Dr Marco Maffione

Dr Marco Maffione

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Lecturer in Earth Sciences

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Marco Maffione is a field geologist interested in global tectonics and large-scale tectonics processes operating at plate boundaries, including subduction initiation, mid-ocean ridge spreading, and deformation of orogenic systems. He specialises in palaeomagnetism, structural geology, and magnetic fabrics, and has recently applied these techniques in various ophiolites of Turkey, Cyprus, Albania, Greece, Oman and Tibet.

See Dr Marco Maffione's personal website


  • Degree in Geology (2004) – University of Roma Tre (Rome)
  • PhD in Geophysics (2009) – University of Bologna (Bologna)


Dr Marco Maffione teaches on the following topics:

  • Dynamic solid earth
  • Structural geology


My research revolves around the broad field of tectonics. I investigate large-scale tectonic processes occurring at plate boundaries, including detachment faulting at mid-ocean ridges, subduction initiation mechanisms, the formation of mountain belts, and the origin of ophiolites. I use geophysical (paleomagnetic and magnetic fabric), structural geological, petrological, stratigraphic, and geochemical constraints to perform kinematic and paleogeographic reconstructions and develop tectonic models that can explain how fundamental processes of plate tectonics work.


Recent publications


Maffione, M & Herrero-bervera, E 2022, 'A relative paleointensity (RPI)-calibrated age model for the Corinth syn-rift sequence at IODP Hole M0079A (Gulf of Corinth, Greece)', Frontiers in Earth Science, vol. 10, 813958. https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2022.813958

Lawrence, A, Maffione, M & Stevenson, C 2022, 'Mush ado about the Ratagain Complex, NW Scotland: insights into Caledonian granitic magmatism and emplacement from magnetic fabric analyses', Scottish Journal of Geology, vol. 58, no. 1, sjg2021-018. https://doi.org/10.1144/sjg2021-018

van Hinsbergen, D, Steinberger, B, Guilmette, C, Maffione, M, Gürer, D, Peters, K, Plunder, A, McPhee, PJ, Gaina, C, Advokaat, E, Vissers, RLM & Spakman, W 2021, 'A record of plume-induced plate rotation triggering subduction initiation', Nature Geoscience, vol. 14, no. 8, pp. 626-630. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-021-00780-7

Cullen, T, Collier, RE, Hodgson, D, Gawthorpe, R, Kouli, K, Maffione, M, Kranis, H & Eliassen, G 2021, 'Deep-water syn-rift stratigraphy as archives of Early-Mid Pleistocene palaeoenvironmental signals and controls on sediment delivery', Frontiers in Earth Science, vol. 9, 715304. https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2021.715304

van Hinsbergen, D, Torsvik, T, Schmid, S, Matenco, L, Maffione, M, Vissers, RLM, Gürer, D & Spakman, W 2020, 'Orogenic architecture of the Mediterranean region and kinematic reconstruction of its tectonic evolution since the Triassic', Gondwana Research, vol. 81, pp. 79-229. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2019.07.009

Mcneill, LC, Shillington, DJ, Carter, GDO, Everest, JD, Gawthorpe, RL, Miller, C, Phillips, MP, Collier, REL, Cvetkoska, A, De Gelder, G, Diz, P, Doan, M, Ford, M, Geraga, M, Gillespie, J, Hemelsdaël, R, Herrero-bervera, E, Ismaiel, M, Janikian, L, Kouli, K, Le Ber, E, Li, S, Maffione, M, Mahoney, C, Machlus, ML, Michas, G, Nixon, CW, Oflaz, SA, Omale, AP, Panagiotopoulos, K, Pechlivanidou, S, Sauer, S, Seguin, J, Sergiou, S, Zakharova, NV & Green, S 2019, 'High-resolution record reveals climate-driven environmental and sedimentary changes in an active rift', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 3116. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-40022-w

Van Hinsbergen, DJJ, Maffione, M, Koornneef, LMT & Guilmette, C 2019, 'Kinematic and paleomagnetic restoration of the Semail Ophiolite (Oman) reveals subduction initiation along an ancient Neotethyan fracture zone', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 518, pp. 183-196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2019.04.038

Guilmette, C, Smit, M, van Hinsbergen, D, Gürer, D, Corfu, F, Charette, B, Maffione, M, Rabeau, O & Savard, D 2018, 'Forced subduction initiation recorded in the sole and crust of the Semail ophiolite, Oman', Nature Geoscience, vol. 11, pp. 688-695. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-018-0209-2

McPhee, PJ, van Hinsbergen, D, Maffione, M & Altiner, D 2018, 'Palinspastic Reconstruction Versus Cross-Section Balancing: How Complete Is the Central Taurides Fold-Thrust Belt (Turkey)?', Tectonics, vol. 37. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018TC005152

Maffione, M & van Hinsbergen, DJJ 2018, 'Reconstructing plate boundaries in the Jurassic Neo-Tethys from the East and West Vardar Ophiolites (Greece and Serbia)', Tectonics. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017TC004790

Maffione, M, van Hinsbergen, D, de Gelder, G, van der Goes, F & Morris, A 2017, 'Kinematics of Late Cretaceous subduction initiation in the Neo-Tethys Ocean reconstructed from ophiolites of Turkey, Cyprus, and Syria', Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, vol. 122, pp. 3953–3976. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JB013821

Maffione, M, Morris, A, Anderson, M, Omer, A & van Hinsbergen, D 2017, 'Rapid fore-arc extension and detachment-mode spreading following subduction initiation', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 748, pp. 76-88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2017.08.040

Maffione, M & Morris, A 2017, 'The onset of fabric development in deep marine sediments', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 474, pp. 32-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2017.06.018

Malandri, C, Soukis, K, özkaptan, M, Vassilakis, E, Lozios, S, van Hinsbergen, DJJ & Maffione, M 2017, 'Vertical-axis rotations accommodated along the Mid-Cycladic lineament on Paros Island in the extensional heart of the Aegean orocline (Greece)', Lithosphere, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 78-99. https://doi.org/10.1130/L575.1

van Hinsbergen, DJJ, Peters, K, Spakman, W, Guilmette, C, Thieulot, C, Plümper, O, Gürer, D, Brouwer, FM, Aldanmaz, E, Kaymakci, N & Maffione, M 2016, 'Dynamics of intraoceanic subduction initiation: 2. Suprasubduction zone ophiolite formation and metamorphic sole exhumation in context of absolute plate motions', Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 1771-1785. https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GC005745

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