MIT EAPS Directory

B. Clark Burchfiel

Professor Emeritus

B. Clark Burchfiel is a structural geologist interested in the origin, development, and structural evolution of the continental crust. After a life-long career spent exploring the geology of the Western United States, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, South America, North Africa, Middle East and China, recent work has focused on the geological history and evolution of the Tibetan plateau.

Burchfiel earned his Ph.D. in 1961 at Yale University. His first academic appointment was to the Geology department at Rice University. He joined the MIT faculty on 1976. Over his career he has written close to 200 papers and mentored more than 50 graduate students.

Burchfiel has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, most recently having been honored with the Career Award in International Geology from the Geological Society of America. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.



Burchfiel, B. C. and Nakov, R. (2015) The multiply deformed foreland fold-thrust belt of the Balkan orogen, northern Bulgaria Geosphere, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 463-490, doi: 10.1130/ges01020.1


Distinguished Service Award, International Division of the Geological Society of America (2013) | Foreign Honorable Member: Bulgarian Geological Society (2011) | Outstanding Publication Award by the Structure and Tectonics Division of the Geological Society of America (2010) | Penrose Medal from the Geological Society of America (2009) | Honor for Exceptional Reviewer, Geological Society of America (2007) | Honorary Professor of Geology – China University of Geosciences, Beijing (2006) | AAPG Distinguished Lecturer (1999-2000) | Foreign Member – Chinese Academy of Sciences (1998) | Friendship Award, Bureau of Foreign Experts, Government of PRC (1997) | Career Contribution Award, Structural Geology and Tectonics Division, Geological Society of America (l995) | Fairchild Scholar, California Institute of Technology (1991- 1992) | Guggenheim Fellow, Greece (1985-1986) | Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1984) | Silliman Prize, Yale (1961) | Fellow, Geological Society of America | Fellow, American Geophysical Union | Honorary Foreign Fellow – European Union of Geologists | Member, National Academy of Sciences | Member, American Academy of Sciences | Member, American Association of Petroleum Geologists | Member, Geological Society of Australia

Contact Information

t: 617 253 7919





Ph.D., (Silliman Prize), Yale University, 1961
M.S., Stanford University, 1958
B.S., (with Distinction) Stanford University, 1957

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