Patience Cowie's picture

Patience Cowie

Professor, Earth System Dynamics
  • E-mailPatience.Cowie@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 35 16
  • Visitor Address
    Realfagbygget 2nd floor
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7803
    5020 Bergen

My research is concerned with the mechanics of fault and fracture development in the elastic-brittle part of the lithosphere and includes studies of continental rifts as well as mid-ocean ridges. In my work I use a combination of numerical modelling and field data collection. I am particularly interested in the rates of fault growth and systematic variations in space and time due to fault interaction, and the implications of rate variations for seismic hazard assessment, geomorphic processes (especially river incision) and sedimentation in active tectonic settings. At present I am actively working on various aspects of tectonic geomorphology in the Italian Appenines and mainland Greece. I am also currently involved in a project to use cosmogenically induced 36Cl concentrations to determine exposure ages along active normal faults in central Italy.

I am a co-I on the MultiRift project, working with Rob Gawthorpe (PI) and Ritske Huismans (co-I). This work involves surface process modelling using topography generated during two different phases of non-coaxial extensional deformation. The results were presented at EGU 2016 by post-doc Sofia Pechlivanidou (http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2016/EGU2016-15100.pdf).

I am also working on a source-to-sink study of the Sperchios rift basin in central Greece. This work was recently presented at AAPG in Calgary, also by Sofia Pechlivanidou (http://www.uib.no/en/persons/Sofia.Pechlivanidou).

Title of AAPG presentation: Controls on Sediment Distribution From Source-to-Sink in an Active Extensional Setting: The Sperchios Rift, Central Greece
Sofia Pechlivanidou; Patience Cowie; Robert Gawthorpe; Alex Whittaker

I have a PhD student, Anneleen Geurts (http://www.uib.no/personer/Anna.Helena.Geurts), working on active tectonics and surface processes in central Italy. Her PhD work, presented at EGU in 2015 (http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2015/EGU2015-11238.pdf), is linked with on-going collaborations that I have with UK colleagues on fault activity in Abruzzo.

This is the link to a short version of my CV (/sites/w3.uib.no/files/cv_cowie_short.pdf).


For health reasons I am not heavily involved in classroom teaching by I assist on courses GEOV254, GEOV105.


Academic article
  • Geurts, Anna Helena; Whittaker, Alexander C.; Gawthorpe, Robert; Cowie, Patience. 2020. Transient landscape and stratigraphic responses to drainage integration in the actively extending central Italian Apennines. Geomorphology.
  • Pechlivanidou, Sofia; Cowie, Patience; Duclaux, Guillaume; Nixon, Casey William; Gawthorpe, Rob; Salles, Tristan. 2019. Tipping the balance: Shifts in sediment production in an active rift setting. Geology. 259-262.
  • Pennos, Christos; Lauritzen, Stein-Erik; Vouvalidis, Konstantinos; Cowie, Patience; Pechlivanidou, Sofia; Gkarlaouni, Charikleia; Styllas, Michael; Tsourlos, Panagiotis; Mouratidis, Antonios. 2019. From subsurface to surface: a multidisciplinary approach to decoding uplift histories in tectonically-active karst landscapes. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 1710-1721.
  • Geurts, Anna Helena; Cowie, Patience; Duclaux, Guillaume; Gawthorpe, Rob; Huismans, Ritske; Pedersen, Vivi; Wedmore, Luke. 2018. Drainage integration and sediment dispersal in active continental rifts: A numerical modelling study of the central Italian Apennines. Basin Research. 965-989.
  • Pechlivanidou, Sofia; Cowie, Patience; Hannisdal, Bjarte; Whittaker, Alexander C.; Gawthorpe, Robert; Pennos, Christos; Riiser, Ole Sannes. 2017. Source-to-sink analysis in an active extensional setting: Holocene erosion and deposition in the Sperchios rift, central Greece. Basin Research. 522-543.
  • Cowie, Patience; Phillips, Richard J.; Roberts, Gerald P.; McCaffrey, Kenneth J.W.; Zijerveld, Leo; Gregory, Laura C; Faure Walker, Joanna P.; Wedmore, Luke; Dunai, Tibor; Binnie, Steven; Freeman, Stewart; Wilcken, Klaus M.; Shanks, Richard P.; Huismans, Ritske; Papanikolaou, Ioannis; Michetti, Alessandro Maria; Wilkinson, Maxwell W. 2017. Orogen-scale uplift in the central Italian Apennines drives episodic behaviour of earthquake faults. Scientific Reports. 1-10.
  • Wedmore, Luke; Faure Walker, Joanna; Roberts, Gerald P.; Sammonds, P.; McCaffrey, K.; Cowie, Patience. 2017. A 667‐year record of co‐seismic and interseismic Coulomb stress changes in central Italy reveals the role of fault interaction in controlling irregular earthquake recurrence intervals. Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR): Solid Earth. 5691-5711.
  • Bubeck, Alodie; Wilkinson, Max; Roberts, Gerald P.; Cowie, Patience; McCaffrey, Kenneth J.W.; Phillips, Richard J.; Sammonds, Peter. 2015. The tectonic geomorphology of bedrock scarps on active normal faults in the Italian Apennines mapped using combined ground penetrating radar and terrestrial laser scanning. Geomorphology. 38-51.
  • Wilkinson, Maxwell; Roberts, Gerald P.; McCaffrey, Kenneth J.W.; Cowie, Patience; Faure Walker, Joanna P.; Papanikolaou, Ioannis; Phillips, Richard J.; Michetti, Alessandro Maria; Vittori, Eutizio; Gregory, Laura; Wedmore, Luke; Watson, Zoë K. 2015. Slip distributions on active normal faults measured from LiDAR and field mapping of geomorphic offsets: An example from L'Aquila, Italy, and implications for modelling seismic moment release. Geomorphology. 130-141.
  • Cowie, Patience; Roberts, Gerald P.; Phillips, Richard J.; McCaffrey, Kenneth J.W.; Gregory, Laura C; Faure Walker, Joanna; Zijerveld, Leo; Dunai, Tibor; Binnie, Steven; Freeman, Stewart; Wilcken, Klaus M; Wedmore, Luke; Watson, Zoe K; Papanikolaou, I. 2015. Implications of slip rate variability along extensional faults in the central Apennines for geodynamic interpretations and earthquake hazard assessment. 6th International INQUA Meeting on Paleoseismology, Active Tectonics and Archaeoseismology. 4 pages.
  • Pechlivanidou, Sofia; Vouvalidis, Konstantinos; Løvlie, Reidar; Nesje, Atle; Albanakis, Konstantinos; Pennos, Christos; Syrides, George; Cowie, Patience; Gawthorpe, Robert. 2014. A multi-proxy approach to reconstructing sedimentary environments from the Sperchios delta, Greece. The Holocene. 1825-1839.
  • Cowie, Patience; Scholz, Ccristopher H.; Roberts, Gerald P.; Faure Walker, Joanna; Steer, Philippe. 2013. Viscous roots of active seismogenic faults revealed by geologic slip rate variations. Nature Geoscience. 1036-1040.
  • Cowie, Patience; Roberts, Gerald P.; Bull, Jon; Visini, Francesco. 2012. Relationships between fault geometry, slip rate variability and earthquake recurrence in extensional settings. Geophysical Journal International. 143-160.
  • Faure Walker, Joanna; Roberts, Gerald P.; Cowie, Patience; Papanikolaou, Ioannis; Michetti, Alessandro ; Sammonds, Peter; Wilkinson, Max; McCaffrey, Kenneth J.W.; Phillips, Richard J. 2012. Relationship between topography and strain rate in the actively extending Italian Apennines. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 76-84.
  • Wilkinson, Mazwell W.; McCaffrey, Kenneth J.W.; Roberts, Gerald P.; Cowie, Patience; Phillips, Richard J.; Degasperi, Marzia; Vittori, Eutizio; Michetti, Alessandro Maria. 2012. Distribution and magnitude of post-seismic deformation of the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake (M6.3) surface rupture measured using repeat terrestrial laser scanning. Geophysical Journal International. 911-922.
  • Hobley, Daniel E. J.; Sinclair, Hugh D.; Mudd, Simon M.; Cowie, Patience. 2011. Field calibration of sediment flux dependent river incision. Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR): Earth Surface. 18 pages.
  • Pechlivanidou, Sofia; Cowie, Patience; Hannisdal, Bjarte; Gawthorpe, Robert. 2014. Controls on deltaic sedimentation in an active rift setting: a source-to-sink approach from the Sperchios delta, central Greece.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

I was the 2016 recipient of the Coke medal awarded by the Geology Society of London (https://it-it.facebook.com/geolsoc/photos/pb.135315536484641.-2207520000...).

BSc Durham University 1985

PhD Columbia University New York USA 1992

I am a co-I on the MultiRift project, working with Rob Gawthorpe (PI) and Ritske Huismans (co-I) (http://org.uib.no/multirift/about.html).

I am also a collaborator on a TOTAL-funded project (COLORS) awarded to UiB colleague Ritske Huismans and co-workers in France.