Geology Department RAISE projects - Summer 2020

Even though on-campus research opportunities were curtailed this summer, a number of geology students continued to gain valuable research experience remotely through the College's Remote Alternative Independent Summer Experience (RAISE) program.

Our students worked closely with faculty members to examine a wide variety of geological topics:

Susannah Budd ('22) worked with Prof. Jade Star Lackey on studying grossular-andradite garnet from skarns collected in a wide range of ore deposits (W, Cu, Zn, Pb), from Africa to Alaska, using statistical analysis in the software R. The analysis showed that generally major element variations in crystal chemistry still appear to dominate trace element uptake in the garnets.

Amelia Carttar (’22) and Adrian Chinen (’22), and Cynthia Hannahs (SC'22) worked with Prof. Linda Reinen on using a combination of ArcGIS analyses, Google Earth mapping, and online research to investigate the role of gully formation – an important erosional process in semi-arid environments – and tectonic geomorphology in the evolution of a tectonically-active area along the southern San Andreas fault.  Quantitative geomorphic analyses of watershed basins and gully networks indicate a south-to-north progression of uplift and suggest that the uplifted region grew in response to the passage of a structural knot on the San Andreas fault. Cynthia's research was funded by a Scripps College Esterly Award.

Phoebe Saloway ('22) worked with Prof. Jade Star Lackey and Jonathan Harris to inventory the Department’s rock specimens. In the work she found discovered the remarkable trip taken by A.O. Woodford to Europe in 1928, with stops in Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany. The Department’s purchased collections from the Dr. F. Krantz company finally gained context as they were geolocated around Europe. Phoebe created an interactive map showing the rich history of samples.

Russell Benoy ('22) worked with Prof. Masha Prokopenko, in consultation with Prof. Jade Star Lackey and Prof. Nikki Moore to digitize field notebooks of A.O. Woodford, the founder of the Geology Department of Pomona College. The notebooks cover the early work of Woodford in 1920s, mostly in California, right after he completed his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley and started as a faculty at Pomona College. Russell summarized this period of Woodford’s work as a StoryMap, annotating Woodford field sites with copies of the original Woody’s drawings and short summaries of his field observations. The map can be found here.

Nolan Clark ('21) worked with Prof. Nikki Moore on creating crystal size distributions (using the program CSDCorrections) from previously collected field measurements of plagioclase in several giant plagioclase basalt (GPB) flows from the Steens Basalt in southeast Oregon. Nolan found that crystal types do differentiate in the magma chamber, physically and geochemically.

Matti Horne (‘22), Nate Wire (‘22), Daphne Chapline (‘22) Daphne Wong (SC ‘21), Graham Brady (PZ ‘21), Eve Paulson (HMC ‘23) all worked with Prof. Eric Grosfils across a wide variety of time zones to work on using numerical finite element models of ring fault formation to assess the stress state that existed within published analogue models of ring fault formation. Their preliminary findings from this summer advanced our insights into the conditions that exist in two very different sets of analogue model experiments, and helped frame new tests that will help further advance our testing of the hypothesis that the stress state in the experiments is not lithostatic. Daphne Wong (SC ‘21), Graham Brady (PZ ‘21), Eve Paulson (HMC ‘23) were funded by their parent colleges' summer research programs.