Skip to Main Site Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Back To Top

William Dickson Cunningham

Environmental Earth Science

Professor Cunningham is an internationally recognized expert on global tectonics and mountain building processes, with 35 years of field experience working in Central Asia, the Andes, Alps, Antarctica and the southwestern United States. His 85+ major publications have been cited more than 5,200 times and he has presented lectures at international conferences in more than 15 countries. Prior to arriving at Eastern, he worked as Senior Lecturer at the University of Leicester in England for 18 years.

Research Interests
  • Evolution and Geological Architecture of Mountain Ranges
  • Fault Systems and Earthquake Hazards
  • Tectonic History of Connecticut
Of Note

In 2019, Professor Cunningham received the ECSU Distinguished Professor Award.

In 2017, Professor Cunningham was an invited keynote speaker at two major conferences and was one of only 50 speakers at the prestigious 50th Anniversary of Plate Tectonics Meeting in London.

Teaching Interests
  • Structural Geology
  • Mineralogy/Petrology
  • Field Geology/Global Field Courses

Cunningham, D., 2021, Tectonic Geomorphology of Intracontinental Mountain Ranges, in: Owen, L. (Ed), Treatise on Geomorphology, Elsevier,

Yang, H., Yang, X., Cunningham, D., Huang, X., Hu, Z., Yang, H., & Abu-Alam, T. S., 2021, Late Miocene to Quaternary Development of the Jiujing Basin, Southern Beishan Block, China: Implications for the Kinematics and Timing of Crustal Reactivation North of Tibet. Lithosphere2021(1).

Zhang, Jin, Cunningham, D., Yun, L., Qu, J., Zhao, H., Zhang, B., ...& Hui, J., 2021, Kinematic variability of Late Cenozoic fault systems and contrasting mountain building processes in the Alxa Block, western China, Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 205, 104597.

Cunningham, W.D. & Zhang, Jin., 2020, China | Mongolia: Mesozoic-Cenozoic. Encyclopedia of Geology, 2nd Edition, Elsevier.

Yang. H., Yang, X., Cunningham, D., Hu, Z., Huang, X., Huang, W., Yang., H, Miao, S., and Zhang, L., 2020,  A regionally evolving transpressional duplex along the northern margin of the Altyn Tagh Fault: new kinematic and timing constraints from the Sanweishan and Nanjieshan, China, Tectonics, 39, 2, doi: 10.1029/2019TC005749.

Cunningham, D. 2017, Folded basinal compartments of the southern Mongolian borderland: A structural archive of the final consolidation of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt, Geosciences, 7, 2; doi:103390/geosciences7010002

Cunningham, D., Zhang, J., Li, Y., 2016, Late Cenozoic transpressional mountain building directly north of the Altyn Tagh Fault in the Sanweishan and Nanjieshan, North Tibetan Foreland, China, Tectonophysics, 687, 111-128.

Grebby, S., Cunningham, D., Tansey, K. and Naden, J., 2014, The impact of vegetation on lithological mapping using airborne multispectral data: A case study for the North Troodos region, Cyprus, Remote Sensing , 6, 10860-10887.

Yuan, R.; Deng, Q., Cunningham, D., Xu, C., Xu, X., and Chang, C., 2013; Density Distribution of Landslides Triggered by the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake and their Relationships to Peak Ground Acceleration, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 103, No. 4, doi:10.1785/0120110233

Cunningham, D., 2013, Mountain building processes in intracontinental oblique deformation belts: Lessons from the Gobi Corridor, Central Asia, Journal of Structural Geology, Vol. 46, 255-282.

Personal Webpage