Audrey Margirier

Research statement

I am fascinated by the interactions between geodynamics, tectonics, climate and surface processes and more specifically in their contribution to the evolution of the landscape at different time-scales from tens of millions of years to a thousand years. To address these issues, I use a multidisciplinary approach combining geology with thermochronological analyses and numerical models and I have been working with collaborators from various fields including tectonics, noble gas geochemistry, petrology, terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides, luminescence dating and surface processes modelling. My research established the role of deep-seated processes in the structural and topographic evolution in the Andes. My recent work also demonstrated the positive retroactions between erosion and tectonics and evidenced the importance of changes in climate on denudation and landscape evolution.


I studied Geosciences at the University Joseph Fourier in Grenoble (France) and obtained my Master degree in 2012. During my PhD at the University Grenoble Alpes (2012-2015), I used an approach combining structural geology and thermochronology to decipher the respective role of tectonics and climate on uplift and exhumation of the Peruvian Andes. After completing my PhD, in 2015, I worked as a research and teaching assistant at the University Grenoble Alpes. In 2017, I moved to the GFZ Potsdam (Germany), to take a postdoctoral position at, in a group dedicated at modelling earth surface processes. In 2017, I was funded by the DAAD to lead a research project aiming at deciphering the contribution of subduction processes to topographic growth in Ecuador using quantitative thermochronology at the University of Arizona and the University of Potsdam (2018-2021).

I joined the ICE group at UNIL as a postdoc in 2021 to work on luminescence rock surface burial dating of englacial rock debris. In 2021 I was awarded a MSCA Global Postdoctoral fellowship to provide new constraints on the timing and rates of canyon incision on the Colorado Plateau using ESR dating and classical thermochronology (2023-2026).

Active projects

  • Uplift and incision of the Colorado Plateau (USA): New insights from classical to electron spin resonance thermochronology
  • Chronology of rockfall events in the Rwenzori mountains (Uganda)
  • Englacial transport time of rock debris: new constraints from luminescence rock surface burial dating (Mont Blanc massif, France)
  • Diachronous onset of exhumation of the western Chilean Andes


(10) Audin L., B. Gérard, C. Gautheron, S. Schwartz, C. Benavente, X. Robert, P. van der Beek, R. Pinna-Jamme, M. Balvay, M. Bernet, A. Margirier, Zerathe, S. (2023), Burial in the western Central Andes through Oligocene to Miocene ignimbrite flare‐ups recorded by low‐temperature thermochronology in the Cañete Canyon, Peru, Terra Nova, 00, 1-10.

(9) Margirier A., M. R. Strecker, P. W. Reiners, S. N. Thomson, I. Casado, S. W. M. George, A. Alvarado (2022), Late Miocene exhumation of the Western Cordillera, Ecuador, driven by increased coupling between the subducting Carnegie Ridge and the South American continent. Tectonics, 41, e2022TC007344.

(8) Replumaz A., M. San José *, A. Margirier, P. van der Beek, C. Gautheron, P. H. Leloup, X. Ou, C. Kai, G.-C. Wang, Y.-Z. Zhang, P. G. Valla, M. Balvay (2020), Tectonic control on rapid Late Miocene – Quaternary incision of the Mekong River knickzone, Southeast Tibetan Plateau, Tectonics, 39, e2019TC005782.  

(7) Margirier A., J. Braun, C. Gautheron, J. Carcaillet, S. Schwartz, R. Pinna-Jamme, J. Stanley (2019), Erratum to “Climate control on Early Cenozoic denudation of the Namibian margin as deduced from new thermochronological constraints”, [Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters, 527 (2019) 115779], Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters, 116022.  

(6) Margirier A., J. Braun, C. Gautheron, J. Carcaillet, S. Schwartz, R. Pinna-Jamme, J. Stanley (2019), Climate control on Early Cenozoic denudation of the Namibian margin as deduced from new thermochronological constraints, Earth and Planetary Sciences Letters, 527.  

(5) Margirier A., J. Braun, X. Robert, and L. Audin (2018), Role of erosion and isostasy in the Cordillera Blanca uplift: insight from landscape evolution modeling (northern Peru, Andes), Tectonophysics, 728-729, 119-129.  

(4) Margirier A., L. Audin, X. Robert, A. Pêcher, and S. Schwartz (2017), Stress field evolution above the Peruvian flat-slab (Cordillera Blanca, northern Peru), Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 77, 58-69,doi:10.1016/j.jsames.2017.04.015.  

(3) Margirier A., L. Audin, X. Robert, F. Herman, J. Ganne, and S. Schwartz (2016), Time and mode of exhumation of the Cordillera Blanca batholith (Peruvian Andes), J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 121, 6235-6249, doi:10.1002/2016JB013055.  

(2) Margirier A., X. Robert, L. Audin, C. Gautheron, M. Bernet, S. Hall, and T. Simon-Labric (2015), Slab flattening, magmatism and surface uplift in the Cordillera Occidental (northern Peru), Geology, 43(11), 1031-1034, 2015, doi:10.1130/G37061.1.  

(1) Margirier A., L. Audin, J. Carcaillet, S. Schwartz, and C. Benavente (2015), Tectonic and climatic controls on the Chuquibamba landslide (western Cordillera, southern Peru), Earth Surface Dynamics, 3, 281-289, 2015, doi:10.5194/esurf-3-281-2015.  


Audrey Margirier
University of Lausanne
Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics
Géopolis, office 3120
1015 Lausanne, Switzerland