The 2010-2014 Academic Years
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.
Field-based research in structural geology and geophysics in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sediment dynamics in the lower Connecticut River.
In Houston, Texas, 2010. Sponsored by ExxonMobil.
In Houston, Texas, 2010. Sponsored by ExxonMobil.
Mongolia occupies a key position for unraveling the complex geologic history of central Asia, which formed through the accretion of “exotic” crustal fragments in the late Paleozoic-early Mesozoic. Students involved in this project will contribute new geologic data about the Gobi-Altai terrane in southern Mongolia – its sedimentary history, evolution of its invertebrate communities, and paleogeographic setting.
Modern climate is changing rapidly in the Arctic. To better understand future climate, we need to understand how the climate has changed in the past. Participants in this project will do field work on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard to collect samples and data from a glacier-river-lake system. We seek to better understand how modern climate influences glacier melt, sediment transport, and lacustrine sedimentation in order to better calibrate the late Holocene climate record archived in the layered sediments. In the field we will collect samples and download data loggers on the Linne’ Glacier, in the meltwater stream and in the lake. In the lab we will process and analyze the samples and data we collect.
The Keck Colorado Project will work with a large interdisciplinary study directed by Suzanne Anderson, Institute for Arctic and Alpine Studies, University of Colorado. The Keck Project focus is measurement and sampling of geologic deposits and processes in the critical zone, “the heterogeneous carapace of rock in various stages of decay, overlying soil, and the ecosystems they support… fundamental characteristics of the critical zone, such as its thickness, the character of the weathered rock and soil layers and the biological activity within them, together control the passage of water, the chemical processes operating, the material strength, and the function of subsurface ecosystems.”