Erin Beutel, Associate Professor

SC Earthquake Education and Preparedness Program

Address: SSMB 222


Northwestern University
Ph.D. 2000

Research Interests

Erin Beutel’s research explores stress in the Earth from a large global tectonic scale to a regional perspective on the Charleston Earthquake.  She has published on everything from mid-ocean ridge tectonics to the break-up of Pangea and stress in the East African Rift using everything from igeneous geochemistry to field relationships of dykes to finite element modeling.  Currently her focus is on stress in the lithosphere and its relationship to magmatism during continental break-up and she mainly uses finite element models to conduct her research.  However, her research with students continues to be even more widespread from changes in  the geochemistry of ash with distance from an eruption to the role of faults in warm spring formation in the Appalachians.

South Carolina Research

Erin uses everything from stress models to geochemistry to field work in South Carolina to understand the geologic history of the break-up of Pangea and the initiation of the Atlantic ocean off the coast of South Carolina.  This research is applied to help understand present day seismicity in South Carolina.

Courses Taught

Dr. Erin Beutel teaches Structural Geology lecture and lab (GEOL 352 and 352L), Geology and Civilization (GEOL235), Tectonics (GEOL411), Senior Seminar, and intro classes.

GEOL 105 and GEOL 105L Historical Geology

GEOL 156L Honors Geology Lab

GEOL 235 Geology and Civilization

GEOL 352 and GEOL 352L Structural Geology

GEOL 411 Tectonics

GEOL 492 Senior Seminar

Honors and Awards

2018 NACADA Regional Faculty Advising Award

2017 College-Wide Distinguished Advising Award, College of Charleston

2005 Distinguished Achievement Award, School of Science and Math, College of Charleston


Filina, I and Beutel, E (invited) Geological and Geophysical Constraints Guide New Tectonic Reconstruction of the Gulf of Mexico (AGU Special Volume)

Filina, I., Liu, M., & Beutel, E. (2020). Evidence of ridge propagation in the eastern Gulf of Mexico from integrated analysis of potential fields and seismic data. Tectonophysics775, 228307.

Clarke, D. B., & Beutel, E. K. (2019). Davis Strait Paleocene picrites: Products of a plume or plates?. Earth-Science Reviews.

Talwani, P., Beutel, E.K., Levine, N., Aalto, K., Jaume, S., Adams, M., (2012) The Great 1886 Earthquake: Seismic hazard and visible damager from the most damaging earthquake in the United States in the 1800s., in Eppes, M., Bartholemew, J., eds., From the Blue Ridge to the Coastal Plain: Field Excursions in the Southeastern United States: 29, p. 137-169, doi:10.1130/2012.0029(05)

Beutel, E.K., Ebinger, C.J., Van Wijk, J, Keir, D., (2010) Formation and stability of magmatic segments in the Main Ethiopian and Afar rifts. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 293, no. 3-4, pp.225-235.

Beutel, E.K., (2009), Magmatic rifting of Pangea linked to onset of South American plate motion. Tectonophysics Special Issue: Role of magmatism. 10.1016/j.tecto.2008.06.019

Beutel, E.K., and Anderson, D.L., (2007), Ridge-crossing seamount chains; a non-thermal approach, in Foulger, G., Jurdy, D., eds., The Origins of Melting Anomalies: Plates, Plumes, and Planetary Processes: Geological Society of America Special Paper 430, p. 375-386.

Nomade S., Knight, K B., Beutel, E., Renne, P R., Verati, C., Feraud, G., Marzoli, A., Youbi, N., Bertrand, H., (2007), Chronology of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province; implications for the central Atlantic rifting processes and the Triassic-Jurassic biotic crisis. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology vol.244, no.1-4, p.326-344.

*Dove, D., Jaume, S., Beutel, E.K., (2007) Tectonic Core of a Sedimentary Drift: A Potential Ridge Propagation Feature Beneath the Blake Outer Ridge. Marine Geophysical Researches, vol.28, no.1.

Beutel, E. K., (2005), Stress-induced seamount formation at ridge-transform intersections, in Foulger, G.R., Anderson, D.L., Natland, J.H. and Presnall, D.C. eds., Plates, Plumes & Paradigms: Geological Society of America Special Paper 338, p 581-593.

McHone, J.G., D.L. Anderson, E.K. Beutel & Y.A. Fialko, (2005), Giant dikes, rifts, flood basalts and plate tectonics: a contention of mantle models in Foulger, G.R., Anderson, D.L., Natland, J.H. and Presnall, D.C. eds., Plates, Plumes & Paradigms: Geological Society of America Special Paper 338, p401-420.

Beutel, E.K., Nomade, S., Fronabarger, A.K, Renne, P.R., (2005) Pangea’s complex breakup: A new rapidly changing stress field model, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 236, p471-485.

Beutel, E. K., Okal, E., (2003) Strength asperities along oceanic transform faults: A model for the origin of extensional earthquakes on the Eltanin Transform system, Earth and Planetery Science Letters, v. 216, p27-41.

* Denotes student author