UCL Earth Sciences


Dr Penelope Wilson

Igneous intrusions, magma ascent and emplacement, deformation structures, faults and fractures, shear zones, geotourism, hazards, risk perception, risk mapping

Lecturer (Teaching) in Earth Sciences | Undergraduate Tutor

Dr Penelope Wilson



Lecturer in Earth Sciences Kathleen Lonsdale, 1st Floor, Room 120

Courses Taught:

GEOL0006 Surface Processes (Module Leader)
GEOL0010 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (Organiser)
GEOL0024 Geological and Environmental Mapping (Contributor)
GEOL0073 GIS and Remote Sensing (Contributor)

Research Group(s):

Crust Dynamics & Evolution
Natural and Environmental Hazards

Email Address:

Telephone Number:

penelope.i.r.wilson@ucl.ac.uk Please contact me on Ms Teams

Research Summary

I am a multidisciplinary geoscientist specialising in structural, igneous and field geology. My current research is in two main areas.

  1. Magma ascent and emplacement within the shallow crust, accommodation structures and topological characteristics and trends.
  2. Geotourism, associated hazards, risk, and risk perception.

My PhD focused on the direct linking of host rock deformation structures to the emplacement, morphology and accommodation of shallow level igneous intrusions in the Henry Mountains, Utah. My research involved the integration of multiple extended field seasons in SE Utah alongside detailed microstructural analysis of intrusion and host rock accommodation structures (inc. SEM analysis), quantitative fault and fracture studies, and construction of detailed 3D framework models (GIS and 3D visualisation).  

Continuing research themes in this discipline include:

  • Accommodation deformation structures associated with magma emplacement and understanding how these can inform us of sub-surface extent and geometry of the intrusions and emplacement mechanism; 
  • Fracture analysis and fluid flow around igneous intrusions and their implications to industry;
  • Textural and crystal size distribution (CSD) studies: implications of magma ascent and emplacement in the shallow crust; 
  • Shear zones and their link to igneous intrusions;
  • Host rock lithological controls on magma emplacement mechanism in the shallow crust.

Wilson 2016 Journal of Structural Geology

Image: From Wilson et al. (2016), Journal of Structural Geology

Geotourism, Hazards and Risk Highlights:

More recently, my research focus has also extended to include geotourism (including geo-hazard-tourism), understanding associated hazards, monitoring and mapping associated risk, and looking at ways to reduce the risk through investigating both tourist and stakeholder (geotourism company, land owner etc.) awareness and perception of risks.

Participate in my survey or geotourism, associated hazards and risk perception amongst the general public