Jeffrey Rahl Professor of Geology

Jeffrey Rahl

Science Addition A113


Associate Professor, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA (2012 to present)

Assistant Professor, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA (2006 to 2012)

Turner Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Michigan (2005 to 2006)

Supervisors: Ben van der Pluijm and Todd Ehlers


Ph.D., Geology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 2005. Advisor: Mark Brandon

M.Phil., Geology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 2002.

B.S., Geology, The University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, 1999. Advisor: Allen McGrew


My scientific interests are in tectonics, particularly the processes that control the formation, growth, and erosion of mountain belts. I enjoy incorporating a variety of tools and approaches in my research, including field work, thermochronology, ductile and brittle structural analysis, numerical modeling, and metamorphic petrology. Specific interests include:


1)     The tectonic evolution of convergent wedges, including the modern day Hellenic subduction wedge exposed in Crete, Greece; the Mesozoic Otago wedge in the South Island, New Zealand; and the Spanish Pyrenees

2)     Application of sedimentary provenance tools, including detrital thermochronology, to reveal the long-term erosional history of mountain belts

3)     Ductile deformation and strain analysis, particularly the pressure solution deformation mechanism

Selected Publications

Levine, J.S.F., Mosher, S., and Rahl, J.M., 2016. The role of subgrain boundaries in partial melting. Journal of Structural Geology, v. 89, p. 181-196.

Rahl, J.M., and Skemer, P.A., 2016. Microstructural evolution and rheology of quartz in a mid-crustal shear zone. Tectonophysics, v. 680, p. 129-139.

Rahl, J.M., Haines, S.H., van der Pluijm, B.A., 2011. Links between orogenic wedge deformation and erosional exhumation: evidence from illite age analysis of fault rock and detrital thermochronology of syntectonic conglomerates in the Spanish Pyrenees. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 307, p. 180-190.

Rahl, J.M., Deckert, H., Brandon, M.T., Ring, U., and Mortimer, N., 2011. Tectonic significance of ductile deformation in low-grade sandstones in the Mesozoic Otago subduction wedge, New Zealand. American Journal of Science, v. 311, p. 27-62.

Oliva-Urcia, B., Rahl, J.M., Schleicher, A.M., and Parés, J.M., 2010. Correlation between the anisotropy of the magnetic susceptibility, strain ellipsoids and X-ray Texture Goniometry in pelitic rocks from Crete. Tectonophysics, v. 486, p. 120-131.

Rahl, J.M., Ehlers, T.A., and van der Pluijm, B.A., 2007. Quantifying transient erosion of orogens with detrital thermochronology from syntectonic basin deposits. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 256, p. 147-161. 

Rahl, J.M., Anderson, K., Brandon, M.T., and Fassoulas, C., 2005. Raman spectroscopy of carbonaceous material thermometry of low-grade metamorphic rocks: calibration and application to high-pressure, low-temperature rocks in Crete, Greece. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 240, p. 339-354.

Fassoulas, C., Rahl, J.M., Ague, J.J., and Henderson, K., 2004. Patterns and conditions of deformation in the Plattenkalk nappe, Crete, Greece: A preliminary study. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Greece, v. 36, p. 1626-1635.

Rahl, J.M., Fassoulas, C., and Brandon, M.T., 2004.  Exhumation of high-pressure metamorphic rocks within an active convergent margin, Crete, Greece: A field guide.  Field trip guidebook for the 32nd International Geological Congress.

Rahl, J.M., Reiners, P.W., Campbell, I.H., Nicolescu, S., and Allen, C.M., 2003. Combined single-grain (U-Th)/He and U/Pb dating of detrital zircons from the Navajo Sandstone, Utah.  Geology, v. 31, p. 761-764.

Rahl, J.M., McGrew, A.J., and Foland, K.A., 2002.  Transition from contraction to extension in the Northeastern Basin and Range:  new evidence from the Copper Mountains, Nevada. Journal of Geology, v. 110, p. 179-194.

Goldman, D., Campbell, S.M., and Rahl, J.M., 2002.  Three-Dimensionally Preserved Specimens of Amplexograptus (Ordovician, Graptolithina) from the North American Midcontinent:  Taxonomic and Biostratigraphic Significance.  Journal of Paleontology. v. 76, p. 921-927.