Univ.-Prof. Dr. Cees Passchier

Research interests:

My main research interests are in all aspects of the kinematic analysis of deformed rocks: how to use geometric data from fabric elements in deformed rocks such as foliations, porphyroclasts, folds or boudins to obtain quantitative kinematic data on the progress of deformation. This work is done through microstructural studies, numerical analysis, and laboratory experiments using rock analogues. Microstructural models are tested in field-based research projects in complex deformed terrains, mostly in Precambrian rocks. Field-based research mostly concentrates on mylonites and the interpretation of structures in ductile and brittle shear zones. I am presently involved in fieldwork projects in Namibia, Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Brasil and Uruguay. I am also interested in the development of digital field mapping techniques and their application on Earth and the planet Mars, and in the use of the microstructure of travertine deposits from Roman aqueducts to obtain information on palaeoseismology and on climate, land use and engineering in the Ancient World.

Education and Employment history:

  • 1972 - 1978 Undergraduate study at Leiden State University
  • 1979 - 1982 Graduate study at the University of Amsterdam
  • 1982 - 1984 Postdoc at the University College of Swansea, Wales
  • 1984 - 1993 Lecturer in Structural Geology (geometry and kinematics) at Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • 1993 - present Professor in Tectonophysics and Structural Geology at the Department of Earth Sciences of Mainz University, Germany


Courses in structural geology, tectonics, rheology, continuum mechanics, and fieldcourses in structural geology of metamorphic rocks. For details see JOGU-StINe. Teaching material is provided under Download.

Other Occupations:

  • Chairman of „TecTask“, the IUGS commission on Tectonics
  • Chief Editor of the Journal of Structural Geology