The 2010-2011 Academic Year


This project will characterize, compare, and/or contrast the protoliths, the grade and time of metamorphism, and the intensity and age of tectonism of three rock suites found in the southern Gravelly Range and Raynolds Pass area of southwest Montana. Our goal is to integrate these findings into our developing understanding of the Big Sky orogeny, an arc-continent collision that occurred along the northern flank of the Wyoming province at 1.8-1.7 Ga.

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Colorado – Front Range, Year 3

The Keck Colorado 10 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.

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The 2010 Mongolia Keck project is designed to improve our understanding of the dynamics of crustal deformation associated with convergent to extensional transition zones by studying the coupling between atmospheric, Earth surface, and lithospheric processes across Quaternary time scales within the active Lake Hovsgol intracontinental rift zone of northern Mongolia. This project will integrate field studies of active faults, timing and extent of late Pleistocene glaciations, lake level history, and the paleoenvironmental ecology of the northern Hovsgol Rift zone.

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Sierra Nevadas, California

The Sierra Nevada batholith is a collage of plutons interspersed with remnant pendants and septa of pre-batholith metamorphic wallrocks (Fig. 1). This Keck Project—the first Keck project to be done in the Sierra Nevada—will engage student participants in a detailed study of the record of the interplay between magmatism and metamorphism that is preserved in the geologically, geographically, biologically, and historically diverse Sequoia region in the west-central Sierra Nevada. During the project, students will become familiar with the geology of Sierra Nevada as a whole and its significance in the geologic evolution of California as well as the Cordillera as a whole. Extensive field and laboratory investigation are planned, including a session dedicated to dating of igneous and metamorphic rocks from the project at the Stanford/USGS SHRIMP RG Ion Microprobe.

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Tetons, Wyoming

The question we are addressing is how are the Eocene Heart Mtn. detachment, with inclusive Eocene quartzite conglomerates, and the plethora of other Eocene quartzite conglomerates (numerous locations and paleocurrents) related to the contemporaneous Laramide uplifts. Hominy Peak is key. How can there be Heart Mtn. lahars with Madison limestone clasts on the WEST side of the Tetons?? The project will combine structural sedimentology and structural geology in a tight geographic area.

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This research project will use a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the early Holocene eruption and sector collapse of Volcan Barú which may have produced up to 100km3 of ejected material – possibly one of the largest Holocene collapses in the Western Hemisphere. However, there may be multiple collapses extending back into the Pleistocene, confounding volume estimates. Our work will utilize geologic mapping, volcanic stratigraphy, geochemical analyses and radiometric dating to explore the eruptive history of this volcano.

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Glacier National Park, Montana

We will be working on reconstructing past environmental and geomorphic conditions in Glacier National Park through collection and analysis of lake sediment cores. There is broad interest in the future of our National Park system, particularly Glacier National Park, which is sensitive to climate change through glacial retreat and ecosystem adjustments. This research project is aimed at understanding environmental and climate change in a near-pristine alpine basin in North America, and we will collect data that is very relevant to the debate about climate change in the northern Rockies since the Last Glacial Maximum.

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