Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Prof. Hugh Sinclair

Department / group: School of Geosciences, Global Change / Land Surface Dynamics
Personal URL: Not available

Research interests:

Interaction between surface processes (erosion and sedimentation), mountain building and basin subsidence. The growth of topography in mountain ranges. Using numerical modelling to analyse the punctuated nature of surface uplift. Processes of long term erosion are measured using a range of low temperature thermochronometers, enabling us to question the forcings and response times of surface processes to climate and tectonics. The products of the erosional engine in the mountain belt are then studied as stratigraphy in surrounding basins. Analysis and modelling of the subsidence history of foreland basins. Understanding Mountain Belt/Foreland Basin systems using a range of approaches, which are also applied to issues of hydrocarbon prospectivity. Funding comes from research councils, science foundations and industry. Active field areas include the Alps, Pyrenees, Carpathians, Balkans, Ladakh Himalaya and the Rockies.

Career history:

Present: Professor of Surface Geodynamics; Deputy Head of Global Change Research Institute, University of Edinburgh

Active research projects:

Understanding subduction zone topography through modelling of coupled shallow and deep processes

Sinclair, H.

1/03/16 – 29/02/20

EU government bodies

Long-term variability of sediment delivery to the Gangetic Plains measured using cosmogenic nuclides

Sinclair, H.

1/08/14 – 31/07/16

UK-based charities

The Royal Society – International Scientific Seminar India-UK – Sinclair H Dr – Long term Controls on the Rivers of the Ganges Plains: Defining the Trajectory of Landscape Change

Venugopal, V., Sinclair, H. & Palmer, P.

22/04/13 – 30/04/15

UK-based charities

Recent publications:

Śmigielski, M., Sinclair H.D., Stuart F.M., Persano C., Krzywiec P., (2016)Exhumation history of the Tatry Mountains, Western Carpathians, constrained by low temperature thermochronology, Tectonics online early.

Naylor, M., Sinclair, H., van der Beek, P., Bernet, M. & Kirstein, L. (2015) Bias in detrital fission track grain-age populations: Implications for reconstructing changing erosion rates. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 422, p. 94–104.

Devrani, R., Singh, V., Mudd, S. M. & Sinclair, H. D. (2015) Prediction of flash-flood hazard impact from Himalayan river profiles. Geophysical Research Letters. 42, 14, p. 5888–5894.

Sun, G., Hu, X., Sinclair, H.D., BouDagher-Fadel, M. K., Wang, J., (2015) Late Cretaceous evolution of the Coqen Basin (Lhasa terrane) and implications for early topographic growth on the Tibetan Plateau Geological Society of America Bulletin, first published on February 19, 2015, doi:10.1130/B31137.

Krzywiec, P., Oszczypko, N., Bukowski, K., Oszczypko-Clowes, M., Oemigielski, M., Stuart, F.M., Persano, C., Sinclair, H. D., (2014), Structure and evolution of the Carpathian thrust front between Tarnów and Pilzno (Pogórska Wola area, southern Poland) – results of integrated analysis of seismic and bore hole data. Geological Quarterly, 2014, 58 (3): 399–416. DOI:

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