Rob Pockalny

  • Associate Dean of Academic & Student Affairs; Associate Marine Research Scientist
  • Marine Geology and Geophysics
  • Phone: 401.874.6926
  • Email:
  • Office Location: 207 Horn Building
    120A OSEC
  • Website:


Marine Geology and Geophysics 

Robert Pockalny’s general field of specialization is Marine Geophysics. He utilizes a suite of geophysical data (e.g., bathymetry, side-scan/back-scatter, gravity, magnetics, and seismics) to characterize the processes and 4-D architecture of the oceanic lithosphere along the world-encircling mid-oceanic ridge system. His primary focus is the spatial and temporal characterization of the seafloor morphology, potential field data, geologic structures and plate tectonics of these terrains. In addition, the use of near-bottom observations from submersibles or ROVs is required to ground-truth many of his observations/models.

He has also been Co-Principal Investigator on several NSF-funded, education outreach programs, including: SURFO (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Oceanography) and GEMS-Net (Guiding Education in Math & Science Network.


Ph.D. Geological Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, 1991

B.A. Geology, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1984

Selected Publications

Kriner, K. A. Kriner, R. A. Pockalny, and R. L. Larson, Bathymetric gradients of lineated abyssal hills: Inferring seafloor spreading vectors and a new model for hills formed at ultra-fast rates, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 242, 98-110, 2006.

Viso, R.F., Larson, R.L., Pockalny, R. A., Tectonic evolution of the Pacific-Phoenix-Farallon triple junction in the South Pacific Ocean, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 233, 179-194, 2005.

Pockalny, R. A., R. L. Larson, Implications for crustal accretion at fast spreading ridges from observations in Jurassic oceanic crust in the western Pacific, GEOCHEMISTRY GEOPHYSICS GEOSYSTEMS, VOL. 4, NO. 1, 8903, doi:10.1029/2001GC000274, 2003.

Kincaid C., R. A. Pockalny, L. M. Huzzey, Spatial and temporal variability in flow at the mouth of Narragansett Bay, J. Geophys. Res., 108 (C7), 3218, doi:10.1029/2002JC001395, 2003.

Pockalny, R. A., R. L. Larson, R. F. Viso, and L. J. Abrams, Bathymetry and Gravity Profiles Across a Mid-Cretaceous Triple Junction Trace in the Southwest Pacific Ocean: Implications for the Accretion of Oceanic Crust., Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 29, No. 1, 2002.