Reconstructing past plate configurations using radiogenic heat production
This project will use geochemical, geophysical, structural and geochronologic data to reconstruct the past history of Gondwana (a supercontinent ~570 to 510 Ma).
Over a few billion years of continental evolution, plate tectonics has brought plates together and broken them into pieces many times, creating a complicated jigsaw puzzle that spans 4-dimensions. Add the processes of sedimentation, erosion and metamorphism and the existing continental architecture is a mess.
This has left us with the difficult task of reconstructing past plate configurations using a complex and limited dataset that is increasingly challenging the further back in time one tries to go.
Specifically this project will focus on developing a new techniques to use radiogenic heat production and surface heat flow observations to refine and/or discriminate between reconstructions of portions of India, Madagascar, Africa, and Antarctica.
As part of this project, you will learn to use software for reconstructing past plate motions, develop a geochemical database, and learn to use some simple thermal modelling techniques. You will learn to do simple coding and use GIS software.
- Tectonics III and/or Geophysics III
- Geology or Geology/Applied Geology major