Staff and Postgraduate Students
Dr Nicola De Paola
2012 – present — Senior Lecturer in Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics, University of Durham, Manager of the Rock Mechanics Laboratory
2007 – 2012 — Lecturer in Structural Geology, University of Durham
2005 – 2007 — Post-doctoral position, GSG (Geologia Strutturale e Geofisica), Earth Science Department, University of Perugia
2005 — PhD Structural Geology, University of Durham University
2000 — Geology Degree (110/110, first class), University of Perugia (Italy).
DR. NICOLA DE PAOLA studies the structure, mechanics and transport properties of exhumed, active fault zones, by combining field, microstructural and rock mechanics experimental datasets to understand earthquake processes in the upper crust. He has recently established and is currently managing the Rock Mechanics Laboratory, in the Earth Sciences Department. He currently supervises 3 PhD students as lead supervisor and 5 PhD students as co-supervisor.
Recent work has focused on the evolution of fault strength during earthquake propagation. Recent research collaborations with world leading rock mechanics experimentalists, include Dr. Dan Faulkner (Rock Deformation Laboratory, University of Liverpool), Prof. Toshi Shimamoto (China Earthquake Institute, Bejing), Prof. Giulio Di Toro (University of Manchester), Prof. Cristiano Collettini (INGV/Universita’ La Sapienza, Roma) and Dr. Takehiro Hirose (Deformation Laboratory, JAMSTEC, Kochi Core Centre).
Since May 2005, Nicola has published 24 articles in International Peer Reviewed Journals. At March 2017, Nicola’s papers have been cited 702  times, with an average number of citations per paper = 30.52 [40.4]. His h-index is 15 . Source: Web of Science and [Google Scholar – My Citations].
Recent and Current Grants
2015 – CREEP: Complex RhEologies in Earth dynamics and industrial processes (£170519.92 from European Commission, Durham PI)
2015 – NERC Capital Equipment Grant (HiFAST): High frequency acquisition system for the dynamic measurement of stress, strain and friction in laboratory-produced earthquakes (£173000.00 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council, Co-I)
2014 & 2015 – Two Oil and Gas CDT PhD Studentships (£184000 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council, PI)
2014 – Iapetus Consortium DTP PhD studentship (£81000 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council, Co-I)
2013 – Oil Industry Capital Equipment funding (£155000 from DONG, PI)
2012 – Clair Sponsored Studentship (£140000.00 from BP Exploration Operating Company Ltd, Co-I)
2011 – NERC Standard Grant: Fault lubrication during earthquale propagation in thermally unstable rocks (£566830 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council, PI)
2011 – NERC PhD studnetship (£81000 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council, PI)
2008 – Oil Industry funded PhD studnetship (£79000.00 from Maersk Oil & Gas AS, PI)
Recent Invited Keynotes and Conferences
2016 – Geological Society of Italy (Societa’ Geologica Italiana) Annual Meeting: “Earthquakes and active tectonics: a multidisciplinary approach”, Naples (September, 2016).
2016 – Royal Society, Theo Murphy International Satellite Meeting: “Faulting, friction and weakening: from slow to fast motion (UK)”, London (April, 2016).
2015 – University of Utrecht, International rock mechanics workshop: “Modeling Fault Friction", Utrecht (September, 2015)
2015 – European Geosciences Union (EGU) Annual Meeting: “Fractures, mechanics and flow in tight reservoirs”, Vienna (April, 2015).
2014 – American Geophysical Union, (AGU) Fall Meeting: “Physical properties of earth materials: evolving rock structure”, San Francisco (December, 2014).
2012 – European Geosciences Union (EGU) Annual Meeting: “Thermo-mechanical coupling and physical properties of rocks: implications to natural hazards”, Vienna (April, 2012).
2010 – Geomechanics Workshop, University of Padova (Italy).
2010 – Gordon Research Conference: Rock Deformation, Tilton School (USA);
2010 – International Workshop: "Modern Trends in Geomechanics II", Stanford University, (USA).
2005 – Geological Association of Canada, GAC, Halifax (Canada).
2005 – Geological Society of America, GSA, Utah (USA).
Convened 2 sessions at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, held in San Francisco (US) (2008, 2015).
Convened 3 sessions at the European Geosciences Union (EGU), General Assembly held in Vienna, Austria (2011, 2012, 2013).
Prizes, Awards and Indicators of esteem
2005 – RAMSAY MEDAL, UK Tectonic Studies Group, awarded for the best published paper by a postgraduate student in 2005.
2005 – YOUNG AUTHOR’S AWARD, Journal of the Geological Society of London, awarded for the best paper by a researcher under the age of 30 that was published in the Journal of the Geological Society of London in 2005.
2005 – FEARNSIDES PRIZE, Yorkshire Geological Society, awarded for excellence in published research, on basin inversion carried out by an individual under the age of 30.
2005 - Present – Acting peer reviewer for leading international journals including Science, Nature Geoscience, Nature Communications, Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters, Geology, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Geophysical Research, Journal of Structural Geology, Tectonophysics, Geofluids, Journal of the Geological Society of London, Terra Nova.
PhD Students Prizes:
2015 – Best postgraduate student talk to Dr. Rachael Bullock. Tectonics Studies Group (TSG) Annual Meeting, Edinburgh.
2014 – Outstanding Student Paper Award – Tectonophysics awarded for oral contribution “Earthquake rupture in shallow, unconsolidated sediments” to Dr. Rachael Bullock. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (AGU).
Membership of Organisations and Societies
American Geophysical Union (AGU) member
European Geosciences Union (EGU) member
Tectonic Studies Group (TSG) member
Committee and Society Service
2009 – 2012 — Secretary of the Tectonic Studies Group (TSG).
Department of Earth Sciences
Chapter in book
- Collettini, C., Cardellini, C., Chiodini, G., De Paola, N., Holdsworth, R.E. & Smith, S.A.F. (2008). Fault weakening due to CO2 degassing in the Northern Apennines: short- and long-term processes. In The Internal Structure of Fault Zones: Implications for Mechanical and Fluid-Flow Properties. Wibberley, C.A.J., Kurz, W., Imber, J., Holdsworth, R.E. & Collettini, C. Geological Society of London. 299: 1-20.
- Harbord, Christopher W. A., Nielsen, Stefan B., De Paola, Nicola & Holdsworth, Robert E. (2017). Earthquake nucleation on rough faults. Geology 45(10): 931-934.
- De Paola, N., Holdsworth, R. E., Viti, C., Collettini, C. & Bullock, R. (2015). Can grain size sensitive flow lubricate faults during the initial stages of earthquake propagation?. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 43: 48-58.
- Balsamo, F., Aldega, L., De Paola, N., Faoro, I. & Storti, F. (2014). The signature and mechanics of earthquake ruptures along shallow creeping faults in poorly lithified sediments. Geology 42(5): 435-438.
- De Paola, N. (2013). Nano-powder coating can make fault surfaces smooth and shiny: implications for fault mechanics?. Geology 41(6): 719-720.
- De Paola, N, Hirose, T, Mitchell, T, Di Toro, G, Viti, C & Shimamoto, T (2011). Fault lubrication and earthquake propagation in thermally unstable rocks. Geology 39(1): 35-38.
- Di Toro, G., Han, R., Hirose, T., De Paola, N., Nielsen, N., Mizoguchi, K., Ferri, F., Cocco, M. & Shimamoto, T. (2011). Fault lubrication during earthquakes. Nature 471(7339): 494-498.
- De Paola, N., Chiodini, G., Hirose, T., Cardellini, C., Caliro, S. & Shimamoto, T. (2011). The geochemical signature caused by earthquake propagation in carbonate-hosted faults. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 310(3-4): 225-232.
- De Paola, N., Faulkner, D. R. & Collettini, C. (2009). Brittle versus ductile deformation as the main control on the transport properties of low-porosity anhydrite rocks. Journal of Geophysical Research (Solid Earth) 114: B06211.
- De Paola, N., Collettini, C., Faulkner, D.R. & Trippetta, F. (2008). Fault zone architecture and deformation processes within evaporitic rocks in the upper crust. Tectonics 27(4).
- Collettini, C., De Paola N. , Holdsworth, R.E. & Barchi, M.R. (2006). The development and behaviour of low angle normal faults during Cenozoic asymmetric extension in the Northern Apennines, Italy. Journal of Structural Geology 28: 333-352.
- De Paola, N, Holdsworth, R.E, McCaffrey,K.J.W & Barchi, M.R. (2005). Partitioned transtension: an alternative to basin inversion models. Journal of Structural Geology 27(4): 607-625.
- De Paola, N., Holdsworth, R.E. & McCaffrey, K.J.W. (2005). The influence of lithology and pre-existing structures on reservoir-scale faulting patterns in transtensional rift zones. Journal of the Geological Society 162(3): 471-480.