The EarthScope AGeS (Awards for Geochronology Student Research) program is a multi-year educational initiative aimed at enhancing interdisciplinary, innovative, and high-impact science by promoting training, education, and interaction between graduate students, scientists, and geochronology labs at different institutions. The program offers support of up to $10,000 for graduate students to collect and interpret geochronology data that contribute to EarthScope science targets through visits and hands-on data acquisition in participating geochronology labs.
This year the award was highly competitive with 47 entries, and 10 winners were selected. The 2015 winners have been announced and are listed below. Congratulations! We are looking forward to seeing the results of your work.
Mariana Bonich, Syracuse University
Developing novel methods to link source rock to sediment sink: overcoming the 'stepladder effect'
This work addresses the possibility that whole rock analyses of clastic rocks may be a poor proxy for determining the composition of source rocks due to mineral sorting during transport. The researcher will use Sr isotopic composition coupled with U-Th/(He) dating of detrital apatites to examine sedimentary source to sink patterns.
Aaron Bufe, University of California Santa Barbara
Investigating deformation in the wake of the Yellowstone hotspot using markers along the Snake River
This work aims to bridge the gap between decadal and millenial scale studies of hotspot geodynamics, in this case of the Yellowstone Hotspot. The researcher will use OSL data collected from terraces along the Snake River in combination with geomorphic analyses to estimate deformation and incision rates along the Snake River Plain.
Jaime Delano, Western Washington University
Understanding earthquake-cycle contributions to uplift and incision of the southern Olympic Mountains, WA
Using OSL and high resolution lidar, this study will examine the relationship between the deformation caused by the megathrust earthquake cycle and the longer term deformation recorded in the landscape. This will lend insight into the processes that control topographic development above active subduction zones.
Shelby Fredrickson, University of California Santa Barbara
A geomorphic investigation of the tectonic transition between the Santa Barbara and Ventura folds belts near Rincon Point, California
The goal of this work is to characterize the pattern of deformation between the slowly uplifting Santa Barbara fold belt and rapidly uplifting Venture fold belt in Southern California. Using OSL and variety of topographic analysis techniques the researcher will try to determine the nature of the transition between these two systems and lend insight into other related tectonic questions.
Victor Guevara, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Durations and rates of Archaen high temperature metamorphic implications for continental stabilization and early Earth tectonics
This work hopes to uncover the mechanisms and timescales responsible for the formation of high- to ultra-high temperature metamorphic rocks in the Pikwitonel Granulite Domain found within the Superior Craton by using U-Pb and trace element geochemistry of zircon and monazite coupled with geodynamic modeling. This work will contribute to our understanding of continental evolution, assembly and stability.
Sean Kinney, Columbia University
Re-evaluating the White Mountain magma series through high-precision zircon U-Pb geochronology and trace element geochemistry
Using zircon U-Pb measurements from ID-TIMS, this researcher will constrain the age of the White Mountain Magma Series (WMS). The high precision measurements will offer insight into the timing and geodyanmic setting of magamtic emplacement of the WMS which will provide insight into the tectonic evolution of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province.
Stephen Nguyen, Texas Tech University
Is there evidence in the magmatic record from a high-standing plateau in the Great Basin?
The goals of this work are to use zircon and monazite U-(Th)-Pb ages coupled with trace element geochemistry to determine if there is evidence for thermal metamorphism and partial melting in the East Humbolt Range, and to examine the possibility of a temporal change in magamatic source. This data will enrich the general understanding of deep crustal processes in the region and may lend insight into the sustaining mechanism for the "Nevadaplano".
Barbara Ratschbacher, University of Southern California
Timescales of shallow-level pluton construction via fractionation and cyrstal-melt separation - implications for the volcanic-plutonic connection and upper crustal differentiation
Using ID-TIMS-TEA to precisely measure U-Pb in zircons from the Guadalupe Intrusive Complex, this researcher will examine the timescale of the production of silicic magma from mafic parent melt by in-situ fractionation and crystal melt separation. This work can improve the understanding of crustal differentiation, volcanic-plutonic connections and the rate of crustal growth.
Trevor Waldien, University of California, Davis
Neogene deformation at a Mesozoic terrane margin in the eastern Alaska Range, Alaska
Apatite (U-Th)/He cooling ages will help to constrain fault kinematics along the Broxson Gulch fault in the Alaska Range. These data will test the hypothesis that thrusting on this fault system contributed to Neogene crustal thickening in the region.
Randolph Williams, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Dating using the diagenetic record of the earthquake cycle, Loma Blanca Fault Zone, Socorro Basin, NM
This research will address fluid flux and the rate of fracture sealing within faults by utilizing U-series dating of the calcite cements formed within the Loma Blanca fault zone, Socorro Basin, NM. These data will constrain the recurrance and timing of fault slip and fracture formation as well as the rate and duration of diagentic sealing of the fracture.