I study tectonics by merging primarily metamorphic petrology and structural geology. Ultimately I am interested in anything that will clear up the view we have of solid-earth processes, I just happen to like the hard-rock tools the most.
My current investigations are aimed to understand crustal processes during orogenesis. My Ph.D. and Masters projects stand at radically different points on the geologic time scale as well as places on a pressure-temperature diagram for crustal rocks.
The Sivrihisar Massif, west-central Turkey.
This massif contains one of the best exposures of lawsonite eclogite known currently. On of ten to be exact. The cretaceous (~100-60 Ma) closure of the Tethyan ocean subducted and exhumed oceanic fragments along with non-trivial amounts of oceanic sediments. I have published two papers so far with a third on the way. I am also currently working on what strained rocks in rocks that overlie the Massif (like the one pictured below) mean for the overall development of the Sivrihisar Massif. This continuation will be in collaboration with Drs Annia Fayon and Donna Whitney and Annia's masters student Valerie Morgan (who is working out the PT hisotry of these rocks).
The Tusas Mountain range of northern New Mexico.
My masters began as an investigation into a basic lithologic boundary that seperated a kilometers thick package of rhyolite and quartzite (with minor amounts of other metasediments and metabasalts) from what appears to be an older package dominated by intermediate to mafic metaigneous and metasedimentary rocks. As I found the boundary not only seperates rock types and ages, but deformational styles. I am currently interested to show this data as a solution to the problem of timing of mesoproterozoic tectonism in New Mexico. I will be concentrating in the future on mid-crustal pluton emplacement and metamorphism in New Mexico based on what I've seen in this study area in conjunction with Dr Michael Williams at the University of Massachusetts.
Erosional control on the exhumation of rocks.
I will be starting a new project into the erosional influence on exhumation in orogenic wedge environments through analogue experiment. This project is linked to my PhD work, but is based in observations during a field camp back in 2003. Although I have the experimental apparatus I have yet to set it up here at PLU. I am hoping a student or two might be interested in just such a project. This project will be a collaboration with Dr Chris Paola at St Anthony Falls at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.