Colorado – Front Range, Year 4

The Keck Colorado 2011 project will work with a large interdisciplinary study (Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory: Weathered profile development in a rocky environment and its influence on watershed hydrology and biogeochemistry-NSF 0724960) directed by Suzanne Anderson, Institute for Arctic and Alpine Studies (INSTAAR), University of Colorado.

Northwestern Iceland

Field and laboratory research on Tertiary volcanic rocks in the Westfjords region of northwestern Iceland. The main research focus is the Hrafnfjordur central volcano, where we expect to encounter both basalts and rhyolites, and likely some intermediates. The project will consist of three weeks of field study in Iceland, and one week of laboratory follow-up at The College of Wooster (Ohio). Students will continue research during the following academic year.

Ascraceus Mons, Mars

Water has clearly played an important part in the geological evolution of Mars. There are many features on Mars that were almost certainly formed by fluvial processes – for example, the channels Kasei Valles and Ares Vallis in the Chryse Planitia area of Mars are almost certainly fluvial features. On the other hand, there are many channel features that are much more difficult to interpret – and have been variously attributed to volcanic and fluvial processes (Bleacher et al., 2008; Murray et al., 2009). Clearly unraveling the details of the role of water on Mars is extremely important, especially in the context of the search of extinct or extant life on Mars.