Susan Ellis


Full Name: Susan Ellis

Position: Principal Scientist, Geodynamic Modeller

Contact details

Email me here
Phone: +64-4-570 4730


1989: BSc (Hons); 1995: PhD, Geological Oceanography

Areas of expertise

Geophysics: Code development
Geophysics: Crustal deformation and neotectonics
Geophysics: Finite element analysis
Geophysics: Geodetic data analysis
Geophysics: Geodynamics
Geophysics: Modelling

Professional activities

American Geophysical Union: Member
Geological Society of New Zealand: geophysics: member

Major publications

Heise, W.; Ellis, S.M. 2016 On the coupling of geodynamic and resistivity models : a progress report and the way forward. Surveys in geophysics, 37(1): 81-107; doi: 10.1007/s10712-015-9334-2

Cairns, E.A.; Little, T.A.; Turner, G.M.; Wallis, L.M.; Ellis, S.M. 2015 Paleomagnetic evidence for vertical-axis rotations of crustal blocks in the Woodlark Rift, SE Papua New Guinea : Miocene to Present-Day kinematics in one of the world's most rapidly extending plate boundary zones. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 16(7): 2058-2081; doi: 10.1002/2015GC005788

Cross, A.J.; Ellis, S.M.; Prior, D.J. 2015 A phenomenological numerical approach for investigating grain size evolution in ductiley deforming rocks. Journal of Structural Geology, 76: 22-34; doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2015.04.001

Ellis, S.M.; Fagereng, A.; Barker, D.H.N.; Henrys, S.A.; Saffer, D.; Wallace, L.M.; Williams, C.A.; Harris, R. 2015 Fluid budgets along the northern Hikurangi subduction margin, New Zealand : the effect of a subducting seamount on fluid pressure. Geophysical Journal International, 202(1): 277-297; doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv127

Misra, S.; Ellis, S.M.; Mandal, N. 2015 Fault damage zones in mechanically layered rocks : the effects of planar anisotropy. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 120(8): 5432-5452; doi: 10.1002/2014JB011780

Eberhart-Phillips, D.; Bannister, S.; Ellis, S.M. 2014 Imaging P and S attenuation in the termination region of the Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand. Geophysical Journal International, 198(1): 516-536; doi: 10.1093/gji/ggu151

Ellis, S.M.; Heise, W.; Kissling, W.M.; Villamor, P.; Schreurs, G. 2014 The effect of crustal melt on rift dynamics : case study of the Taupo Volcanic Zone. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 57(4): 453-458; doi: 10.1080/00288306.2014.972961

Hamling, I.J.; D'Anastasio, E.; Wallace, L.M.; Ellis, S.M.; Motagh, M.; Samsonov, S.; Palmer, N.G.; Hreinsdottir, S. 2014 Crustal deformation and stress transfer during a propagating earthquake sequence : the 2013 Cook Strait sequence, Central New Zealand. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 119(7): 6080-6092; doi: 10.1002/2014JB011084

Wallace, L.M.; Ellis, S.M.; Little, T.; Trenoning, P.; Palmer, N.G.; Rosa, R.; Stanaway, R.; Oa, J.; Nidkombu, E.; Kwazi, J. 2014 Continental breakup and UHP rock exhumation in action : GPS results from the Woodlark Rift, Papua New Guinea. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 15(11): 4267-4290; doi: 10.1002/2014GC005458

Dempsey, D.E.; Archer, R.A.; Ellis, S.M.; Rowland, J.V. 2013 Hydrological effects of dip-slip fault rupture on a hydrothermal plume. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 118(1): 195-211; doi: 10.1029/2012JB009395

Dempsey, D.; Ellis, S.M.; Archer, R.; Rowland, J. 2012 Energetics of normal earthquakes on dip-slip faults. Geology, 40(3): 279-282; doi: 10.1130/G32643.1

Dempsey, D.E.; Ellis, S.M.; Rowland, J.V.; Archer, R.A. 2012 The role of frictional plasticity in the evolution of normal fault systems. Journal of Structural Geology, 39: 122-137; doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2012.03.001

Grigull, S.; Ellis, S.M.; Little, T.A.; Hill, M.P.; Buiter, S.J.H. 2012 Rheological constraints on quartz derived from scaling relationships and numerical models of sheared brittle-ductile quartz veins, central Southern Alps, New Zealand. Journal of Structural Geology, 37: 200-222; doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2012.01.006

Wallace, L.M.; Fagereng, A.; Ellis, S.M. 2012 Upper plate tectonic stress state may influence interseismic coupling on subduction megathrusts. Geology, 40(10): 895-898; doi: 10.1130/G33373.1

Ellis, S.M.; Little, T.A.; Wallace, L.M.; Hacker, B.R.; Buiter, S.J.H. 2011 Feedback between rifting and diapirism can exhume ultrahigh-pressure rocks. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 311(3/4): 427-438; doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.09.031

Little, T.A.; Hacker, B.R.; Gordon, S.M.; Baldwin, S.L.; Fitzgerald, P.G.; Ellis, S.M.; Korchinski, M. 2011 Diapiric exhumation of Earth's youngest (UHP) eclogites in the gneiss domes of the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, Papua New Guinea. Tectonophysics, 510(1/2): 39-68; doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2011.06.006

Nuechter, J.A.; Ellis, S.M. 2011 Mid-crustal controls on episodic stress-field rotation around major reverse, normal and strike-slip faults. p. 187-201; doi: 10.1144/SP359.11 IN: Fagereng, A.; Toy, V.G.; Rowland, J.V. (eds) Geology of the earthquake source : a volume in honour of Rick Sibson. London: Geological Society. Geological Society special publication 359.

Quinquis, M.E.T.; Buiter, S.J.H.; Ellis, S.M. 2011 The role of boundary conditions in numerical models of subduction zone dynamics. Tectonophysics, 497(1-4): 57-70; doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2010.11.001

Beavan, R.J.; Samsonov, S.; Motagh, M.; Wallace, L.M.; Ellis, S.M.; Palmer, N.G. 2010 The Darfield (Canterbury) earthquake : geodetic observations and preliminary source model. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 43(4): 228-235

Eberhart-Phillips, D.; Reyners, M.E.; Bannister, S.; Chadwick, M.P.; Ellis, S.M. 2010 Establishing a versatile 3-D seismic velocity model for New Zealand. Seismological Research Letters, 81(6): 992-1000; doi: 10.1785/gssrl.81.6.992

Ellis, S.M.; Pecher, I.A.; Kukowski, N.; Xu, W.; Henrys, S.A.; Greinert, J. 2010 Testing proposed mechanisms for seafloor weakening at the top of gas hydrate stability on an uplifted submarine ridge (Rock Garden), New Zealand. Marine Geology, 172(1-4): 127-140; doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2009.10.008

Nuechter, J.-A.; Ellis, S.M. 2010 Complex states of stress during the normal faulting seismic cycle : role of midcrustal postseismic creep. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 115(12): B12411; doi: 10.1029/2010JB007557

Pysklywec, R.N.; Ellis, S.M.; Gorman, A.R. 2010 Three-dimensional mantle lithosphere deformation at collisional plate boundaries : a subduction scissor across the South Island of New Zealand. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 289(3/4): 334-346; doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2009.11.022

Chapman, N.; Apted, M.; Beavan, R.J.; Berryman, K.R.; Cloos, M.; Connor, C.; Connor, L.; Ellis, S.M.; Jaquet, O.; Kiyosugi, K.; Litchfield, N.J.; Mahony, S.; Smith, W.D.; Sparks, S.; Stirling, M.W.; Villamor, P.; Wallace, L.M.; Goto, J.; Miwa, T.; Tsuchi, H.; Kitayama, K. 2009 Development of methodologies for the identification of volcanic and tectonic hazards to potential HLW repository sites in Japan : summary report. Tokyo, Japan: Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO). NUMO-TR 09-03. 59 p.

Fagereng, A.; Ellis, S.M. 2009 On factors controlling the depth of interseismic coupling on the Hikurangi subduction interface, New Zealand. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 278(1/2): 120-130; doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2008.11.033

Kissling, W.; Ellis, S.M.; Charpentier, F.; Bibby, H.M. 2009 Convective flows in a TVZ-like setting with a brittle/ductile transition. Transport in Porous Media, 77(2): 335-355; doi: 10.1007/s11242-008-9328-3

Wallace, L.M.; Ellis, S.M.; Mann, P. 2009 Collisional model for rapid fore-arc block rotations, arc curvature, and episodic back-arc rifting in subduction settings. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 10(5): Q05001; doi: 10.1029/2008GC002220

Wallace, L.M.; Ellis, S.M.; Miyao, K.; Miura, S.; Beavan, R.J.; Goto, J. 2009 Enigmatic, highly active left-lateral shear zone in southwest Japan explained by aseismic ridge collision. Geology, 37(2): 143-146; doi: 10.1130/G25221A.1

Wallace, L.M.; Reyners, M.E.; Cochran, U.A.; Bannister, S.; Barnes, P.M.; Berryman, K.R.; Downes, G.L.; Eberhart-Phillips, D.; Fagereng, A.; Ellis, S.M.; Nicol, A.; McCaffrey, R.; Beavan, R.J.; Henrys, S.A.; Sutherland, R.; Barker, D.H.N.; Litchfield, N.J.; Townend, J.; Robinson, R.; Bell, R.E.; Wilson, K.J.; Power, W.L. 2009 Characterizing the seismogenic zone of a major plate boundary subduction thrust : Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 10(10): Q10006; doi: 10.1029/2009GC002610

Ellis, S.M.; Benites, R.A.; Robinson, R. 2008 Geoscience supermodels. p. 114-117 IN: Graham, I.J. (ed.) A continent on the move : New Zealand geoscience into the 21st century. Wellington: Geological Society of New Zealand in association with GNS Science. Geological Society of New Zealand miscellaneous publication 124.

Beavan, R.J.; Ellis, S.M.; Wallace, L.M.; Denys, P. 2007 Kinematic constraints from GPS on oblique convergence of the Pacific and Australian Plates, central South Island, New Zealand. p. 75-94 IN: Okaya, D.A.; Stern, T.A.; Davey, F.J. (eds) A continental plate boundary : tectonics at South Island, New Zealand. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union. Geophysical monograph 175.

Ellis, S.M.; Wilson, C.J.N.; Bannister, S.; Bibby, H.M.; Heise, W.; Wallace, L.M.; Patterson, N.G. 2007 A future magma inflation event under the rhyolitic Taupo volcano, New Zealand : numerical models based on constraints from geochemical, geological, and geophysical data. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 168(1-4): 1-27; doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2007.06.004

Litchfield, N.J.; Ellis, S.M.; Berryman, K.R.; Nicol, A. 2007 Insights into subduction-related uplift along the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand, using numerical modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research. Earth Surface, 112(F2): F02021; doi: 10.1029/2006JF000535

Savage, M.K.; Tommasi, A.; Ellis, S.M.; Chery, J. 2007 Modeling strain and anisotropy along the Alpine Fault, South Island, New Zealand. p. 289-305 IN: Okaya, D.A.; Stern, T.A.; Davey, F.J. (eds) A continental plate boundary : tectonics at South Island, New Zealand. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union. Geophysical monograph 175.

Sutherland, R.; Eberhart-Phillips, D.; Harris, R.A.; Stern, T.A.; Beavan, R.J.; Ellis, S.M.; Henrys, S.A.; Cox, S.C.; Norris, R.J.; Berryman, K.R.; Townend, J.; Bannister, S.; Pettinga, J.; Leitner, B.; Wallace, L.M.; Little, T.A.; Cooper, A.F.; Yetton, M.; Stirling, M.W. 2007 Do great earthquakes occur on the Alpine Fault in central South Island, New Zealand? p. 235-251 IN: Okaya, D.A.; Stern, T.A.; Davey, F.J. (eds) A continental plate boundary : tectonics at South Island, New Zealand. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union. Geophysical monograph 175.

Beaumont, C.; Nguyen, M.H.; Jamieson, R.A.; Ellis, S.M. 2006 Crustal flow modes in large hot orogens. p. 91-145 IN: Law, R.D.; Searle, M.P.; Godin, L. (eds) Channel flow, ductile extrusion and exhumation in continental collision zones. London: Geological Society of London. Geological Society special publication 268.

Buiter, S.J.H.; Babeyko, A.Y.; Ellis, S.M.; Gerya, T.V.; Kaus, B.J.P.; Kellner, A.; Schreurs, G.; Yamada, Y. 2006 The numerical sandbox : comparison of model results for a shortening and an extension experiment. p. 29-64 IN: Buiter, S.J.H.; Schreurs, G. (eds) Analogue and numerical modelling of crustal-scale processes. London: Geological Society of London. Geological Society special publication 253.

Ellis, S.M.; Beavan, R.J.; Eberhart-Phillips, D. 2006 Bounds on the width of mantle lithosphere flow derived from surface geodetic measurements : application to the central Southern Alps, New Zealand. Geophysical Journal International, 166(1): 403-417

Ellis, S.M.; Beavan, R.J.; Eberhart-Phillips, D.; Stoeckhert, B. 2006 Simplified models of the Alpine Fault seismic cycle : stress transfer in the mid-crust. Geophysical Journal International, 166(1): 386-402

Ellis, S.M.; Darby, D. 2005 A modified Terzaghi consolidation factor for first-order estimation of overpressure resulting from sedimentation : review and synthesis. Mathematical geology, 37(1): 115-123

Pecher, I.A.; Henrys, S.A.; Ellis, S.M.; Chiswell, S.M.; Kukowski, N. 2005 Erosion of the seafloor at the top of the gas hydrate stability zone on the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand. Geophysical Research Letters, 32(24): doi: 10.1029/2005GL024687

Wallace, L.M.; McCaffrey, R.; Beavan, R.J.; Ellis, S.M. 2005 Rapid microplate rotations and backarc rifting at the transition between collision and subduction. Geology, 33(11): 857-860

Ellis, S.M.; Schreurs, G.; Panien, M. 2004 Comparisons between analogue and numerical models of thrust wedge development. Journal of Structural Geology, 26(9): 1659-1675

Ellis, S.M.; Stoeckhert, B. 2004 Imposed strain localization in the lower crust on seismic timescales. Earth, Planets and Space, 56(12): 1103-1109

Ellis, S.M.; Stoeckhert, B. 2004 Elevated stresses and creep rates beneath the brittle-ductile transition caused by seismic faulting in the upper crust. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 109(B5): B05407; doi: 10.1029/2003JB002744

Henrys, S.A.; Ellis, S.M.; Uruski, C.I. 2003 Conductive heat flow variations from bottom-simulating reflectors on the Hikurangi margin, New Zealand. Geophysical Research Letters, 30(2): 1065; doi: 1029/2002GL015772

Read, S.A.L.; Pender, M.J.; Barker, P.R.; Ellis, S.M. 2003 Consolidation testing of Huka Falls Formation : properties related to subsidence at Ohaaki and Wairakei. p. 291-300 IN: Crawford, S.; Baunton, P.; Hargraves, S. Geotechnics on the volcanic edge, Tauranga, March 2003. Wellington: Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand. Proceedings of technical groups (Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand) 30(1 GM).

Wissing, S.B.; Ellis, S.M.; Pfiffner, O.A. 2003 Numerical models of Alpine-type cover nappes. Tectonophysics, 367(3/4): 145-172; doi: 10.1016/S0040-1951(03)00097-0

Ellis, S.M.; Wissing, S.; Pfiffner, A. 2001 Strain localization as a key to reconciling experimentally derived flow-law data with dynamic models of continental collision. International journal of earth sciences, 90(1): 168-180

Pfiffner, O.A.; Ellis, S.M.; Beaumont, C. 2000 Collision tectonics in the Swiss Alps : insight from geodynamic modeling. Tectonics, 19(6): 1065-1094

Beaumont, C.; Ellis, S.M.; Pfiffner, A. 1999 Dynamics of sediment subduction-accretion at convergent margins : short-term modes, long-term deformation, and tectonic implications. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 104(B8): 17573-17601

Ellis, S.M.; Beaumont, C. 1999 Models of convergent boundary tectonics : implications for the interpretation of lithoprobe data. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 36(10): 1711-1741

Ellis, S.M.; Beaumont, C.; Pfiffner, O.A. 1999 Geodynamic models of crustal-scale episodic tectonic accretion and underplating in subduction zones. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 104(B7): 15169-15190

Ellis, S.M.; Beaumont, C.; Jamieson, R.A.; Quinland, G. 1998 Continental collision including a weak zone : the vise model and its application to the Newfoundland Applachians. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 35(11): 1323-1346

Beaumont, C.; Ellis, S.M.; Hamilton, J.; Fullsack, P. 1996 Mechanical model for subduction-collision tectonics of alpine-type compressional orogens. Geology, 24(8): 675-678

Ellis, S.M. 1996 Forces driving continental collision : reconciling indentation and mantle subduction tectonics. Geology, 24(8): 699-702

Ellis, S.M.; Fullsack, P.; Beumont, C. 1995 Oblique convergence of the crust driven by basal forcing: implications for length-scales of deformation and strain partitioning in orogens. Geophysical Journal International, 120(1): 24-44

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