The Geodynamics group at the University of Maine applies interdisciplinary research to better understand Earth’s thermal, mechanical and geological evolution. We integrate numerical and analog modeling of dynamic processes with field- and laboratory-based geological studies in regions undergoing active deformation from various parts of the world. We also examine the structure, kinematics and petrology of ancient mountain belts from the perspective gained by our work in active orogens. The information from exposed ancient belts about strain distribution, fabric evolution, metamorphic reactions, and melting feeds back into our studies of modern orogens.
We list some of our current projects below, and you can see recent past projects by clicking the link near the top of the page.
Most of the geodynamics group is involved in one way or another with each of the projects listed below. We list them here organized by the faculty member leading or overseeing the project. For projects involving or being led by graduate students, their names are listed with the titles.
I have a wide variety of interests in the general fields of structural geology and rheology. Below are a few of the projects that I am currently and/or perpetually involved in, but I often engage in new projects in response to the interests and strengths of my incoming graduate students.
- General problems in microstructural and rheological evolution with changing strain and metamorphic conditions. Collaborative over the years with a number of colleagues and past students.
- General problems in the generation, transport and emplacement of igneous intrusions. Current projects focus on the subvolcanic systems in coastal Maine (with Bora Song, Sam Roy and other students)
- Earthquake geology with particular emphasis on the development of damage zones around deeply eroded continental strike-slip faults (with Bora Song and other students, collaborative with Senthil Vel in Mechanical Engineering).
- The role of geological structures and microstructures in generating seismic anisotropy in continental crust (with Won Joon Song, collaborative with Senthil Vel in Mechanical Engineering and David Okaya at the University of Southern California).
- The role of phase changes and fluid expansion in the development of microcracks, elevated pore pressures and transient permeability in rocks (collaborative with Zhihe Jin in Mechanical Engineering).
- Mechanisms of shear zone formation in deep orogenic crust (with Deb Shulman)
- 4D rheological structure of the lithosphere
- Documenting and improving student understanding of the forces causing the movement of Earth materials
- Processes causing cathodoluminescent microstructures in quartz (Stephanie Mills)
- Patterns and geodynamic effects of strain localization in the lithosphere (with Maura Foley)
- Characterization of tephra from ice cores (led by Andrei Kurbatov, CCI)
- Coming soon: microstructures of ice and their implications for ice streams and calving
- Characterization and dating of monazite and xenotime in metamorphic and plutonic rocks of the Larsemann Hills, Antarctica (with Derek Morris)
- Tourmaline in the 3.7-3.8 Ga Isua Supracrustal Belt, West Greenland – A window to Boron Concentrations in the Eoarchean Eon (grant from the Carnegie Institution of Washington)
- Evolution of minerals of beryllium and boron
- Origin of pegmatite and A-type granite in the Larsemann Hills and other areas in Prydz Bay, Antarctica
- Crystallography and nomenclature of the magnesium fluorphosphate wagnerite. (paper in press and manuscript in review)
- Serendibite from Portage-du-Fort, Quebec, Canada. (with student at the University of Ottawa)
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