After 22 years of continuous schooling, the time has finally come to shed the title of "student" and (hopefully) gain the title of doctor!
My dissertation research has dually focused on developing a new way to determine how old the mineral garnet is if it is no longer in the rock where it originally grew and also on dating garnet from some of Earth's oldest rocks to learn about metamorphism on Earth billions of years ago.
In order to graduate from Boston University with my Ph.D., I have to defend the merit of my research by giving an approximately 45 minute talk about my work that's open to the public, followed by closed door questioning for 2-3 hours by a panel of professors before (fingers crossed) being proclaimed a doctor and eating cake!
My dissertation is titled "Development of a detrital garnet geochronometer and the search for Earth's oldest garnet"
A mixture of igneous & sedimentary processes were at work in this cross-bedded ash layer at Badlands Natl. Park. The layers of rock in the Badlands are dominantly sedimentary rocks deposited by ancient streams, but there were active volcanoes at the time contributing significant amounts of ash as well. That ash was frequently reworked by streams after eruptions, forming layers like this one: it is made of volcanic ash but got in its present state by being transported and redeposited by water.
I've finished a blog post at my website on the geology of Badlands Natl. Park, where you can find this and other images of geologic features: http://charleswcarrigan.wix.com/geoscienceimaging#!Geologic-Features-at-Badlands-Natl-Park/cf15/577b34f90cf2119db9ca3170
#badlandsnationalpark #wcss2016 #geologyfieldtrip #findyourpark #nps100 #volcanicash #sedimentarystructure #crossbedding #geologyrocks
It might be too late for this now, but folks in the Geoscience Community might be interested in checking this out. The author of the Landslide Blog, Dave Petley, was answering questions about landslides.
Spearfish Canyon is one of the more scenic drives in the northern Black Hills. The tall cliffs on either side are held up by the yellowish Pahasapa Limestone. Here at the falls, a syenite dike of Tertiary age intrudes the stratigraphic sequence.
#WaterfallWednesday #BlackHills #WCSS2016 #GeologyFieldTrip
Blue line for this year is currently way more than 2 standard deviations below the average for the 3 previous decades (1980-2010). In other words, its really, really, really low, even when compared to very recent history. It will be interesting to watch as the late summer minimum arrives in early Sept. to see if it breaks any records.
Door Trail is a beautiful hike at the east end of the park. This is the scene at the end. I've written up a blog post at my website summarizing the geologic features of the Badlands that I've been sharing recently, and it is available here:
#BadlandsNPS #Badlands #GoParks #NPS100 #FindYourPark #OptOutside #GeologyRocks #WCSS2016 #FieldCamp
I've been posting photos from the Badlands recently as most of you are aware, and I've put the finishing touches on a blog post on my new website that brings it all together, linked here. If you are interested in seeing interesting geological features next time you are out in the Badlands, I hope this is a helpful resource. Glad to see , , and join in with their own photos of this great place! Seriously, that made this feel much more like a community. Anyone else want to join the fun? I'll continue to post a few more shots individually in my Earth Science Images Collection (formerly called Geology Field Photos) over the next week.
The Brule Formation is part of the White River Group of sedimentary rocks that make up the stratigraphy of Badlands National Park. The Brule Fm., like most White River Group rocks, was deposited in the Oligocene ~30-34 Ma. The dark red layers within this unit are paleosols, layers where ancient soils developed from weathering before they were covered by younger sediments. These layers were formed in a stream floodplain environment, with the addition of volcanic ash every now and again as well. At this location, the Brule Fm. is cut by a distinct fault - can you spot the offset in the layers? The fault is obviously much younger than the rocks themselves but its age is unknown.
#Badlands #GeologyFieldTrip #geologicstructure #NPS100 #FindYourPark #fault #tertiary #oligocene #weathering #erosion #paleosol #BruleFm #WhiteRiverGroup #BadlandsNPS #NationalParks #WCSS2016
A normal fault offsets yellow and gray layers at Badlands Natl. Park. This fault is easily seen at the Yellow Mounds Overlook. The fault strikes N70W, meaning that any two points on the fault surface that are at equal elevation will have a compass bearing of 70° West of North. It dips ~60° from horizontal toward the SW. The yellow layer is called the Yellow Mounds Paleosol; it is a deeply weathered material found at the base of the Badlands stratigraphic sequence. A "paleosol" is an ancient soil, representing a time period in the distant past where rocks were exposed at the Earth's surface and underwent significant weathering to convert the rock to soil. This particular layer was weathered roughly 65-50 million years ago. The gray layer above that is the Chadron Formation, a sedimentary layer formed ~50-40 million years ago from volcanic ash and stream deposits. It indicates that weathering and erosion eventually gave way to renewed deposition of sediment in the early Tertiary Period. The fault occurred much later but the timing of it is unknown.
#Badlands #geologyfieldtrip #geologicstructure #nps10 #badlandsnationalpark #findyourpark #optoutside #geologystudent #geology #geologyrocks #geologia #fault #normalfault #tertiary #weathering #erosion #paleosol #yellowmounds #nps100 #yonderon #WCSS2016
I've shared a few photos from Badlands Natl. Park recently in my Geology Field Photos Collection, and there are more to come. I'm also working up a summary blog post of all of them for my website that I'll post a link to when it is finished. On that post I plan to include this map that I've put together, but in the meantime here's a #PlusOnly preview of what's to come with a direct link to the map.
#BadlandsNP #GeologyFieldTrip #GoogleMyMaps
I've been to the K-T boundary at Smokey Butte three times now....every time I have a new geologist(s) come up to Montana to help me on my project up there I make a point to take the back road back to Billings....runs through Jordan, MT. just a few miles from Smokey Butte...so that's their reward for doing a good job on the site. This site is also just a few miles from where the first T. Rex was found as well as the largest T. Rex was found. If you stop off at the little Museum there in Jordan there are two of the cutest ancient little ladies that work there that I swear probably "shooed" them off their front porch....LOL. Actually they grew up on the ranches around Jordan and tell stories of the when the dinosaur fever and rush came through that part of the country in the thirties and forties. Musta been something to see.....crews crawling around the hills digging or T Rex's and Triceratops. They still come there every summer....met a guy at the GSA in Minneapolis a few years back....we got to talking about that area and he invited me to come spend some time on the digs with his crew...."shoulda done it". But my life is full of "Shoulda Dones" and I am now getting to the point of where I have quit regretting the things I've done and started regretting the things I haven't done...LOL.
- Olivet Nazarene UniversityProf. of Geoscience, 2004 - present
- University of MichiganPhD, Geology, 2000 - 2005
- Vanderbilt UniversityMS, Geology, 1998 - 2000
- Olivet Nazarene UniversityBS, Geology, 1992 - 1996
- Earth-like Planet Blog (current)
- GSA 2011 abstract (current)
- GSA 2010 abstract (current)
- GS 2010 abstract (PDF) (current)
- NCGSA 2009 abstract (current)
- GSA 2009 abstract (current)
- GSA 2007 abstract (current)
- GSA 2006 abstract (current)
- GSA 2005 abstract (current)
- GSA 2004 abstract (current)
- K Eccles Senior Thesis (current)
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