The 2013-2014 Academic Year
At Mt. Holyoke College, 2014
at Mt. Holyoke College, MA
This project focuses on climate change in the High Arctic. Because of the ice-albedo feedback the Arctic is experiencing warming at more than twice the rate of lower latitude sites. To put these changes in a longer-term perspective we are attempting to use the varved sediment record in glacier-fed Lake Linné and we are studying what factors influence annual sedimentation in the Lake. Summer work includes work on the Linné Glacier, the sediment flux and temperature of the inflow stream and the physical and sedimentological conditions in Lake Linné.
Students will investigate the morphotectonic footprint of earthquake-generated uplift on the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. This project will expand upon preliminary geomorphic, geodetic, and seismologic data showing patterns of coseismic rupture and coastal uplift generated by the recent Mw7.6 Nicoya Earthquake of 5 September 2012. Project students will build upon several decades of prior research on subduction generated coastal uplift on the Nicoya Peninsula [e.g., Hare and Gardner, 1985; Marshall and Anderson, 1995; Marshall et al., 2001-2012], including a highly successful 1998 Keck project [Gardner et al., 2001]. The participating students will conduct fieldwork along the Nicoya Peninsula coastline, learning research techniques of tectonic geomorphology, paleoseismology, and GPS geodesy.
This is a comparative study of inflated and disrupted pāhoehoe lava on Mars and the Earth. The project will involve fieldwork in the Zuni-Bandera Volcanic Field of New Mexico and mapping of potentially analogous lava flows within the Elysium region of Mars.
Investigation of spatiotemporal changes in island shorelines due to water-level changes using the mapping and analytical tools of a geographic information system (GIS). Study area is The Massasauga Provincial Park archipelago (Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, Ontario).
This Keck project is an interdisciplinary investigation of biologically mediated precipitation of dolomite and other carbonate minerals in Deep Springs Lake, CA. Elucidating the mechanisms of modern dolomite precipitation is a fundamental and longstanding problem in sedimentology and Earth history. Students and faculty will develop an integrated suite of field and laboratory data utilizing techniques in microbiology, aqueous geochemistry, sedimentology, mineralogy, and isotope geochemistry. During the project, participants will have the opportunity to perform cutting-edge geobiological research, including one week of fieldwork in a modern alkaline playa lake and three weeks of lab research at the sponsoring institutions.
The 2013 project will investigate the impact of Tropical Storm Irene on sediment transport in the Deerfield River Basin. This record-breaking storm dumped 180-250 mm of rain within a 24-hour period causing extensive flooding throughout the watershed. Numerous mass wasting events helped contribute to an anomalously high sediment load.
This project focuses on the tectonic evolution of the Chugach-Prince William terrane in Southeast Alaska, and it is a continuation of our 2011, and 2012 projects. This thick accretionary complex is dominated by Campanian-Paleocene (c. 75-55 Ma) trench fill turbidites likely derived from a volcano-plutonic complex. Near-trench plutons of the Sanak-Baranof belt imprinted a distinctive thermal event on these rocks and are a key indicator of plate position between 61-50 Ma. The primary study area for 2013 is the Sitka Graywacke in Sitka, Alaska, and the nearby and presumed metamorphosed equivalent, Baranof Schist in Whale Bay in the South Baranof Wilderness Area. Student projects will be focused on metamorphism and thermal evolution of these rocks, and sedimentary provenance including U/Pb dating of detrital zircon.
In this project, we will collect specimens so that field relations can be considered as part of the magnetic/geochemical provenance problem. There is also a more general archaeological/anthropological perspective involving sourcing theory, technological choices, and economic models for the students to balance the strictly geological aspects of this project.