|Professor of Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics in the Department of Earth Sciences||Rm 324|
|Fellow in the Durham Energy Institute|
2021 - Present: Professor of Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics (Durham University)
2012 - 2020: Associate Professor of Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics (Durham University)
2007 - 2012: Assistant Professor (Lecturer) of Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics, (Durham University)
2005 – 2007: Post-doctoral Research Associate University of Perugia (Italy).
Research Themes and Methods
Nicola’s research themes are in the study of fault and earthquake mechanics. Throughout his career, Nicola has adopted a multidisciplinary research approach that combines fieldwork and microstructural observations with rock physics and mechanics experimental datasets. Nicola established the Rock Mechanics Laboratory (RML) at Durham University in 2012, and has since developed major UK Research Council (e.g., NERC, UKUH) and industry funded (e.g., MAERSK, DONG) programmes. Recent work carried out in the RML at Durham University contributes to our understanding of the processes that control earthquake rupture propagation, including induced seismicity. Nicola’s core research interests in fault and earthquake mechanics have broaden to include human induced seismicity studies. In particular, recent projects and studies address the issues posed by induced seismicity in enhanced geothermal systems.
- Geodynamics Research Group
- Geoenergy, Resources and Waste
- Structural Research Group
- 2021: Project 535699: COA Extension #52 NE/R017840/1(£0.00 from Natural Environmental Research Council)
- 2021: Testing The Limitations Of Empirical Traffic Light Systems Used To Manage The Hazard Of Fluid Induced Seismicity.(£15830.59 from )
- 2018: SHAPE-UK: Impact of hydraulic fracturing in the overburden of shale resource plays: Process-based evaluation(£126763.03 from Natural Environmental Research Council)
- 2015: CREEP: Complex RhEologies in Earth dynamics and industrial processes(£173549.30 from European Commission)
- 2015: High frequency acquisition system for the dynamic measurement of stress, strain and friction in laboratory-produced earthquakes(£173000.00 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
- 2012: Clair Sponsored Studentship(£140000.00 from BP Exploration Operating Company Ltd)
- 2008: IMAGING THE 3D POROSITY/PERMEABILITY(£79000.00 from Maersk Oil & Gas AS)
Chapter in book
- De Paola, N., Hirose, T., Mitchell, T., Di Toro, G., Viti, C. & Shimamoto, T. (2011). Fault lubrication and earthquake propagation in carbonate rocks. In Multiscale and Multiphysics Processes in Geomechanics: Results of the Workshop on Multiscale and Multiphysics Processes in Geomechanics, Stanford, June 23–25, 2010. Borja, Ronaldo I. Springer-Verlag. 153-156.
- Collettini, C., Cardellini, C., Chiodini, G., De Paola, N., Holdsworth, R.E. & Smith, S.A.F. (2008). Fault weakening due to CO2 degassing in the Northern Apennines: short- and long-term processes. In The Internal Structure of Fault Zones: Implications for Mechanical and Fluid-Flow Properties. Wibberley, C.A.J., Kurz, W., Imber, J., Holdsworth, R.E. & Collettini, C. Geological Society of London. 299: 1-20.
- Collettini, C., Barchi, M. R., De Paola, N., Trippetta, F. & Tinti, E. (2022). Rock and fault rheology explain differences between on fault and distributed seismicity. Nature Communications 13(1): 5627.
- Pozzi, Giacomo De Paola, Nicola Nielsen, Stefan Holdsworth, Robert Tesei, Telemaco Thieme, Manuel & Demouchy, Sylvie (2021). Coseismic fault lubrication by viscous deformation. Nature Geoscience 14(6): NGS-2019-07-01617C, 437-442.
- Trippetta, F., Barchi, M. R., Tinti, E., Volpe, G., Rosset, G. & De Paola, N. (2021). Lithological and stress anisotropy control large-scale seismic velocity variations in tight carbonates. Scientific Reports 11: 9472.
- Thieme, Manuel, Pozzi, Giacomo, Demouchy, Sylvie, De Paola, Nicola, Barou, Fabrice, Koizumi, Sanae & Bowen, Leon (2021). Shear deformation of nano- and micro-crystalline olivine at seismic slip rates. Tectonophysics 802: 228736.
- Gluyas, J.G., De-Paola, N., Imber, J., Jezierski, T.M., Jones, R.R., Jordan, P., McCaffrey, K.J.W., Nielsen, S., Pongthunya, P., Satterley, A., Sowter, A., Wilkinson, M. & Moors, A. (2020). The Humbly Grove, Herriard and Hester’s Copse Fields, UK onshore. Geological Society Memoirs 52: 74-81.
- Pozzi, Giacomo, De Paola, Nicola, Holdsworth, Robert E., Bowen, Leon, Nielsen, Stefan B. & Dempsey, Edward D. (2019). Coseismic ultramylonites: An investigation of nanoscale viscous flow and fault weakening during seismic slip. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 516: 164-175.
- Snell, T, De Paola, N, van Hunen, J, Nielsen, S & Collettini, C (2019). Modelling fluid flow in complex natural fault zones: implications for natural and human-induced earthquake nucleation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters
- Tesei, T., Harbord, C. W. A., De Paola, N., Collettini, C. & Viti, C. (2018). Friction of Mineralogically Controlled Serpentinites and Implications for Fault Weakness. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 123(8): 6976-6991.
- Pozzi, G., De Paola, N., Nielsen, S.B., Holdsworth, R.E. & Bowen, L. (2018). A new interpretation for the nature and significance of mirror-like surfaces in experimental carbonate-hosted seismic faults. Geology 46(7): 583-586.
- Allen, M.B., Walters, R.J., Song, S.G., Saville, C., De Paola, N., Ford, J., Hu, Z.X. & Sun, W.L. (2017). Partitioning of oblique convergence coupled to the fault locking behavior of fold-and-thrust belts: evidence from the Qilian Shan, northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Tectonics 36(9): 1679-1698.
- Corradetti, Amerigo, McCaffrey, Ken, De Paola, Nicola & Tavani, Stefano (2017). Evaluating roughness scaling properties of natural active fault surfaces by means of multi-view photogrammetry. Tectonophysics 717: 599-606.
- Harbord, Christopher W. A., Nielsen, Stefan B., De Paola, Nicola & Holdsworth, Robert E. (2017). Earthquake nucleation on rough faults. Geology 45(10): 931-934.
- Bruttoa, F, Muto, F, Loreto, M F De Paola, N, Tripodi, V, Critelli, S & Facchin, L (2016). The Neogene-Quaternary geodynamic evolution of the central Calabrian Arc: A case study from the western Catanzaro Trough basin. Journal of Geodynamics 102: 95-114.
- Sagi, D.A., De Paola, N., McCaffrey, K.J.W. & Holdsworth, R.E. (2016). Fault and fracture patterns in low porosity chalk and their potential influence on sub-surface fluid flow—A case study from Flamborough Head, UK. Tectonophysics 690(A): 35-51.
- De Paola, N., Holdsworth, R. E., Viti, C., Collettini, C. & Bullock, R. (2015). Can grain size sensitive flow lubricate faults during the initial stages of earthquake propagation? Earth and Planetary Science Letters 431: 48-58.
- Bullock, R.J., De Paola, N. & Holdsworth, R.E. (2015). An experimental investigation into the role of phyllosilicate content on earthquake propagation during seismic slip in carbonate faults. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 120(5): 3187-3207.
- Balsamo, F., Aldega, L., De Paola, N., Faoro, I. & Storti, F. (2014). The signature and mechanics of earthquake ruptures along shallow creeping faults in poorly lithified sediments. Geology 42(5): 435-438.
- Bullock, Rachael J., De Paola, Nicola, Holdsworth, Robert E. & Trabucho-Alexandre, João (2014). Lithological controls on the deformation mechanisms operating within carbonate-hosted faults during the seismic cycle. Journal of Structural Geology 58: 22-42.
- De Paola, N. (2013). Nano-powder coating can make fault surfaces smooth and shiny: implications for fault mechanics? Geology 41(6): 719-720.
- De Paola, N., Chiodini, G., Hirose, T., Cardellini, C., Caliro, S. & Shimamoto, T. (2011). The geochemical signature caused by earthquake propagation in carbonate-hosted faults. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 310(3-4): 225-232.
- Di Toro, G., Han, R., Hirose, T., De Paola, N., Nielsen, N., Mizoguchi, K., Ferri, F., Cocco, M. & Shimamoto, T. (2011). Fault lubrication during earthquakes. Nature 471(7339): 494-498.
- De Paola, N, Hirose, T, Mitchell, T, Di Toro, G, Viti, C & Shimamoto, T (2011). Fault lubrication and earthquake propagation in thermally unstable rocks. Geology 39(1): 35-38.
- Collettini, C., De Paola, N. & Faulkner, D. R. (2009). Insights on the geometry and mechanics of the Umbria–Marche earthquake (Central Italy) from the integration of field and laboratory data. Tectonophysics 476(1-2): 99-109.
- De Paola, N., Faulkner, D. R. & Collettini, C. (2009). Brittle versus ductile deformation as the main control on the transport properties of low-porosity anhydrite rocks. Journal of Geophysical Research (Solid Earth) 114: B06211.
- De Paola, N., Holdsworth, Robert E. & Collettini, C. (2008). The internal structure of Dilational stepovers in regional transtension zones. International Geology Review 50(3): 291-304.
- De Paola, N., Collettini, C., Faulkner, D.R. & Trippetta, F. (2008). Fault zone architecture and deformation processes within evaporitic rocks in the upper crust. Tectonics 27(4).
- De Paola, N., Holdsworth, R.E., Collettini, C., McCaffrey, K.J.W. & Barchi, M.R. (2007). The structural evolution of dilational step-overs in transtensional zones. Geological Society, London. Special Publications 290: 433-445.
- De Paola, N. Collettini, C., Trippetta, F., Barchi, M.R. & Minelli, G. (2007). A mechanical model for complex fault patterns induced by evaporite dehydration and cyclic changes in fluid pressure. Journal of Structural Geology 29(10): 1573-1584.
- De Paola, N., Mirabella, F., Barchi, M.R. & Burchielli, F. (2006). Early orogenic normal faults and their reactivation during thrust belt evolution: the Gubbio Fault case study, Umbria-Marche Apennines (Italy). Journal of Structural Geology 28(11): 1948-1957.
- Collettini, C., De Paola, N. & Goulty, N.R. (2006). Switches in the minimum compressive stress direction induced by overpressure beneath a low-permeability fault zone. Terra Nova 18(3): 224-231.
- Collettini, C., De Paola N. Holdsworth, R.E. & Barchi, M.R. (2006). The development and behaviour of low angle normal faults during Cenozoic asymmetric extension in the Northern Apennines, Italy. Journal of Structural Geology 28: 333-352.
- McCaffrey, K.J.W., Holdsworth, R.E., Imber, J., Clegg, P., De Paola, N., Jones, R.R., Hobbs, R., Holliman, N. & Trinks, I. (2005). Putting the geology back into Earth models. Eos 86(46): 461-466.
- De Paola, N, Holdsworth, R.E, McCaffrey,K.J.W & Barchi, M.R. (2005). Partitioned transtension: an alternative to basin inversion models. Journal of Structural Geology 27(4): 607-625.
- De Paola, N., Holdsworth, R.E. & McCaffrey, K.J.W. (2005). The influence of lithology and pre-existing structures on reservoir-scale faulting patterns in transtensional rift zones. Journal of the Geological Society 162(3): 471-480.