the present rotation rate can account for the observed rotations. His study was the first to show the great importance of geodetic observations in studies of continental tectonics, and many groups are planning similar studies elsewhere. His great influence in New Zealand is one reason why research in the earth sciences there is so flourishing.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Earth and environmental sciences
    • Geology, Geodesy, Geophysics, Seismology
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