Leave of Absence: Fall 2013
Mailing address: PO Box 208109, New Haven CT 06520-8109
Street address: 210 Whitney Ave., New Haven CT 06511
Much of my current research is focused on the tectonic evolution of convergent wedges. We have active projects in several modern convergent wedges, including the Apennines of northern Italy, the Hellenic subduction wedge as exposed in Crete, Greece; and the Cascadia subduction wedge in western Washington State. The main objective is to understand the interplay between accretion, erosion, and wedge growth. Our tools are structural geology, thermochronology, geomorphology, and tectonic synthesis. Both the Apennines and Hellenic wedges show evidence of pervasive horizontal extension in the direction of convergence. Our work indicates that both slab rollback and deep accretion (underplating) are significant factors in driving this synconvergent extension. Other active research include using detrital thermochronology to study the exhumational history of the European Alps, and using leaf shape analysis to estimate mean annual temperature and terrane offset along the western margin of North America. We are just starting a new project to study the interplay between glacial erosion and wedge growth in the Patagonian Andes. The goal is to test the "glacial buzz saw" hypothesis, which states that alpine glaciers control the upper limit of the orogenic topography in the Andes.