Steven Micklethwaite

Assoc Professor

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Personal profile


My research focuses on;

(1) dynamic processes such as earthquakes, earthquake swarms and volcanic eruptions and how they potentially inform us about the formation of the natural resources vital to sustaining humanity.

(2) how we may mimic earth processes occurring at minute scales (e.g. nanoparticles, grain boundaries), to develop new and sustainable methods for extracting natural resources.

(3) the use of drones and artificial intelligence methods map and monitor the Earth in real-time, collecting unprecedented amounts of data and address scientific problems.

I work across the broad fields of structural geology, tectonics, minerals exploration, advanced field mapping technologies and ore deposit petrology. Innovations include a predictive 3-D numerical exploration tool based on earthquake mechanics (commercialised into the Midland Valley MOVE software for mining and petroleum), and the testing and development of drone technology to achieve real-time, automated geoscience data capture in underground and surface environments. We have been able to integrate data captured by drones into industry-standard 3-D modelling workflows (e.g. Leapfrog Geo) and we are accelerating approaches to analyse the data and extract useful geoscience information in real-time.

I am an experienced field geologist and have mapped in southern and western Africa, Indonesia, Australia, Europe and North America. I typically integrate geological, geophysical and geochemical datasets across microscopic, drill core, underground, surface and regional scales, and my research has led to the discovery of new resources in Western Australia. 

I am currently leading establishment of the Centre for Resource Engineering, Science and Technology at Monash University, which is a cross-disciplinary initiative to deliver solutions for exploration, geological engineering, production, ore processing and remediation. 


  • ore deposits
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
  • minerals
  • structural geology
  • photogrammetry

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2016 2022

Research Output 2004 2019

Evidence for dyke-parallel shear during syn-intrusion fracturing

Dering, G. M., Micklethwaite, S., Cruden, A. R., Barnes, S. J. & Fiorentini, M. L., 1 Feb 2019, In : Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 507, p. 119-130 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Magma production along the Lord Howe Seamount Chain, northern Zealandia

Seton, M., Williams, S., Mortimer, N., Meffre, S., Micklethwaite, S. & Zahirovic, S., 1 Jan 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Geological Magazine. p. 1-13 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Review of drones, photogrammetry and emerging sensor technology for the study of dykes: Best practises and future potential

Dering, G. M., Micklethwaite, S., Thiele, S. T., Vollgger, S. A. & Cruden, A. R., 26 Jan 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 62 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Changes in Crystallinity and Tracer-Isotope Distribution of Goethite during Fe(II)-Accelerated Recrystallization

Southall, S. C., Micklethwaite, S., Wilson, S. A. & Frierdich, A. J., 20 Dec 2018, In : ACS Earth and Space Chemistry. 2, 12, p. 1271-1282 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Magma plumbing systems: A geophysical perspective

Magee, C., Stevenson, C. T. E., Ebmeier, S. K., Keir, D., Hammond, J. O. S., Gottsmann, J. H., Whaler, K. A., Schofield, N., Jackson, C. A. L., Petronis, M. S., O'Driscoll, B., Morgan, J., Cruden, A., Vollgger, S. A., Dering, G., Micklethwaite, S. & Jackson, M. D., 1 Jun 2018, In : Journal of Petrology. 59, 6, p. 1217-1251 35 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Activities 2015 2015

  • 1 Editorial responsibility

Cogent Geoscience (Journal)

Steven Micklethwaite (Associate editor)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility