Mortaza Pirouz

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B.S.  Geology, Azad University, Lahijan, 1996-2000  M.S. Structural Geology and Tectonics, Research.

Institute for Earth Sciences, Tehran, 2001-  2004.

Ph.D. Candidate, Magmatism and Tectonics, University of Tehran, 2006-2008.

Ph.D., Tectonics, University of Geneva, Switzerland, 2008-2013.

Postdoc, Tectonics Observatory, California Institute of Technology, 2013-2017.

Postdoc, Bullard Labs, University of Cambridge, UK, 2015-2016.

Mortaza broadly interested in how Earth’s crust evolves in response to deformation, surface processes and climate change; and how its sedimentary cover hosts energy resources. In regional scale, he models the flexure of the lithosphere to distinguish source of deflection forces due to topography, basin load and mantle dynamics. He also interested in the functioning of fold-thrust belts and foreland basin systems, in order to understand how mountain ranges and basins form and migrate in time and space; and how climate interacts with deformation and surface processes. To study these problems, he utilizes multidisciplinary approach including fieldwork, subsurface data, geophysical data including gravity and 2D/3D seismic reflections, paleomagnetism, geochronology, analogue experiments and numerical simulations. Integration of all these different data sources makes powerful tools for deciphering the Earth crust behavior from an outcrop to continental scale. In local scale, he is also interested in modeling structurally complex regions and petroleum reservoirs in 3D/4D. He uses Petrel and Move softwares to analyse the seismic reflections, borehole, and log data; and ArcMap software for statistical and cartographical purposes.


  1. Pirouz, M., Post-Collisional Deposits in the Zagros Foreland Basin: Implications for the Diachronous Underthrusting, 2017, International Journal of Earth Sciences, in press.
  2. Pirouz, M., Avouac, J.P., Hassanzadeh, J., Kirschvink, J.L., Bahroudi, A., 2017, Early Neogene foreland of the Zagros, implications for the initial closure of the Neo-Tethys and kinematics of crustal shortening, Earth and Planetary Science Letters
  3. Pirouz, M., Avouac, J.P., Gualandi, A., Hassanzadeh, J., Sternai P., Flexural bending of the Zagros foreland basin: Geophysical Journal International, 2017, 210 (3): 1659-1680. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggx252.
  4. Pirouz, M., Simpson, G., Castelltort, S., Gorin, G., Bahroudi, A., 2016, Controls on the sequence stratigraphic architecture of the Neogene Zagros foreland basin: Geological Society of America Special Paper v. 525, in Tectonic Evolution, Collision, and Seismicity of Southwest Asia, Editors: Sorkhabi, R, doi: 10.1130/2016.2525 (12).
  5. Pirouz, M., Simpson, G., Chiaradia, M., 2015, Constraint on foreland basin migration in the Zagros mountain belt using Sr isotope stratigraphy: Basin research, v. 27, no 6, p. 714-728, doi: 10.1111/bre.12097.
  6. Pirouz, M., Simpson, G., Bahroudi, A., and Azhdari, A., 2011, Neogene Sediments and Modern Depositional Environments of the Zagros Foreland Basin System: Geological Magazine, v. 148, no. 5-6, p. 838–853, doi: 10.1017/S0016756811000392.
  7. Waldmann, N., Anselmetti, F.S., Ariztegui, D., Austin, J., Pirouz, M., Moy, C.M., and Dunbar, R., 2011, Holocene mass wasting events in Lago Fagnano, Tierra del Fuego (54°S): implications for paleoseismicity of the Magallanes Fagnano transform fault: Basin Research, v. 23, no. 2, p. 171–190, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2117.2010.00489.x.

Meeting Abstracts:

  1. Initial closure of the Neo-Tethys and kinematics of the Arabian crustal shortening, AGU, 2017.
  2. Flexural bending of the Mesopotamian foreland basin, AGU, 2016.
  3. The role of the Hormuz salt in the flexure of the Arabian continental lithosphere, Darius Symposium, 2014, France.
  4. Orogen-parallel variation in flexure of the Arabian plate beneath the Zagros Mountains, AGU fall meeting, 2014.
  5. Constraining the upper plate surface deformation across coupled subduction-collision systems, AGU fall meeting, 2014.
  6. Geometry and sedimentary records of tectonics in the Neogene Zagros foreland basin, SwissSed meeting, 2013, Switzerland.
  7. Neogene Zagros foreland basin, Tectonic Observatory Brownbag Seminar, Oct.2012, California Institute of Technology.
  8. Neogene sediments and modern depositional environments of the Zagros Foreland Basin System, Swiss Geoscience meeting, 2011.
  9. Sequence stratigraphic investigation of the Neogene Zagros foreland basin, Earth Surface Processes & Paleobiosphere day, Geneva, 2011, Switzerland.
  10. Neogene Zagros foreland basin system, European Geosciences Union (EGU), 2010, Austria.
  11. Identify the origin of petroleum in south Caspian basin by geochemical modeling method, European Region Annual Conference (AAPG), 2010, Ukraine.
  12. Structural evolution of the basement and activity of salt structures in Fars zone in Zagros, International Geological Congress (IGC), 2008, Oslo, Norway.
  13. 3-D modeling of iron ore deposit in Chadormalu area in the Central Iran, Goldschmidt 2007, University of Cologne, Germany.
  14. 3D models of basement structures evolution and salt structures activity in Firouzabad area, Zagros, from Permian to Miocene”, International Union Geodesy and Geophysics, 2007, Italy.
  15. Structural evolution of the basement and salt structures activity by using of 3D models in Firouzabad area, Zagros, European Geosciences Union (EGU), 2007, Austria.
  16. The hazard zonation of rockfall along Chalus road in north of Iran, European Geosciences Union (EGU), 2007, Vienna, Austria.
  17. The Effect of Cohesion Coefficient in Structural Style Mangharak Fault Zone in Zagros Belt, European Geosciences Union (EGU), 2006, Austria.
  18. Structural Pattern for Normal Faulting of West Central Iran, European Geosciences Union (EGU), 2006, Austria.
  19. Relationship between Normal Faults and Salt Diapers in North of Central Iran-Semnan, IESCA, 2005, Izmir, Turkey.
  20. Origin and Concentration Mechanism of Ti Bearing Heavy Mineral Deposits and Rare Earth Elements in South Caspian Sea Littoral Sands, 2005, United States.
  21. Introduction of Listric Normal Faulting in Central Iran, 32nd International Geological Congress, 2004, Italy.
  22. Study Titanium-Zirconium Bearing Heavy Mineral Deposits and Rare Earth Elements in South Caspian Sea, 32nd International Geological Congress, 2004, Italy.