I am a geoscientist interested in how the methods and principles of geology can be used to understand and solve some of the most pressing challenges facing human societies today.  My students and I have a broad range of interests, including the evolution of earthquake-generating fault zones in New Zealand and California, the uplift of mountain ranges in Patagonia and elsewhere, the causes and consequences of large landslides and rockfalls in Vermont, and the spread of PFAS contamination in bedrock aquifers beneath local towns.  Most of my work is field-based where I travel to carefully selected sites in Vermont and around the globe to learn as much as I can about the architecture and temporal evolution of geological features and landscapes.  I also have expertise in the disciplines of continental tectonics and Earth deformation, and the application of UAS (drone) surveys, photogrammetry, and 3-D digital modeling to geologic problems.  Check out the links listed on this page to see some examples 


Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Klepeis, K.A., Schwartz, J.J., Miranda, E., Lindquist, P., Jongens, R., Turnbull, R., and Stowell, H., 2022, The initiation and growth of transpressional shear zones through continental arc lithosphere, southwest New Zealand, Tectonics, 41, e2021TC007097.

Klepeis, K., Webb, L., Blatchford, H., Schwartz, J., Jongens, R., Turnbull, R., and Stowell, H., 2019a, Deep slab collision during Miocene subduction causes uplift along crustal-scale reverse faults in Fiordland, New Zealand, GSA Today, v. 29,

Betka, P., Mosher, S., and Klepeis, K., 2022, Progressive development of a distributed ductile shear zone beneath the Patagonian retroarc fold-thrust belt, Chile. Lithosphere, 3820115,

Klepeis, K. A., Webb, L. E., Blatchford, H. J., Jongens, R., Turnbull, R., & Schwartz, J.J., 2019b, The age and origin of Miocene‐ Pliocene fault reactivations in the upper plate of an incipient subduction zone, Puysegur Margin, New Zealand. Tectonics, 38,

Blatchford, H.J., Klepeis, K.A., Schwartz, J.J., Jongens, R., Turnbull, R.E., Miranda, E.A., Coble, M.A., and Kylander-Clark, A.R.C., 2020, Interplay of Cretaceous transpressional deformation and continental arc magmatism in a long-lived crustal boundary, central Fiordland, New Zealand: Geosphere, v. 16(5), 1225-1248,


Kearey, P., Klepeis, K.A. & Vine, F., 2009, Global Tectonics, third edition, Wiley-Blackwell, John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex, UK, 482 pp.

Technical Reports

VGTR2022-2: Kim, J., Klepeis, K., Ryan, P., Romanowicz, E., Boyles, J., and DeJong, B., 2022, A Conceptual Site Model for the PFAS-Contaminated Fractured Rock Aquifer Beneath the Rutland- Southern Vermont Regional Airport (RSVRA), Vermont: Vermont Geological Survey Technical Report VGTR2022-2, 28 p.

VGTR2022-1: Klepeis, K.A., Kim, J.J., Boyles, J., and Robinson, E., 2022, Rockfall Hazard Maps for the Wrightsville Dam Spillway-  A Framework for Geotechnical Mitigation: Vermont Geological Survey Technical Report VGTR2022-1, 1 plate (poster).

VGTR2021-4: Kim, J., Springston, G., Klepeis, K., Boyles, J., and Robinson, E., 2021, Monitoring of Landslides in Vermont Using Drone and Geologic Surveys: Vermont Geological Survey Technical Report VGTR2021-4, 1 plate (poster).

Huntington, K.W., and Klepeis, K.A. , 2018, Challenges and opportunities for research in tectonics: Understanding deformation and the processes that link Earth systems, from geologic time to human time. A community vision document submitted to the U.S. National Science Foundation. University of Washington, 84 pp.,

Awards and Recognition

Dr. Klepeis was elected a fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2011 and earned the prestigious Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of Vermont in 2015.  He has earned multiple Editor’s citations for excellence from a variety of international journals.  He also is the recipient of numerous large research grants from the National Science Foundation to support his research in New Zealand, California, and Patagonia.  Funding from FEMA, the FAA, and the State of Vermont supports his work on natural hazards and applied geology in Vermont. He has mentored and graduated over 24 graduate students and 47 undergraduate research students at UVM.

Keith Klepeis on a sunny day smiling for the camera

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Structural Geology, Tectonics, Landslides and Rockfalls, Faults, Photogrammetry, Drone Surveys, Bedrock Aquifers, Applied Geology


  • Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, 1993


  • (802) 656-0247
Office Location:

Delehanty Hall, Room 308