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Robert Moucha

Robert Moucha

Robert Moucha

Associate Professor: Geodynamics


Earth and Environmental Sciences
208a Heroy Geology Laboratory
Office: 315.443.6239


Social/Academic Links

Courses Taught

  • Numerical Methods In Geosciences
  • EAR 402/602 Dynamic Earth
  • EAR 110 Intro to Geophysical Methods
  • EAR 311/611
Research Interests

My primary research interest entails the coupling of landscape evolution models with geodynamics. Such models, together with independent geophysical techniques and geological observations, provide a roadmap for a greatly improved understanding of the tectonic evolution of our planet. Current areas of active research include: landscape evolution in response to tectonics, changes in climate and sea level; development of density models for the mantle by integrating seismic tomography and mantle convection modeling; melt generation and extraction during continental rifting; carbon cycle of the Hadean-Archean Earth; and surface deformation in response to flat-slab subduction. Inherent to my research is high-performance computing and the development and continuous improvement of geodynamic and landscape evolution software. Graduate students in my research group both develop and use the latest software tools in support of their thesis study.

Selected Publications

Gregory Ruetenik, Robert Moucha, Bas de Boer, Deformation in response to landscape evolution during glacial cycles on the U.S. Atlantic passive margin, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 526, 2019,

Sophie Coulson, Tamara Pico, Jacqueline Austermann, Evelyn Powell, Robert Moucha, Jerry X. Mitrovica, The role of isostatic adjustment and gravitational effects on the dynamics of the Messinian salinity crisis, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 525, 2019,

Glas, R., Lautz, L. K., McKenzie, J., Moucha, R., Chavez, D., Mark, B. & Lane, J. W., Hydrogeology of an alpine talus aquifer: Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Hydrogeol J 27, 2137–2154 (2019).

Mazza, S. E., Gazel, E., Bizimis, M., Moucha, R., Béguelin, P., Johnson, E. A., McAleer, R. J. & Sobolev, A. V.,
Sampling the volatile-rich transition zone beneath Bermuda. Nature 569, 398–403 (2019).

Gao, M., Fan, M., Moucha R., (2016). “Weakening of Wyoming lithosphere during the Laramide deformation: response to slab removal induced mantle upwelling”, Journal of Geophysical Research, 121, doi:10.1002/2016JB013130.

Pedersen, V.K., Huismans, R.S., Moucha, R., (2016). “Isostatic and dynamic support of topography in the Norwegian region”, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 446, 1-9.

Ruetenik*, G.A., Moucha, R., Hoke, G.D., (2016). “Landscape response to changes in dynamic topography”, Terra Nova, 28, 289-296.

Dowsett, H., Dolan, A., Rowley, D., Moucha, R., Forte, A. M., Mitrovica, J. X., Pound, M., Salzmann, U., Robinson, M., Chandler, M., Foley, K., and Haywood, A., (2016). “The PRISM4 (mid-Piacenzian) paleoenvironmental reconstruction”, Climate of the Past, 12, 1519-1538, doi:10.5194/cp-12-1519-2016

Stein, S., Stein C., Kley, J., Keller, R., Merino, M., Wolin, E., Wiens, D., Wysession, M., Al-Equabi, G., Shen, W., Frederiksen, A., Darbyshire, F., Jurdy, D., Waite, G., Rose, W., Vye, E., Rooney, T., Moucha, R., Brown, E., (2016). “When Rift Met LIP: New Insights About the Midcontinent Rift”, EOS, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO056659.

Austermann*, J, Pollard, D., Mitrovica, J.X., Moucha, R., Forte, A.M, DeConto, R.M., Rowley, D.B. and Raymo, M.E, (2015). “The impact of dynamic topography change on Antarctic ice sheet stability during the mid-Pliocene warm period”, Geology, 43, p. 927-930

Rovere, A, Hearty, P.J., Austermann*, J, Mitrovica, J.X., Gale, J., Moucha, R., Forte, A.M, and Raymo, M.E., (2015). “Mid-Pliocene shorelines of the US Atlantic coastal plain - an improved elevation database with comparison to Earth model predictions”, Earth Science Review, 145, 117–131.

Rowley, D.B., Forte, A.M., Moucha, R., Mitrovica, J.X., Simmons, N.A., Grand, S.P, (2013). “Dynamic Topography Change of the Eastern United States Since 3 Million Years Ago”, Science, 340, 1560-1563.

Quere, S., Lowman, J.P., Arkani-Hamed, J., Roberts, J.H., Moucha, R., (2013).“Subcontinental sinking slab remnants in a spherical geometry mantle model, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 118, 1760-177.

Glišović*, P., Forte, A.M., Moucha, R., (2012). “Time-dependent convection models of mantle thermal structure constrained by seismic tomography and geodynamics: implications for mantle plume dynamics and CMB heat flux”. Geophysical Journal International, 190, 785–815.

Moucha, R., Forte, A.M., (2011). “Changes in African topography driven by mantle convection, Nature Geoscience,” 4(10), 707-712.

Forte, A.M., Moucha, R., Mitrovica, J.X., Simmons, N.A, & Grand, S.P., (2010). "Deep mantle contributions to the surface dynamics of the North American continent", Tectonophysics, 481, 3-15.

Forte, A.M., Quéré, S., Moucha, R., Simmons, N.A., Grand, S.P., Mitrovica, J.X. & Rowley, D.B. (2010). “Joint seismic-geodynamic-mineral physical modelling of African geodynamics: A reconciliation of deep-mantle convection with surface geophysical constraints”, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 295(3-4), 329-341.

Moucha, R., Forte, A.M., Rowley, D.B., Mitrovica, J.X., Simmons, N.A, & Grand, S.P, (2009). “Deep mantle forces and the uplift of the Colorado Plateau”, Geophysical Research Letters, 36.

Turning Beaches into Hillsides

(May 26, 2017)

East Coast Landscape Evolution Influenced by Many Geological Factors

Earth Scientists Push Boundaries of 3D Modeling

(June 8, 2016)

Assistant Professor Robert Moucha uses numeric modeling to study mantle convection

Syracuse Geophysicist Questions Stability of Antarctic Ice Sheet

(Jan. 29, 2016)

Robert Moucha examines impact of deep Earth on ice-sheet stability