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Past Research

Albion Mountains

Dating the Tertiary evolution of the Albion-Raft River- Grouse Creek Metamorphic Core Complex

The Albion-Raft River-Grouse Creek metamorphic core complex (ARGMCC) is located in southern Idaho and northern Utah. The rocks exposed there preserve Late Eocene to Oligocene plutonism, extension, and high-grade metamorphism at mid-crustal levels. Exhumation of these rocks along low-angle mylonite zones and high-angle normal faults occurred in the Miocene.  The ARGMCC is bordered to the north by Miocene volcanics of the Snake River Plain, and lies on the northern edge of the Basin and Range province.

Mountains & rocks

Intrusive, Uplift and Erosional History of the Northern Sierra Nevada batholith

NSF Tectonics 0809226

The Mesozoic Sierra Nevada Batholith preserves an extensive record of continental-margin arc magmatism which serves as a classic, worldwide model for such tectonic environments. However, about one-third of the batholith actually extends northward from the Sierra Nevada proper into the Basin and Range Province of northwest Nevada, where it has received little study. Extensive recent research on late Cenozoic Basin and Range extension in that region has yielded considerable preliminary information on that portion of the batholith, highlighting three key, related issues that form the focus of this project.

map of where we have worked in russia

Studies in the Russian Arctic and Northeast Russia

We have been working with Russian collaborators in NE Russia and the Russian Arctic since 1994. It's  a frontier region and logistically difficult to get to.  Our projects focus on the deformational history of orogenic belts and the origin and evolution of the magmatic belts of NE Russia and on the plate tectonic evolution of the Amerasia Basin of the Arctic.  Our funding has come from a variety of sources, including NSF CD EAR-93-17087 and EAR0948673, American Chemical Society PRF Award 45432-AC8, CRDF, the Swedish Polar Secretariat, Exxon-Mobil, Shell International, BP. Russian scientists have visited Stanford as part of the School of Earth Science Blaustein visiting scholar program and international Fullbright Program.

Satellite view of wrangel island

Wrangel Island, Arctic Russia

Structures on Wrangel Island are believed to represent the western continuation of the Brooks Range fold and thrust belt of northern Alaska. With renewed explorationof Alaska’s Chukchi Shelf, Wrangel Island represents a unique exposure to test the continuity of structures, lithologies and facies from Alaska to Russia across offshore regions. No significant new data have been published for Wrangel Island since the thorough study by Kos’ko et al. (1993, GSC. Bull. 461). The study of the deformational history of Wrangel Island (Miller et al., 2017) provides evidence that the main structural fabrics are likely related to crustal extension rather than shortening and concludes that the rocks on the island do not represent the western continuation of the Brooks Range fold and thrust belt of northern Alaska.

We visited the island in 2006 with the logistic support of the director and scientific staff of Wrangel Wildlife Preserve.  The trip involved four weeks of waiting for weather clearance for helicopter flights and three weeks of fieldwork, compromised at times by logistics and weather. We carried out geologic mapping, structural measurements and sampled extensively for paleontology, geochronology and thermochronology.  Supported by American Chemical Society, PRF # 45432-AC8.