Mortaza Pirouz

Assistant Professor of Instruction
Tags: numerical modeling paleomagnetism Earth's crust geochronology fold-thrust belt systems forland basins surface processes

Professional Preparation

Postdoc - Tectonics Observatory
California Institute of Technology - 2017
Postdoc - Bullard Labs
University of Cambridge, UK - 2016
Ph.D. - Tectonics
University of Geneva, Switzerland - 2013
Ph.D. Candidate - Magmatism and Tectonics
University of Tehran - 2008
M.S. - Structural Geology and Tectonics
Research Institute for Earth Sciences - 2004
B.S. - Geology
Lahijan University - 2000

Research Areas

Responses in the Earth's Crust
Mortaza is broadly interested in how the Earth’s crust evolves in response to deformation, surface processes and climate change; and how its sedimentary cover hosts energy resources. In the regional scale, he models the flexure of the lithosphere to distinguish the source of deflection forces due to topography, basin load and mantle dynamics. He is 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 a 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 the local scale, he is also interested in modeling structurally complex regions and petroleum reservoirs in 3D/4D. He uses Petrel and Move softwares to analyze the seismic reflections, borehole, and log data; and ArcMap software for statistical and cartographical purposes.


Iman Monsef, Mohamad Rahgoshay, Mortaza Pirouz, Massimo Chiaradia, Michel Grégoire, and Georges Ceuleneer. "The Eastern Makran Ophiolite (SE Iran): evidence for a Late Cretaceous fore-arc oceanic crust" International Geology Review 61:11 (2019) 1313-1339 2019 - Publication
Iman Monsef, Reza Monsef, João Mata, Zhiyong Zhang, Mortaza Pirouz, Mahnaz Rezaeian, Rasoul Esmaeili, Wenjiao Xiao. "Evidence for an early-MORB to fore-arc evolution within the Zagros suture zone: Constraints from zircon U-Pb geochronology and geochemistry of the Neyriz ophiolite (South Iran)" Gondwana Research 62 (2018) 287-305 2018 - Publication
Pirouz, M., "Post-Collisional Deposits in the Zagros Foreland Basin: Implications for the Diachronous Underthrusting", 2018, International Journal of Earth Sciences, 107(5): 1603-1621 2018 - Publication
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 2017 - Publication
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. 2017 - Publication
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) 2016 - Publication
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 2015 - Publication
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 2011 - Publication
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 2011 - Publication


Assistant Professor of Instruction
University of Texas at Dallas [2018–Present]
Postdoctoral Scholar
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) [2013–2017]
Postdoctoral Scholar
University of Cambridge - UK [2015–2016]


Thermokinematic Modeling Using Low-Temperature Thermochronology
Applying Principle Component Analysis on Log Data - Permian Basin
Flexural Modeling of the Lithosphere Using Geology and Geophysics

Additional Information

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News Articles

1st place - 2020 - AAPG Southwest Section of the Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) competition
Academic advisor of the IBA team, Preparing for Global competition June 2020


Early Postdoc Mobility
$ 90.000 - Swiss National Science Foundation []