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In 2012-2013, the Keck Geology Consortium offered the following projects:

Snake Range, Nevada

This project will be a field-based study of the structural, tectonic, metamorphic and thermal history of the spectacular northern Snake Range in eastern Nevada. The Snake Range is a classic example of a metamorphic core complex where mid-crustal metamorphic rocks have been penetratively deformed and exhumed by tectonic extension along a major low-angle normal fault and shear zone.

Colorado Front Range, Year 5

The Keck Colorado 12 project will work with a large interdisciplinary study (Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory: Weathered profile development in a rocky environment and its influence on watershed hydrology and biogeochemistry-NSF 0724960) directed by Suzanne Anderson, Institute for Arctic and Alpine Studies (INSTAAR), University of Colorado.

Western Ireland

The 2012 Lough Carra, Ireland project will investigate Holocene climate, aquatic productivity, and pollution records by collecting and analyzing lacustrine carbonate sediments. In addition, we will verify the fidelity of the marl delta 13C record by conducting a series of pore water incubation experiments. The summer program will consist of fieldwork in Ireland and laboratory analyses at Amherst College and Wesleyan University.

Hell Creek, Montana

We will calibrate high-resolution carbon isotopes and growth rates in freshwater mussel shells as proxies of ultra-high-resolution (paleo)environmental conditions and then to apply these proxies to shells spanning the K-T boundary collected in Montana during this project. The K-T is associated with an asteroid impact leading to the mass extinction, which ended the rein of the dinosaurs. Previous work suggests pre-impact environmental perturbations leading up to the K-T boundary, but seasonal variations in the carbon cycle have notbeen investigated. High-resolution seasonal variations in carbon cycling can provide more subtle information than the time-integrated approaches used in the past.

Matanuska Valley, Alaska

The 2012 Matanuska Valley project will investigate the paleoecology and paleoclimatology of an important late Paleocene-early Eocene sedimentary sequence in south-central Alaska’s Matanuska Valley. We will focus our studies on sedimentary facies analysis, sedimentary petrology, paleoclimatic reconstructions, studies of fossil wood, fossil insect-bearing amber deposits, and studies of fossil leaf herbivory for the Chickaloon Fm. The summer program will consist entirely of fieldwork, with the expectation that some laboratory analyses will be carried out through the academic year 2012-2013.

South-Central Alaska

The overall project is focused on the tectonic evolution of the Campanian-Eocene Chugach-Prince William (CPW) terrane in southern Alaska. This project has several distinct objectives that include: 1) understanding the regional depositional setting and source for of the CPW flysch; 2) understanding the intrusive and thermal history of this belt. The 2012 project has a major goal of collecting and analyzing some of the westernmost rocks in this belt in the Shumagin Islands.