We identify trends and interactions over Earth's history related to climate, life, and tectonics.
Plates, volcanoes, and basins: The Andes
Eocene sedimentary rocks in the Talara forearc basin of northwestern Peru hold information about the rise of the Andes, volcanic activity, plate collisions, climate, and ancient drainage systems. We study these using geochemistry, U-Pb geochronology, microscopy, and field methods.
Hessler, A. M. and Fildani, A., 2015. Andean forearc dynamics, as recorded by detrital zircon in the Eocene Talara Basin, NW Peru. Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 85, p. 646-659.
Zircon geochemistry across the P-T boundary: Karoo, South Africa
The zircon geochemistry in volcanic ashes of the Karoo Basin, South Africa, reflect changing tectonic processes through the Permian and into the Triassic and likely sourced by now-eroded volcanic centers in Antartica.
McKay, M. P., Coble, M. A., Hessler, A. M., Weislogel, A. L., and Fildani, A., 2015. Petrogenesis and provenance of distal volcanic tuffs from the Permian-Triassic Karoo Basin, South Africa: A window into a dissected, magmatic province. Geosphere, in press.
Ice age rivers and submarine fans: The Pleistocene Mississippi
Detrital zircons from the Late Wisconsan Mississippi Fan suggest that millenial-scale, climatic adjustments in a continental drainage system can be recorded in distal, deepwater environments.
Modern sediment production: California terranes
We use modern sediment produced from varied terranes and climates to constrain the degree of geochemical and mineralogical change related to weathering, climate, and transport, to be applied to the study of ancient sedimentary rocks.