Geoffrey C. P. King.

Physicien exceptionel

Laboratoire de Tectonique,

IPGP (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris)
1, rue Jussieu - 75238 Paris Cedex 05 – France

Honorary Professor

Department of Archaeology

The King's Manor

Y01 7EP York


+33 1 83 95 76 22 lab

+33 6 80 96 03 77 mobile


Geoffrey Charles Plume King was born in Uganda and educated in Scotland and England. Following a degree in Applied Physics at Durham, he gained a PhD in Geophysics at Cambridge where he stayed for many years. Early research concerned the development of strain and tilt instruments, but later extended to seismology. He led post-earthquake interventions to several major earthquakes around the Mediterranean. The studies included fault mapping and measuring and dating uplift associated with previous earthquake cycles together with aftershock studies and studies of the main event using waveform modelling of teleseismic data. For five years he then worked for the US Geological Survey in Denver and Menlo Park for part of which time he was director of the civilian seismic network concerned with establishing hazard at the proposed high level nuclear waste repository in Nevada. Parallel with these studies he developed techniques for modelling deformation resulting from repeating earthquakes; a quantitative method for studying the evolution of morphology. This also led to collaboration with archaeologists to understand the role of landforms in hominin evolution. A 2006 paper on the topic in the archaeological journal Antiquity received their prestigious prize for 2006. The study of stress interactions between earthquakes has also been an important area of research with a 1994 paper being quoted by ISI Essential Science Indicators as the most highly quoted paper in earthquake studies over the last 10 years. Field areas include China, India Pakistan, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Ethiopia, South Africa, the Levant and the USA. For more than 15 years King has worked for the Institut de Physique du Globe first in Strasbourg and then in Paris where he became director of the “Equipe de Tectonique”. He has published more than 150 research papers, is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and appointed “Classe exceptionelle” in the Institut de Physique du Globe. Other awards come from the Greek Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Geological Survey. Geoff Bailey and he have recently been awarded a European Senior Researcher Grant (DISPERSE) to study hominin dispersal from Africa.

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