School of Earth and Environment

Tim Wright Prof Tim Wright

Professor of Satellite Geodesy

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 35258
Email address:
Room: 8.142
Twitter: @timwright_leeds


Tim Wright has been at Leeds since 2006, initially as a Royal Society University Research Fellow and (since 2012) as Professor of Satellite Geodesy. His work has been at the forefront of developing the use of satellite radar interferometry (InSAR) for measuring tectonic and volcanic deformation. Major achievements include the first demonstration that inter-seismic strain can be measured using InSAR, in this case for the North Anatolian Fault; the investigation of a series of major earthquakes using geodesy, seismology and geomorphology, including Bam (Iran, 2003), Denali (Alaska, 2002), and Izmit (Turkey, 1999); the mapping and modelling of precursory inflation at a volcanic centre (Dabbahu, Ethiopia), and the subsequent discovery of a major rifting episode in Afar, Ethiopia. He has published more than 50 articles in major international journals, and his work is highly cited. He led the NERC-funded Afar Rift Consortium, a £3M project that is using a wide range of geophysical, geochemical and geologic techniques to investigate how the crust grows at divergent plate boundaries, and co-leads LICS, a NERC large grant to "Look Inside the Continents from Space". In 2006, he was awarded the William Smith Fund of the Geological Society, and a Philip Leverhulme Prize and in 2014 he received the AGU Geodesy Section Award. He is director of the NERC Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET), and coordinates the geodynamics/tectonics research group at Leeds.

Follow me on twitter: @timwright_leeds


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Postdocs and PhD students

Former Students and Group Members


Download the Pi-rate software for estimating InSAR displacement rates and time series here.


  • Yamasaki T; Wright TJ; Houseman GA (2014) Weak ductile shear zone beneath a major strike-slip fault: inferences from earthquake cycle model constrained by geodetic observations of the western North Anatolian Fault Zone, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 119, pp.3678-3699. doi: 10.1002/2013JB010347
  • Hamling IJ; Wright TJ; Calais E; Lewi E; Fukahata Y (2014) InSAR observations of post-rifting deformation around the Dabbahu rift segment, Afar, Ethiopia, Geophysical Journal International, 197, pp.33-49. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggu003
  • Walters RJ; Parsons B; Wright TJ (2014) Constraining crustal velocity fields with InSAR for Eastern Turkey: Limits to the block-like behavior of Eastern Anatolia, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 119, pp.5215-5234. doi: 10.1002/2013JB010909
  • Wang H; Elliott JR; Craig TJ; Wright TJ; Liu-Zeng J; Hooper A (2014) Normal faulting sequence in the Pumqu-Xainza Rift constrained by InSAR and teleseismic body-wave seismology, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15, pp.2947-2963. doi: 10.1002/2014GC005369
  • Hamlyn JE; Keir D; Wright TJ; Neuberg JW; Goitom B; Hammond JOS; Pagli C; Oppenheimer C; Kendall J-M; Grandin R (2014) Seismicity and subsidence following the 2011 Nabro eruption, Eritrea: Insights into the plumbing system of an off-rift volcano, Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth, 119, pp.8267-8282. doi: 10.1002/2014JB011395
  • Pagli C; Wang H; Wright TJ; Calais E; Lewi E (2014) Current plate boundary deformation of the Afar rift from a 3-D velocity field inversion of InSAR and GPS, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH, 119, pp.8562-8575. doi: 10.1002/2014JB011391
  • Ferguson DJ; Calvert AT; Pyle DM; Blundy JD; Yirgu G; Wright TJ (2013) Constraining timescales of focused magmatic accretion and extension in the Afar crust using lava geochronology., Nat Commun, 4, pp.1416. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2410
  • Hammond JOS; Bastow ID; Kendall JM; Stuart GW; Wright TJ; Ebinger CJ; Belachew M; Keir D; Ayele A; Goitom B; Ogubazghi G (2013) Mantle upwelling and initiation of rift segmentation beneath the Afar Depression, Geology, 41, pp.635-638. doi: 10.1130/G33925.1
  • Garthwaite MC; Wang H; Wright TJ (2013) Broadscale interseismic deformation and fault slip rates in the central Tibetan Plateau observed using InSAR, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 118, pp.5071-5083. doi: 10.1002/jgrb.50348
  • Wright TJ; Elliott JR; Wang H; Ryder I (2013) Earthquake cycle deformation and the Moho: Implications for the rheology of continental lithosphere, Tectonophysics, 609, pp.504-523. doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2013.07.029
  • Wright TJ; Sigmundsson F; Pagli C; Belachew M; Hamling IJ; Brandsdóttir B; Keir D; Pedersen R; Ayele A; Ebinger C; Einarsson P; Lewi E; Calais E (2012) Geophysical constraints on the dynamics of spreading centres from rifting episodes on land, Nature Geoscience, 5, pp.242-250. doi: 10.1038/ngeo1428
  • Pagli C; Wright TJ; Ebinger CJ; Yun S-H; Cann JR; Barnie T; Ayele A (2012) Shallow axial magma chamber at the slow-spreading Erta Ale Ridge, Nature Geoscience, 5, pp.284-288. doi: 10.1038/ngeo1414
  • Wang H; Wright TJ (2012) Satellite geodetic imaging reveals internal deformation of western Tibet, Geophysical Research Letters, 39, . doi: 10.1029/2012GL051222
  • Wright, T; Houlie N; Hildyard, M; Iwabuchi T (2012) Real-time, reliable magnitudes for large earthquakes from 1 Hz GPS Precise Point Positioning: the 2011 Tohoku-Oki (Japan) earthquake, Geophysical Research Letters, . doi: 10.1029/2012GL051894
  • Field L; Blundy J; Brooker RA; Wright T; Yirgu G (2012) Magma storage conditions beneath Dabbahu Volcano (Ethiopia) constrained by petrology, seismicity and satellite geodesy, Bulletin of Volcanology, 74, pp.981-1004. doi: 10.1007/s00445-012-0580-6
  • Nobile A; Pagli C; Keir D; Wright TJ; Ayele A; Ruch J; Acocella V (2012) Dike-fault interaction during the 2004 Dallol intrusion at the northern edge of the Erta Ale Ridge (Afar, Ethiopia), Geophysical Research Letters, 39, . doi: 10.1029/2012GL053152
  • Schepanski K; Wright TJ; Knippertz P (2012) Evidence for flash floods over deserts from loss of coherence in InSAR imagery, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 117, . doi: 10.1029/2012JD017580
  • Hjartardóttir ÁR; Einarsson P; Bramham E; Wright TJ (2012) The Krafla fissure swarm, Iceland, and its formation by rifting events, Bulletin of Volcanology, 74, pp.2139-2153. doi: 10.1007/s00445-012-0659-0
  • Wang H; Wright TJ; Yu Y; Lin H; Jiang L; Li C; Qiu G (2012) InSAR reveals coastal subsidence in the Pearl River Delta, China, Geophysical Journal International, 191, pp.1119-1128. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2012.05687.x
  • Walters RJ; Holley RJ; Parsons B; Wright TJ (2011) Interseismic strain accumulation across the North Anatolian Fault from Envisat InSAR measurements, GEOPHYS RES LETT, 38, . doi: 10.1029/2010GL046443
  • Ebinger C; Ayele A; Keir D; Rowland J; Yirgu G; Wright T; Belachew M; Hamling I (2010) Length and Timescales of Rift Faulting and Magma Intrusion: The Afar Rifting Cycle from 2005 to Present, ANNU REV EARTH PL SC, 38, pp.439-466. doi: 10.1146/annurev-earth-040809-152333
  • Cote DM; Belachew M; Quillen AC; Ebinger CJ; Keir D; Ayele A; Wright T (2010) Low-Frequency Hybrid Earthquakes near a Magma Chamber in Afar: Quantifying Path Effects, B SEISMOL SOC AM, 100, pp.1892-1903. doi: 10.1785/0120090111
  • Hamling IJ; Wright TJ; Calais E; Bennati L; Lewi E (2010) Stress transfer between thirteen successive dyke intrusions in Ethiopia, NAT GEOSCI, 3, pp.713-717. doi: 10.1038/NGEO967
  • Ernst GGJ; d'Oreye N; Kervyn F; Yirgu G; Ebinger C; Tedesco D; Pagliuca NM; Lukaya F; Wright T; Calais E; AVCOR Guest Editor Team (2010) Active Volcanism and Continental Rifting in Africa (AVCOR): Introduction to the Special Issue, J AFR EARTH SCI, 58, pp.V-VIII. doi: 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2010.10.002
  • Dehghani M; Zoej MJV; Saatchi S; Biggs J; Parsons B; Wright T (2009) Radar Interferometry Time Series Analysis of Mashhad Subsidence, J INDIAN SOC REMOT, 37, pp.147-156.
  • Biggs J; Burgmann R; Freymueller JT; Lu Z; Parsons B; Ryder I; Schmalzle G; Wright T (2009) The postseismic response to the 2002 M 7.9 Denali Fault earthquake: constraints from InSAR 2003-2005, GEOPHYS J INT, 176, pp.353-367. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03932.x
  • Wang H; Wright TJ; Biggs J (2009) Interseismic slip rate of the northwestern Xianshuihe fault from InSAR data, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, . doi: 10.1029/2008GL036560
  • Barisin I; Leprince S; Parsons B; Wright T (2009) Surface displacements in the September 2005 Afar rifting event from satellite image matching: Asymmetric uplift and faulting, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, . doi: 10.1029/2008GL036431
  • Nooner SL; Bennati L; Calais E; Buck WR; Hamling IJ; Wright TJ; Lewi E (2009) Post-rifting relaxation in the Afar region, Ethiopia, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, . doi: 10.1029/2009GL040502
  • Ayele A; Keir D; Ebinger C; Wright TJ; Stuart GW; Buck WR; Jacques E; Ogubazghi G; Sholan J (2009) September 2005 mega-dike emplacement in the Manda-Harraro nascent oceanic rift (Afar depression), Geophysical Research Letters, 36, . doi: 10.1029/2009GL039605
  • Keir D; Hamling IJ; Ayele A; Calais E; Ebinger C; Wright TJ; Jacques E; Mohamed K; Hammond JOS; Belachew M; Baker E; Rowland JV; Lewi E; Bennati L (2009) Evidence for focused magmatic accretion at segment centers from lateral dike injections captured beneath the Red Sea rift in Afar, GEOLOGY, 37, pp.59-62. doi: 10.1130/G25147A.1
  • Hamling IJ; Ayele A; Bennati L; Calais E; Ebinger CJ; Keir D; Lewi E; Wright TJ; Yirgu G (2009) Geodetic observations of the ongoing Dabbahu rifting episode: new dyke intrusions in 2006 and 2007, GEOPHYS J INT, 178, pp.989-1003. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04163.x
  • Ebinger CJ; Keir D; Ayele A; Calais E; Wright TJ; Belachew M; Hammond JOS; Campbell E; Buck WR (2008) Capturing magma intrusion and faulting processes during continental rupture: seismicity of the Dabbahu (Afar) rift, GEOPHYS J INT, 174, pp.1138-1152. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03877.x
  • Baer G; Funning GJ; Shamir G; Wright TJ (2008) The 1995 November 22, M-w 7.2 Gulf of Elat earthquake cycle revisited, GEOPHYS J INT, 175, pp.1040-1054. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03901.x
  • Fukahata Y; Wright TJ (2008) A non-linear geodetic data inversion using ABIC for slip distribution on a fault with an unknown dip angle, GEOPHYS J INT, 173, pp.353-364. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03713.x
  • Elliott JR; Biggs J; Parsons B; Wright TJ (2008) InSAR slip rate determination on the Altyn Tagh Fault, northern Tibet, in the presence of topographically correlated atmospheric delays, GEOPHYS RES LETT, 35, . doi: 10.1029/2008GL033659
  • Funning GJ; Parsons B; Wright TJ (2007) Fault slip in the 1997 Manyi, Tibet earthquake from linear elastic modelling of InSAR displacements, GEOPHYS J INT, 169, pp.988-1008. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03318.x
  • Taymaz T; Wright TJ; Yolsal S; Tan O; Fielding E; Seyitoglu G (2007) Source characteristics of the 6 June 2000 Orta-Çankiri (central Turkey) earthquake: a synthesis of seismological, geological and geodetic (InSAR) observations, and internal deformation of the Anatolian plate, Special Publication Geological Society of London, 291, pp.259-290. doi: 10.1144/SP291.12
  • Rowland JV; Baker E; Ebinger CJ; Keir D; Kidane T; Biggs J; Hayward N; Wright TJ (2007) Fault growth at a nascent slow-spreading ridge: 2005 Dabbahu rifting episode, Afar, GEOPHYS J INT, 171, pp.1226-1246. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03584.x
  • Ryder I; Parsons B; Wright TJ; Funning GJ (2007) Post-seismic motion following the 1997 Manyi (Tibet) earthquake: InSAR observations and modelling, GEOPHYS J INT, 169, pp.1009-1027. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03312.x
  • Biggs J; Wright T; Lu Z; Parsons B (2007) Multi-interferogram method for measuring interseismic deformation: Denali fault, Alaska, GEOPHYS J INT, 170, pp.1165-1179. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03415.x
  • Nissen E; Emmerson B; Funning GJ; Mistrukov A; Parsons B; Robinson DP; Rogozhin E; Wright TJ (2007) Combining InSAR and seismology to study the 2003 Siberian Altai earthquakes - dextral strike-slip and anticlockwise rotations in the northern India-Eurasia collision zone, GEOPHYS J INT, 169, pp.216-232. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03286.x
  • Wright TJ; Ebinger C; Biggs J; Ayele A; Yirgu G; Keir D; Stork A (2006) Magma-maintained rift segmentation at continental rupture in the 2005 Afar dyking episode, NATURE, 442, pp.291-294. doi: 10.1038/nature04978
  • Biggs J; Bergman E; Emmerson B; Funning GJ; Jackson J; Parsons B; Wright TJ (2006) Fault identification for buried strike-slip earthquakes using InSAR: The 1994 and 2004 Al Hoceima, Morocco earthquakes, GEOPHYS J INT, 166, pp.1347-1362. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03071.x
  • Pathier E; Fielding EJ; Wright TJ; Walker R; Parsons BE; Hensley S (2006) Displacement field and slip distribution of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake from SAR imagery, GEOPHYS RES LETT, 33, . doi: 10.1029/2006GL027193
  • Jackson J; Bouchon M; Fielding E; Funning G; Ghorashi M; Hatzfeld D; Nazari, H; Parsons B; Priestley K; Talebian M; Tatar M; Walker R; Wright TJ (2006) Seismotectonic, rupture process, and earthquake-hazard aspects of the 2003 December 26 Bam, Iran, earthquake, Geophysical Journal International, 166, pp.1270-1292. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03056.x
  • Parsons B; Wright T; Rowe P; Andrews J; Jackson J; Walker R; Khatib M; Talebian M; Bergman E; Engdahl ER (2006) The 1994 Sefidabeh (eastern Iran) earthquakes revisited: new evidence from satellite radar interferometry and carbonate dating about the growth of an active fold above a blind thrust fault, GEOPHYS J INT, 164, pp.202-217. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2005.02655.X
  • Muller JR; Aydin A; Wright TJ (2006) Using an elastic dislocation model to investigate static Coulomb stress change scenarios for earthquake ruptures in the eastern Marmara Sea region, Turkey, In: UITER SJHB; SCHREURS G (Ed) Analogue and Numerical Modelling of Crustal-Scale Processes, Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 253, Analogue and Numerical Modelling of Crustal-Scale Processes, pp.397-414. doi: 10.1144/GSL.SP.2006.253.01.21
  • Funning GJ; Parsons B; Wright TJ; Jackson JA; Fielding EJ (2005) Surface displacements and source parameters of the 2003 Bam (Iran) earthquake from Envisat advanced synthetic aperture radar imagery, Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth, 110, pp.1-23. doi: 10.1029/2004JB003338
  • Resor PG; Pollard DD; Wright TJ; Beroza GC (2005) Integrating high-precision aftershock locations and geodetic observations to model coseismic deformation associated with the 1995 Kozani-Grevena earthquake, Greece, Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth, 110, pp.1-14. doi: 10.1029/2004JB003263
  • Funning GJ; Barke RMD; Lamb SH; Minaya E; Parsons B; Wright TJ (2005) The 1998 Aiquile, Bolivia earthquake: A seismically active fault revealed with InSAR, EARTH PLANET SC LETT, 232, pp.39-49. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2005.01.013
  • Wright TJ; Lu Z; Wicks C (2004) Constraining the slip distribution and fault geometry of the M-w 7.9, 3 November 2002, Denali fault earthquake with interferometric synthetic aperture radar and global positioning system data, B SEISMOL SOC AM, 94, pp.S175-S189.
  • Wright TJ; Parsons B; England PC; Fielding EJ (2004) InSAR observations of low slip rates on the major faults of western Tibet, SCIENCE, 305, pp.236-239.
  • Wright TJ; Parsons BE; Lu Z (2004) Toward mapping surface deformation in three dimensions using InSAR, GEOPHYS RES LETT, 31, . doi: 10.1029/2003GL018827
  • Talebian M; Fielding EJ; Funning GJ; Ghorashi M; Jackson J; Nazari H; Parsons B; Priestley K; Rosen PA; Walker R; Wright TJ (2004) The 2003 Bam (Iran) earthquake: Rupture of a blind strike-slip fault, GEOPHYS RES LETT, 31, . doi: 10.1029/2004GL020058
  • Fielding EJ; Wright TJ; Muller J; Parsons BE; Walker R (2004) Aseismic deformation of a fold-and-thrust belt imaged by synthetic aperture radar interferometry near Shahdad, southeast Iran, GEOLOGY, 32, pp.577-580. doi: 10.1130/G20452.1
  • Wright TJ; Lu Z; Wicks C (2003) Source model for the M-w 6.7, 23 October 2002, Nenana Mountain Earthquake (Alaska) from InSAR, GEOPHYS RES LETT, 30, . doi: 10.1029/2003GL018014
  • Wright TJ (2002) Remote monitoring of the earthquake cycle using satellite radar interferometry, PHILOS T ROY SOC A, 360, pp.2873-2888. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2002.1094
  • Burgmann R; Ayhan ME; Fielding EJ; Wright TJ; McClusky S; Aktug B; Demir C; Lenk O; Turkezer A (2002) Deformation during the 12 November 1999 Duzce, Turkey, earthquake, from GPS and InSAR data, B SEISMOL SOC AM, 92, pp.161-171.
  • Wright T; Parsons B; Fielding E (2001) Measurement of interseismic strain accumulation across the North Anatolian Fault by satellite radar interferometry, GEOPHYS RES LETT, 28, pp.2117-2120.
  • Wright T; Fielding E; Parsons B (2001) Triggered slip: observations of the 17 August 1999 Izmit (Turkey) earthquake using radar interferometry, GEOPHYS RES LETT, 28, pp.1079-1082.
  • Berberian M; Jackson JA; Fielding E; Parsons BE; Priestley K; Qorashi M; Talebian M; Walker R; Wright TJ; Baker C (2001) The 1998 March 14 Fandoqa earthquake (M-w 6.6) in Kerman province, southeast Iran: re-rupture of the 1981 Sirch earthquake fault, triggering of slip on adjacent thrusts and the active tectonics of the Gowk fault zone, GEOPHYS J INT, 146, pp.371-398.
  • Wright TJ; Parsons BE; Jackson JA; Haynes M; Fielding EJ; England PC; Clarke PJ (1999) Source parameters of the 1 October 1995 Dinar (Turkey) earthquake from SAR interferometry and seismic bodywave modelling, EARTH PLANET SC LETT, 172, pp.23-37.